Demonstrating Pecan Semi transparent deck oil

Why use a penetrating deck oil ?

The exterior wood care market is awash with competing products designed to keep your deck or fence looking good. But which products really work?

The exterior wood finish industry is broadly divided into 2 categories:

  • Those that sit on the top of the wood and protect from the surface. These are broadly known as film-builders and usually require 2 coats.
  • Those that sink deep into the wood are known as Penetrating deck oils (PDO’s).
    • They nourish, protect and repel water from within.
    • The best of these are a single application product . 

Film Builders

Film builders cure on to the surface of the timber and are generally built of 2 coats. They protect the wood by preventing water ingress. This is fine for as long as they inhibit water ingress but bearing in mind that a deck board generally has 4 sides it does nothing to stop water from striking on any unfinished surfaces. Inevitably water will find its way round , and over time through these finishes , causing the deck board to hold and trap moisture and for the surface treatment to fail. This leads to flaking and peeling. It’s then difficult to remove the residual film and requires wood stripper and sanding. They may cost less to buy but need two coats and are hard to remove. They are best avoided.


Penetrating deck oil (PDO)

Penetrating deck oil is designed to penetrate into the wood, where it dries, oxidizes, and hardens within the wood grain of the timber. This forms a tough, durable, water and weatherproof barrier that beads rain and allows water to run-off. PDO’s can be either water-based or oil-based. Both work by penetrating deeply into the decking boards and working from within to protect the wood from water damage, as well as preventing cracks, splitting and warping of the decking boards. The high concentration of oil and wax make timber highly resistant to water and dirt ingress, while providing a highly durable and easily maintained finish.

Let’s have a look at the deck oil market leaders and see how they stack up :

  • Cuprinol UV guard decking oil : A 2 coat Film builder
  • Ronseal Ultimate decking oil : A 2 coat film builder containing linseed oil.
  • Liberon decking oil : A 2 coat film builder
  • Sadolin deck oil : A 2 coat film builder
  • Osmo decking oil : A microporous 2 coat PDO with a high VOC content.
  • Morrells Holzol oil : A 2 coat film builder.
  • Owatrol Textrol : A 2 coat PDO with a high VOC content (455g/litre)
  • Owatrol Textrol HES : A 1 coat PDO ( 2 coats may be required on softwoods) with a high VOC content (310g/litre)
  • Expert Stain and Seal : A 1 coat PDO with a low VOC content less than 100g/litre.


Expert Stain & Seal

Expert stain and Seal’s range of oils are a great example of a quality penetrating timber oil. They are made from a quality oil based paraffinic wax  with a very fine structure which allows the oil to penetrate deep into the wood, protecting and nourishing from within. Their super low VOC content  means good for the user and great for the environment.

There’s no massive strip and sand required with a high quality PDO either. A soft-wash with a product like DeckClean Pro, a flat sand of any areas of raised grain or mechanical damage and a re-coat is all that’s needed

With a 60% lower price tag compared to the current market leader, this option is a smart financial choice, without making the all too common environmental sacrifice!

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