Christmas is just around the corner – and if you have family and friends coming over for the Silly Season, you want your deck to look totally amazeballs!

Timber decks are beyond gorgeous, but they do require work! Ideally, a timber deck should be cleaned and oiled every 6 months – 12 months. Although this upkeep sounds like a lot – it is the ideal way to keep your deck looking great and lasting longer.

Of course if you ‘Ain’t got time for d’at’ – then give us a call at Gympie Carpentry – we actually love bringing decks back to life!

If you decide to clean and oil a timber deck yourself – here’s how to do it!

Everything You Will Need to Clean and Oil a Timber Deck:

Items you will need to do to clean and oil a timber deck include:

  • Deck Cleaner
  • Stiff Bristled Brush
  • Chlorine or Bleach (To remove any stains)
  • Large Bucket
  • Gurney
  • Turps and a Rag for spills
  • A decking brush with a pole extension
  • Decking Oil

You can grab most of these items from your local hardware store.

Step 1: Inspect Your Deck for any Defects

Remove all the furniture and plants from the deck, and give it a good sweep (or if you own a blower – they are perfect for removing all the dirt and dust from a timber deck). Inspect the deck for any jagged edges, nails that might be sticking out or any stains.

Punch any nails that are sticking out using a nail punch, and use light sanding on any part of the timber deck that seems rough underfoot.

Step 2: Clean your Deck

This is the most important part of bringing your deck to life (and many people skimp on it!). First of all – you want to wet down your deck – just grab the hose and give it a good hose – this removes any surface dirt and debris.

Next, you need to scrub your deck. And I mean use your elbow grease scrub! You need to use a dedicated Deck Cleaning Solution to do this – plus a large bucket and a stiff-bristled brush.

Gympie Carpentry recommends the following Deck Cleaning brands:

Gympie Carpentry

Make up a large bucket of water with the appropriate amount of deck cleaner. Using the brush, scrub the deck in the same direction the boards run. Once you have scrubbed the whole deck, use a hose to wash off the cleaner. Then give the deck a second good scrub.

Grab your gurney BUT make sure you choose a setting that is a bit harder than a hose – if you use a gurney on full boar it will damage the timber.


Then using sweeping motions and at a 45-degree angle, gurney your deck to remove any remaining embedded dirt and grease.

Allow the deck to dry and check for any remaining stains. Any stains can be combatted with a 50% water 50% bleach solution, and scrub the stain.

Rinse well and allow the timber deck to totally dry.

Check for any stains on the deck – things like bird poo are particularly resistant to washing and may need a bit of chlorine and a toothbrush to get rid of the stains.

Step 3: Oiling Your Deck

Make sure the deck is totally dry. If the deck connects directly with your home, ensure you protect the edges with plastic or similar in case you get the decking oil on any vertical surfaces.

Always choose a good quality Decking Oil – good Decking Oil will last!

Gympie Carpentry recommends the following Decking Oils:

  • Intergrain Ultra Deck
  • Cabot’s Natural Decking Oil
  • Wattyl Weatherguard Water-Based Decking Oil

Mix the decking oil well, then pour into a paint rolling dish or similar. Then using large sweeping motions, in the same directions the boards run. Start from the furthest corner of the deck first. Don’t load your brush up too much, you want a good, even coat.

Allow your deck to totally dry (according to the instructions on the tin), then apply a second coat using less oil this time.

Give the deck 24 hours to totally dry and you can put all your furniture back and enjoy your deck for another 12 months!

Oil Based Decking Oil or Water Based Decking Oil?

We think Water Based Decking Oil all the way! Water-Based Decking Oil has lots of advantages over oil-based. It is easier to use, dries faster, smells less and lasts just as long as oil-based.

Oil-based decking oils do have that really dark rich look to them, but that dark look comes with a cost – the cost of having to clean and oil your deck a lot more often!

How Often Should You Clean and Oil a Timber Deck?

Ideally – a deck should be cleaned and oiled every six months to keep it in tip-top condition.