SCS used on a terrace

Decking Guide: Protecting your deck with a finish

At this point we are assuming that your deck is ready and raring for it’s choice of finish. If your deck has not been prepared for finishing then you probably haven’t read our previous posts on how to do this.

You need to prepare your deck well for its new finish in order for the finish to then perform at its best.

If your deck IS ready, then there are a few decisions to be made before you go any further.

Firstly, you want to decide what sort of look you are going for. Do you want a natural look or an opaque finish?

Secondly, what colour do you want your deck to be? Wood care products fall into two main categories; saturating wood oils and film-forming opaque finishes. We’re going to take you through your options from Owatrol and give an idea of how to apply some of the main finishes.

Achieving a natural look for your deck with saturating wood oils

D1_PROSaturating wood oils are a group of products whose main job is to protect the wood from within. They are applied wet-on-wet, meaning the wood is not allowed to dry in between coats. Simply keep applying coats every 15-30 minutes until the wood is saturated.

As the wood is fully saturated with the finish, it means it can’t absorb any moisture and so is protected from damage caused by this process. Also, they don’t form a film on the surface so there is no risk of peeling or flaking.

Saturating wood oils from Owatrol provide superb protection against damage caused by UV rays and require minimal maintenance. We have several saturating wood oil products and we’ll highlight the main differences here to give you an idea of why you might prefer one to another.

Textrol saturating wood oil – a trustworthy friend

Textrol is designed specifically for the protection of weathered wood and is a saturating product which protects from within. It is available in 7 tints and is applied ‘wet-on’wet’. This means that you do not have to wait in between coats for it to dry.

When you first apply Textrol it will give the wood a rich, matt colour. Over time, this will lighten to the final finished look.

Deks Olje D1 gives you a natural beauty

Deks Olje D1 is also a saturating wood oil but it is not tinted, it simply gives a clear matt finish to really enhance the natural beauty of your decking. It is designed particularly for dense and difficult to impregnate hardwoods. This makes it perfect for hardwood decking but it can also be used on softwoods too.

Incidentally, Deks Olje D1 is also perfect for marine use and can even be used for projects below the waterline.

Deks Olje D2 High Gloss Finish

Deks Olje D2 oil varnish is a perfect partner for Deks Olje D1 and is great for decorative work as it gives a high gloss finish. D2 can be very slippery when wet due to its high gloss nature. For this reason it is not suitable for your decking itself, but you may want to use it on balustrades or handrails for a professional finish.

It’s a highly transparent varnish which really emphasises the natural beauty of the wood. Apply in 6 thin coats for the best results.

Water-based protection for your deck with Aquadecks

Aquadecks is our water-based penetrating wood protection which makes it perfect for use if you are concerned about using oil-based products. It’s applied in the same ‘wet-on-wet’ manner as the saturating wood oils and is available in 3 tints.

Getting a coloured wow factor for your decking with opaque wood finishes

Deck finished with Decking Paint

If you are looking for a coloured finish for your deck or if you’re after an opaque, matt and even coloured finish (in a wood tone or otherwise) then an opaque wood finish is just the thing for you. They are usually applied in 2 coats and high quality products require minimal maintenance with a top-up coat every few years or even longer.

However, this is one area where you do need to be careful about the quality of the product you buy. Due to the nature of opaque finishes in that they protect the wood from on the surface, cheaper and poorer quality products can be liable to peeling and flaking. This often leaves you with lengthy repair work to complete before you can apply adequate protection next year!

Owatrol finishes leave a strong but very flexible film which will not peel or flake. They will also provide excellent protection against damage caused by moisture and UV rays. Most importantly though, you will not find yourself in 12 months time having to strip a faded, peeling and flaking finish from your beautiful deck (a lengthy process) before having to start again!

Although Owatrol products may seem more expensive, in the long run you are really getting excellent value for money. Don’t take our word for it though, read one of our customers’ experiences with a high street brand versus Owatrol in our article about how you get what you pay for. There are several Owatrol products which fit into this category and we’ll explain the differences here.

Owatrol’s Decking Paint does exactly as it says!

Our brand new Decking Paint is designed specifically for decking and performs well in high-traffic areas such as garden decks. It is available in 10 stylish colours and can be applied simply with just 2 coats. It provides excellent adhesion and the film is very flexible meaning that it won’t peel or flake. It’s even guaranteed against this when applied correctly for 5 years on decking.

35 colour options for your garden deck with Solid Colour Stain

Our Solid Colour Stain opaque finish is also protected by our 5 year guarantee on horizontal surfaces and is also applied in 2 simple coats. It is available in a huge 35 different shades. So, if you’re looking for something a little bit different, then this might be the product for you!

In the next post we’ll be finding out what maintenance is required to keep your decking looking new. Little hint – with Owatrol products it’s not much! We’ll also be briefly discussing how to maintain a composite wood deck.

Deck image credit to Amazing Productions & Channel 4

We hope you found this guide on protecting your deck with a finish interesting.

If you have any other advice or top tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. We love hearing from you!

You can also follow us on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest at @OwatrolUK or find us under the hashtag #OwatrolUK

Owatrol Team
About Owatrol Team

Our team are ready and willing to support you with your requirements whether it is protecting your newly laid deck or renovating a luxury yacht, whatever the application Owatrol has the solution you are looking for.

2 thoughts on “Decking Guide: Protecting your deck with a finish

  1. Could you help me please. I have purchased your decking paint in Light Grey last year (actually 3 – 2.5 liter cans). After carefully painting using your instructions I have found where we have heavy traffic on the decking it started to flake this year, I have re-painted it with yet another tin.

    Can you give me any idea as to what protection if any e.g. varnish etc to stop it doing it again as I now have painted it 3 times and do not want to do it again as it has cost me enough already.

    Thank you


    1. Hi Stephen,

      Thank you for your query.

      Please could you confirm whether the Decking Paint was applied to a new decking or old decking? Was it previously treated before painting last year? What preparation was taken before painting?

      Decking Paint should not be peeling after one year and these questions above can help us to see why?

      All the best,
      The Owatrol Team

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