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Merbau Decking – When & How To Oil Your Deck in Australia

by Melanie Peterson

Outdoor decks are popular across Australia and are often used as a platform for socializing and spending time in the outdoors. Merbau is a popular decking material that has been used for decades due to its durability and versatility. To ensure the longevity and aesthetic of the Merbau deck, it is important to oil it. This article will provide an overview of how and when to oil a Merbau deck.

The diverse climate in our region, ranging from tropical to dry, has made it ideal for barbecuing. This activity has become an integral part of our culture and serves as a shared experience that brings people together.

Australians have long found enjoyment in spending time outdoors and have been using decking as a platform to do so for many decades. Whether it is gathering with friends in someone’s backyard, or simply admiring the beauty of a sunset from their own outdoor space, there is one thing that is a common thread in nearly every outdoor setting: a merbau deck. This tradition has been a part of Australian culture for a long time and looks to continue for many more years to come.

When it comes to constructing timber decking, nothing can compare to the beauty, durability, and grace of merbau! Its timeless quality makes merbau the perfect choice for creating a stunning outdoor space that will last for years and years.

Merbau is an extremely robust hardwood that is still very smooth and pleasing to work with–being a top favourite amongst woodsmiths everywhere. Its natural red colour only deepens with time and adds to the story of your home.

Merbau decking is known for its natural long-lasting quality, but it can be further improved with the addition of a protective treatment. By oiling the decking, you can help to extend its life and keep it looking great for years.

Today, we are going to dive deep into the how and when of oiling a merbau deck. By the time you are finished reading this article, you will be well equipped to take good care of your merbau deck, carrying on an Australian tradition.

What Is The Point Of Oiling My Merbau Decking?

Today’s market is flooded with items that promise to help you maintain your deck. While many of these claims are fairly accurate, few of these products can perform to the level of a decent oil to help your timber decking thrive. They assert to preserve it and increase its longevity.

What justifies this? Oil thoroughly permeates the pores and fibre of your merbau deck as opposed to merely resting on top of it (and bubbling or blistering). It penetrates into the deck’s joints and connectors, keeping the structure well-protected against moisture damage.

Additionally, it aids in holding the deck together and prevents fading and expansion. Blockers are another component of several oil-based preservatives, and they protect your deck.

Choosing The Right Oil

You can choose between two primary types of oil when deciding which one to use. Both of these are water-based and are not.

Oil Based Water Oil Treatment Option

The benefits of water-based oil treatments are that they are more transparent and don’t have as much of an impact on the desirable natural colour of the merbau wood. Water-based oil treatments coat the deck’s surface and obstruct the pores with an acrylic film while also deeply penetrating the wood and seeping into its pores.

This means that in order for this type of oil to function at its best, the deck must be completely free of dust and dirt before applying it.

Water-based oils, which are a more recent innovation in oil preservatives, also have some other fantastic benefits, such as the ability to completely treat your deck in just one day and far faster drying periods than traditional oils.

Non-Water Based Water Oil Treatment Options

Non-water based oil treatments penetrate into the wood fibre as well as water based oil treatments, but they do not produce a top layer of protection for wood. Non-water based treatments give a high level of preservation for wood, but they take longer to cure between coats and frequently tint the wood, giving it a darker shade that resembles the appearance of wet wood.

It is suggested that you make your selection on your unique needs when choosing the best oil treatment for your merbau deck. Your deck’s usage, level of exposure to the elements, and history of treatment will all influence the optimal course of action.

When manufactured and sold, all timner typically includes the appropriate oil treatment type. Following these recommendations and asking your timber vendor for extra information is a smart idea.

Is Your Deck Brand New Or Has It Already Undergone Treatment

If the deck has never been treated before, treating it with oil is rather simple. Simply choose the type of oil you desire and apply it. However, if your deck is older than a few years and has received prior treatment (sometimes more than once), there is a considerable probability that its state will be patchy, with variations where the sun has struck it or where water has slowly seeped in over time.

The best course of action in this situation is to sand back your deck, eliminating all problematic layers of lumber, and making sure your decking has a lovely, smooth finish. Once this is finished, you can give your deck a fresh oil treatment to give it the longest possible lifespan.

You may make sure that you continue to oil your deck at regular intervals, distributed across suitable time frames, to extend this as long as you can and offer it the maximum love, care, and attention. At least once every 12 to 18 months, we advise you to perform this.

What Are The Steps To Prepare Your Deck For Oiling?

The first thing you must do to get your deck ready for oiling is to give it a thorough cleaning. Remove all of the items that are laying on it, including furniture, plants, decorations, and anything else. This will make it simpler to clean everything fully and correctly.

On the off chance that it is beyond the realm of possibilities to expect to eliminate everything off the deck, track down a corner to place all things in and place them there. Then, utilizing a unique deck cleaner (or sodium percarbonate, which is the primary fixing in deck cleaner — found in Australian items like Napisan), you can get to work cleaning the deck. The more exhaustive, the better. In the event that utilizing an option, for example, Napisan, you can empty two cups into a can and half fill it utilizing heated water.

A solid seethed decking brush is the best instrument to use to scour the deck clean. Start by delicately applying the cleaning answer for the deck with the brush. In the wake of allowing it to sit or fifteen to twenty minutes, apply a greater amount of the cleaning answer for the deck and use brush to scour it.

When you feel fulfilled that the deck has been tidied up to an exclusive requirement, utilize a nursery hose to wash down the deck, guaranteeing all item has been cleared off. When this is finished, you might allow the deck to sit this way for a couple of days, which will give now is the right time to deliver any old oils to the surface.

Process Of Oiling Your Deck

After you have set you up deck, and permitted the oil discharge interaction to occur, you are at last prepared to oil your deck. To do as such, you will require your picked decking oil, a delicate haired decking brush, a paint plate (or a container), and a cleaning cloth, with turpentine or water (to tidy up any spills). A lush haired brush is great, as it offers you the chance to absorb inordinate oil and reapply it to different region of your deck.

For each five square meters of deck, five liters of decking oil ought to give you enough for two coats. Continuously coat your deck toward the lumber’s grain, guaranteeing you just apply a flimsy layer. To best smoothen out the completion, mindfully utilize the brush to level out any air pockets or assortments of oil that structure.

After completely applying the principal coat, give now is the right time to dry out. This can require close to 60 minutes, and contingent upon atmospheric conditions, essentially more. Just apply a second coat once the first has dried. A subsequent coat guarantees all region of the deck are filled and makes a more hearty defensive layer between your deck and the components.


At this point, you ought to have an improved comprehension of how and when to appropriately oil your merbau deck. Realizing which oil to choose ought to be a simpler and more educated choice, while the effortlessness of readiness and application will make the undertaking less overwhelming.

If you need more help, or would like more information on the best decking oil for you to purchase, contact us on 03 9305 2000.

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