How to Oil a Deck

Oiling a wooden deck can help preserve its beauty and enhance the outdoor living area of your home. Doing it right is key as incorrect techniques or products can do more harm than good. But how to oil a deck? Don’t worry, we have you covered with this guide on how to oil your outdoor space properly! Read on to find out which products are best for oiling a wood deck, when and how often you should oil it, and tips on applying the finishing touch.

How to Oil a Deck

Maintenance is a key component of keeping any outdoor space looking its best, and for many homeowners that means oiling their deck periodically. Oiling decks can help protect wood from the elements while bringing out its natural beauty and charm. Doing so correctly however, involves following a certain process to ensure a long-lasting result. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to oil a deck properly so that your outdoor space looks great for years to come!

Why Do You Need to Oil a Deck?

There are many reasons why you may need to oil a deck. Such as:

1. To Protect Deck From Water Damage

One of the main benefits of oiling your deck is that it helps protect it from water damage. Oiling the deck can create a waterproof seal, which will help to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood and causing rot or mold.

2. To Enhance its Look

In addition to protecting your deck from water damage, oiling can also enhance its look. The oil will bring out the natural beauty of the wood and make it look glossy and polished. So if you want to make your deck look as good as new, oiling it is a great way to do so.

3. To Increase its Longevity

You can increase its longevity by keeping the wood on your deck protected from water and other environmental elements. This means that if you take the time to oil your deck properly, it will be able to last for many years to come.

Keeping the Wood on Your Deck Protected

How to Oil a Deck in 6 Easy Steps

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You will need a garden hose, bucket of mild soap and water, pressure washer or deck brush with a long handle, sandpaper or sander, deck oil finish, and an applicator such as a paint roller, brush, or sprayer. Also, make sure to wear gloves and eye protection when working with oils and finishes.

Step 2: Clean Your Deck

Using a garden hose, thoroughly wet your deck. Use the soap and water mixture to scrub away any dirt, debris, or mildew. If you have a pressure washer available, use it on its lowest setting, as high pressure can strip the wood of natural oils.

Step 3: Sand Your Deck

Sand down any rough spots with sandpaper or an electric sander. Be sure to wear a dust mask and eye protection while sanding. Vacuum up any remaining sawdust once finished. But you have to make sure to go with the grain while sanding.

 Sand Down Any Rough Spots

Step 4: Apply Wood Oil Finish

Choose a wood oil finish that is right for your deck. Apply it using an applicator such as a paint roller, brush or sprayer. Be sure to spread the oil evenly and work in small sections at a time. Allow it to dry before adding additional coats.

Step 5: Let the Oil Sink In

Let the oil finish sink in overnight, or as long as recommended by the manufacturer. Once it has dried completely, you can proceed with the next step. So you have to make sure to give it enough time to sink in.

Step 6: Buff the Deck and Enjoy

Once the oil has dried, you can buff your deck with a cloth or brush until it shines. Now your deck is ready for enjoyment! Be sure to clean and re-oil your deck on a regular basis to maintain its appearance.

Some Additional Tips to Oil a Deck

1. Use a High-quality Deck Oil

This is very important as high-quality oil will help protect the deck from water damage and fading due to sun exposure. Also, make sure to buy the right type of oil for your deck’s wood species. So make sure to check the product label for what types of wood it’s suitable for.

Check the Product Label

2. Spread the Oil Evenly

When oiling your deck, it’s important to spread the oil evenly. This means that you should use a brush or roller to apply the oil in a cross-hatching pattern. This will help ensure that the oil is distributed evenly throughout the deck.

3. Avoid Over-oiling

Be careful not to over-oil your deck as this can cause problems such as mould and mildew. If you’re unsure how much oil should be used, it’s best to consult with a professional before applying the oil.

4. Clean the Deck

Before you begin oiling your deck, it’s important to give it a thorough clean. This will help remove any dirt, debris, and grime that can cause staining or discolouration when oiled. Make sure to use a cleaner that is formulated for outdoor wood surfaces.

5. Allow the Oil to Dry

Once you’re finished oiling your deck, it’s important to allow the oil to dry completely before walking on the wood or placing furniture back on the deck. The drying time will depend on the type of oil you used and the temperature and humidity levels in your area. Be sure to check your product label for specific instructions.

Allow the Oil to Dry Completely

Following these steps will help ensure that your deck looks great and stays in good condition. By taking the time to oil your deck, you’ll be able to extend its life and enjoy it for many years to come. With regular maintenance and care, you can keep your deck looking beautiful for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Oil Should I Use?

Your deck will need approximately 1 litre of oil per 10 square metres. It is important to not over-oil the wood, as this can result in darkening and staining which may be difficult to remove. So if you’re unsure, it’s best to start with half of the recommended oil amount and then adjust if necessary.

What Kind of Deck Oil Should I Use?

The type of deck oil you use depends on the kind of wood used in your deck. There are many different types available, so read the labels carefully to make sure you’re using the right one for your deck. Generally, if you’re dealing with a hardwood deck, you should use a deck oil which is specifically designed for preserving outdoor woods.

But make sure you check the label to see if it will work with your specific type of wood. Also, some oils are designed to penetrate deep into the wood, while others are designed to form a protective coating on top.

How Often Should I Oil My Deck?

As part of regular maintenance, you should oil your deck at least once a year. However, if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or snow and it experiences extreme weather conditions, you may need to oil your deck more often — this will depend on the type of wood used in your deck and how much wear and tear it receives. If you’re not sure, it’s best to check with a professional to get an exact recommendation for your specific situation.

Can I Oil My Deck in the Winter?

In general, it is not recommended to oil your deck in the winter. This is because temperatures are usually too cold for the oil to properly penetrate the wood and be effective. Plus, if you’re dealing with extremely cold weather, there is a chance that the oil won’t dry as quickly as it should and may be exposed to water or snow, which could damage the wood. It’s best to wait until temperatures are above 8 degrees Celsius before oiling your deck.

Can I Stain My Deck After Oiling?

You can apply a deck stain to your deck after it has been oiled. However, you should make sure that the oil is completely dry (typically 24-48 hours) before applying any type of stain or sealant. This will help ensure that the oil and the stain/sealant don’t mix and create an uneven finish. Additionally, if you are dealing with a hardwood deck, it is not recommended to stain it as this can alter the natural colour of the wood.


Now you know how to oil a deck and the important steps to follow for successful maintenance. With regular cleaning and oiling, you can keep your deck looking great and extend its life. Just remember to read labels carefully and select the right product for your specific application — this will help ensure that your deck looks beautiful and performs well for years to come.

Oiling your deck regularly will ensure that it lasts for years to come. By following these simple steps, you can easily keep your deck in top condition. Do you have any tips for maintaining a deck? Share them with us in the comments below!

You Can Check It Out to Protect Ipe Wood Deck

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

Leave a Comment