5 Tips for Applying Oil Deck Stain

For your outdoor decking project you may have selected to use oil deck stain instead of a water-based deck stain. Oil deck stain offers a hard wearing, deep penetrating stain that offers a level of lubrication to the grain of the wood, so water based stains will not show up to the same extent.

Tip 1 – Stir Well Before Use

Always stir the contents of the tin well before you use it. Oil based applications and compounds will always split slightly if they are left standing for long periods of time. When you first grab a tin of oil based paint out of the cupboard, you will find that it will be very oily when you lift the lid off the top. The top layer will be translucent and underneath, about half way down, will be the paint solids that have settled to the bottom. Stirring them up maintains the fluidity of the paint.

Tip 2 – Application

If you are going to be covering your decking in oil-based stain coating, apply it using the rules that the particular brand suggests. All brands of oil-based stain will come with user instructions and suggested methods of application. Be sure to follow them accurately so that your decking ends up with the proper protection that you are trying to achieve for it. It will last a lot longer if you apply the stain correctly.

Tip 3 – Use the Proper Tools

Always use the right tools for the job. Make sure you check thoroughly over the decking before you begin. If the decking is older, you may find upstanding nails or screws that have worked out of the wood over the years and these will need to be addressed before you can proceed with the sanding. Use foam brushes or natural bristle for a better covering. Using cheap nylon bristles will probably result in having to lift out loose bristles that come away from the brush. You can opt for cloth too. Rubbing the oil based stain into the wood with a clean, lint free cloth for the first coat will ensure that the stain gets right into the grooves of the grain.

Tip 4 – Preparing the Decking

Once you have run the thorough check for nails and screws you can proceed. If you have newly fitted the decking, or if your decking is already stained and you wish to re-stain it, then sand it very thoroughly. You can rent a sanding machine if you need to sand a very large area of decking to get a professional finish. Otherwise, you can use a regular orbital sander or a belt sander, for smaller areas of decking.

Tip 5 – Applying the Stain

When you apply the stain, brush it on in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Once you have coated it uniformly with the first coat in that direction, apply the second and third coats in opposing diagonal directions to ensure that all the wood is thoroughly coated. Doing this will get the oil-based stain into the grain cracks of the wood where brushing with the grain won’t achieve.