Australia’s leading timber care expert, Cabot's clears a few misconceptions about DIY decking and wood care products.

With the approaching summer, Australians are looking to beautify and protect their exterior timber. 

According to Cabot’s Marketing Manager, Sarah Shatkhin, during the warmer months, a lot of people seek advice on how to treat their deck to keep it protected and looking good. 

She explains that the process is really simple with the right knowledge; however many people take short-cuts, which will lead to poor results, or make it much more complicated than it needs to be. 
Cabot's therefore, busts the myths so that everyone can get a great deck with minimum fuss.

Myth #1: New timber does not need to be cleaned prior to coating 

Fact: New timber contains tannins, oils, dirt and in some cases mould, which need to be removed before coating. 

Before installing a new deck this summer using new timber, remember to remove all the tannins, oils and dirt before coating as they will affect the look and longevity of the finish. The most effective way to clean timber is with Cabot’s Deck Clean. 

New tannin-rich timber should be left uncoated for four to six weeks to allow the tannins to leach out before it’s sealed.

Myth #2: Oil based finishes last longer than water based finishes 

Fact: Water based decking finishes based on modern technology such as Cabot’s Aquadeck, last significantly longer than traditional oil based coatings. 

When investing time and money into applying a timber finish, it’s important to choose a product that’s guaranteed to last and protects exterior timber from the harsh Australian elements. 

Like traditional oil-based finishes, water-based products, such as Cabot’s Aquadeck, penetrate into the timber, nourishing the grain. The added benefit of water based timber finishes is the unique protective barrier it forms on top of the timber, protecting it against the elements for longer without risk of cracking, peeling or blistering. 

As a result, Cabot’s Aquadeck significantly outperforms conventional decking oils in durability and resistance to UV damage, providing longer protection for decking and exterior timbers. 

Unlike oil-based timber finishes, water based finishes are easier to clean up leading to minimal hassles. 

Myth #3: You can’t use your deck for a week after coating 

Fact: Water-based products such as Cabot’s Aquadeck are fast drying, allowing the deck to be used the same day as the coating. 

While traditional oil-based decking oils can take up to 24 hours or more to dry, water-based products generally have a quick drying time, such as Cabot’s Aquadeck which has a recoat time of just two hours. 

Myth #4: You only need to coat your deck once the timber begins to grey 

Fact: Grey timber is a sign of decaying timber, and should be avoided. 

Greyness is the first visible sign of decaying timber and signals when the surface layer begins to deteriorate and collect dirt. A quick and easy test to avoid grey timber is to check if the surface of the deck requires a fresh coat by sprinkling water on the surface. If the water beads on the surface, the deck is still protected. If the water is absorbed it is a sign that the old finish has worn away, leaving the wood underneath unprotected. If left unfinished, it will begin to grey. 

A series of how-to videos on the Cabot’s website will explain the process of preparing and coating a deck. The videos will detail popular interior and exterior projects, providing tips and tricks for getting the best results.