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By eniacs

I have made myself a nice decking project on one area of my garden approximately 3.3mx5m. This was coated with ronseal ultimate "oil" which i had followed instructions to the t. Naturally it looked a bit ropey pretty quickly and so was redone a further 2 occasions through the summer. This started to add up quickly so I complained to ronseal who have given me a full refund.

I am now building another higher area of decking planning on using the same wood as I love the appearance. However now I have to renovate the previous deck as well.

What should I be using? I've looked at Osmo and a few other oils, but they all seem very expensive and I am skeptical that they will last the duration. I dont mind regular maintenance to maintain the appearance of new wood as its beautiful and we spend a lot of time in the garden. But at £60 for 2.5L some of the stuff can add up pretty quickly.

Can someone offer some advice please?
By phil.p
A quick google reveals that not only is extremely durable, but that it is very resistant to preservatives. As such any treatment you use will be only be cosmetic (and possibly short lived) - is it worth the work? I think I'd be tempted to leave it well alone, a just accept that it would age.
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By ED65
I hate to recommend this sort of thing but had you thought about any of the products labelled as Teak Oil? Teak and balau are apparently fairly similar so they should take the finish similarly.

Just to mention, you can make up something similar yourself without too much trouble but if you want to get something that you know is going to do the job straight away, without having to do any long-winded experiments, then that's the time to get the commercial stuff.

eniacs wrote:I've looked at Osmo and a few other oils, but they all seem very expensive and I am skeptical that they will last the duration. I dont mind regular maintenance to maintain the appearance of new wood as its beautiful and we spend a lot of time in the garden. But at £60 for 2.5L some of the stuff can add up pretty quickly.
I don't know if it makes enough difference but it's showing at £48.57 here on Wood Finishes Direct. They have free delivery on orders over 50 quid so one other cheap item and no P&P to pay.

But check out the note in the body of the text:
    Note: The 'clear' version of this product is also supplied and labelled by Osmo as 'Teak Oil 007' The back of the tin confirms that this product is a dual purpose Teak / Decking Oil.
By eniacs
Wow quick replies

Phil; I know I have been warned that keeping it nice would require work, but when youve seen it in its prime, I feel a bit sad to leave it to go grey. I'm active enough to oil it once every 2 months for the summer. I'd just like to be sure of the right stuff. I have some teak furniture which lives outdoors and this has faired much better than the deck!

ED65 I have been considering a teak oil or even just a regular linseed. I work with an old swedish chap who has suggested i make my own with a mixture of types of oil, he tells me he used to use used engine oil lol.

I have tried to attach a couple images. One is two months after I fitted the deck, and I was doing a refresh coat of Ronseal. The other is the end of the summer and pretty much the state it is in now. Should I sand it back? Or should I use a chemical strip? Then I presume carry on with regular oiling of either teak or a similar oil with a UV protector in it?
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By ED65
The deck looked great after installation, nicely done. I can see why you want to preserve the original look but I think you should resign yourself to it not being the original colour any more. The species may naturally 'suntan' to a darker, duller shade after a season or two and it will incrementally go that way with anything applied to it I'm fairly sure.

eniacs wrote:ED65 I have been considering a teak oil or even just a regular linseed.
Just in case you don't know, Teak Oil has a very misleading name, it isn't an oil. It's one of many mixtures of oil and varnish marketed to the great unwashed, most of which also have a large component of white spirit to make them thinner and easier to apply. And coincidentally much more profitable.

Regular linseed, i.e. raw oil, takes ages to 'dry' and I don't think it's suitable for a surface you need to walk on.

I'm no expert but I think any straight oil is a mug's game for this type of thing, unless you're willing to apply it heavily and re-applying it every single season indefinitely. As I say Teak Oil is a mix of oil and varnish, and it's the varnish component that does most of the protection. That and any UV inhibitors the product may also contain.

eniacs wrote:I work with an old swedish chap ...tells me he used to use used engine oil lol.
Weirdly, that's not the completely crazy suggestion it sounds like. Engine oil has great preservative properties when applied to wood (although not suitable for here I don't think).

BTW I don't think it matters if it's used, it's just that it's effectively free. Not really any other uses for used engine oil unless you dabble in blacksmithing!

eniacs wrote:Should I sand it back? Or should I use a chemical strip?
Possibly both but I don't know what's in the Ronseal stuff you've used. It's hard to do a decent stripping job on an oiled finish because it's in the wood, not on it. But do you have a pressure washer? That can take off an amazing amount just by itself, and anyway a thorough wash-down should precede sanding or any other treatment where possible.

There are dedicated deck cleaners, which in addition to cleaning agents can have wood bleaches or brighteners that counteract water staining. I honestly don't know how well they actually work but worth looking into at least.
By eniacs
Update to this and thanks for the information so far.

I've tried a few things to rectify the deck during my leave period.
Sanding it back - effective but takes ages as I only had a 3 inch belt sander.
Pressure wash - effective as well but does not remove as well as sanding. Also as mentioned above, it removes the softer wood quicker so does not leave the wood in a dead flat condition.
Bleach wash - not sure I did this right as the wood didnt go very light. Used some oxalic acid from ebay.

In the end the whole deck has been pressure washed and oiled with some UV deck oil. It looks much darker than last year now, but still looks excellent. Most of the bad discoloring in the photos is due to the previous coating breaking down and going grey on the surface, rather than the wood itself being damaged.

If anyone's interested I have photos of the progress and finished job as well.

Next project is a raised deck with some stainless and glass balustrades!
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By ED65
Re. the bleaching results, oxalic acid is a particular type of wood bleach and is basically for iron stains (from direct contact with iron, or from iron salts in water which is mostly with tap water).

Oxalic is good stuff, you'll be glad you bought it for the jobs it's the mutt's nuts for, but I think the two-part stuff (usually/always sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide) might have given better results here.
By eniacs
Working on cleaning the deck:
Part of the cleaned corner is from sandpaper and partly with the pressure washer (it had dried by this point). Very similar results.
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After an oil:
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20160404_174058 (Medium).jpg

Next project is taking shape as well:
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By yetloh
I have seen on another thread (can't remember where) some long term tests on external wood finishess and the one that came out streets ahead of others was Sikkens Cetol. I believe there are various versions but a search of the website or an email to their technical advice people would identify the right one.

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By andersonec
Fella's, that smooth wood is going to be seriously slippery during the Autumn and winter months, we did the same some years ago and it was seriously very dangerous the first winter so we changed it to composite anti slip, be careful.

By Andrew.B
Hi eniacs,

I have a Yellow Balau Deck that was built late last year, I gave it 3 coats of generic Deck oil, but it didn't last very long at all, it's mostly grey now. So I want to oil it again with a product that will last.
As your post was I couple of years ago I wondered what treatment you used on yours and how well has it lasted?
I am looking at "Treatex Bangkirai / Yellow Balau Oil", it's not cheap but based on how poorly the cheap one I used last time lasted I'd rather pay to get something that will last.

By Jzimmo
I have been having the same problem with my yellow balau decking area. It has gone completely grey and cannot find the right product to revive it back to original state. Did use a very expensive product that was recommended by this really did not work. Could you please tell what the conclusion was to your problem. I have been advised that balau is very subject to greying.