How to treat softwood decking

For the last in our woodcare solutions series we are focusing on a water-based wood treatment. Some people prefer to use a water-based finish rather than an oil-based finish as they are very environmentally-friendly.

With Owatrol’s Aquadecks you don’t need to compromise on finish to use a water-based product.

How to finish new softwood decking

If your decking is brand new then the wood is likely to have mill glaze which will prevent finished from adhering correctly to the wood. Before applying a finish you should prepare the pores of the timber with Prepdeck (You could alternatively use Aquanett if you want a water-based product) and Net-Trol.

For information on how to do this please read our guide on how to remove mill glaze.

Once you have done this and left the wood a good couple of days you can continue with finishing the decking from step 2 of the instructions for a weathered deck.

Step 1

Before applying Aquadecks to weathered softwood decking you need first to clean the wood using Net-Trol wood cleaner. This will remove any dirt on the surface of the wood which would prevent a finish from adhering and will also remove the grey colour, restoring the natural colour of the wood.

To do this simply apply the Net-Trol with a stiff brush and leave it to work for 10-20 minutes. After this time rinse whilst scrubbing the surface to clean the wood. You must now leave the deck for at least 48 hours to dry before applying a finish.

Net-Trol in use on a deck

Step 2

To apply Aquadecks ready to use water-based wood treatment follow these simple instructions.

  1. Apply 2 even applications of Aquadecks ‘wet on wet’. This means apply a 1st coat and then allow it to penetrate into the wood. Apply the 2nd application as soon as the wet look of the 1st application has disappeared (normally 15- 20 minutes).
  2. For very porous surfaces a 3rd application may be needed.
  3. Brush out any puddles within 20 minutes of applying the last application to avoid Aquadecks drying as shiny spots on the surface.

Aquadecks’ place is in the wood not on the surface as it protects from within. Do not create a film on the surface, as this will affect the coating’s performance.

Aquadecks used on decking

What if my softwood decking has been coated before?

If your decking has been treated before it will need to be stripped before applying Aquadecks. For simple instructions follow our guide on how to strip old coatings from decking.

You could use Dilunett rather than the Prepdeck in this guide if you are looking for a water-based solution. You can then continue with the standard instructions from step 2.

Owatrol Team
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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.

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2 thoughts on “How to treat softwood decking

  1. I have a balcony roof and the decking has deteriorated so that extensive filler was required to make good the decaying areas. I have used wet rot hardener and a good exterior filler. I need a paint to mask the patchy wood/filer appearance. I contacted Sadolin and brought 2 x 2.5 litre tins of Decking Stain and Protector Golden Brown. I applied this to a row of my decking and, as I said, the poor quality of the finish was evident.
    My intention is to continue applying the rest of the decking with this product from Sadolin but the following coats could be OWATROL s Light Brown Decking Paint. Sadolin don’t do a colour that is the right shade for us. I contacted them today and your company was the only one which do a mid light brown colour which might mask the decking so the blemishes are not evident and the protection is high. Am I on the right lines? Please email or phone 01235 764913 thx

    1. Hi Phil,
      You are indeed on the right lines however, we would recommend first removing the finish that you have applied before using Owatrol. Unfortunately, with another product underneath Decking Paint may not protect the wood as it should as it may not be able to adhere. As such it may peel or flake because it would be relying on the adherence of the previous finish. We would recommend using Prepdeck wood stripper to remove the Sadolin, then neutralising with Net-Trol before applying the Decking Paint.

      Any further questions please feel free to get in touch,
      Many thanks,
      The Owatrol Team

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