How to choose the right penetrating deck oil for your deck.

How to choose the right penetrating deck oil for your deck.

Expert Stain and Seal penetrating timber oil is available in 3 types and 18 beautiful stain shades.

  • Transparent : In 5 shades from clear to Redwood.
  • Semi Transparent : in 5 shades from Pecan to Mahogany.
  • Semi Solid : in 9 shades from Eucalyptus to Black.

What is the difference and which is the best to use on your project?

The answer is simple and it all comes down to age and the proportion of pigments in the different oils.

The base oil is a fine penetrating wax oil, and it’s the same in all 3 products. In fact, it is only the pigment levels that change. Transparent has the least pigments whilst semi solid has the highest concentration.

These pigments provide surface protection against UV and weathering and help to lock the oil deep in the wood.

With new timber the grain is quite closed and less pigment is able to penetrate into the surface of the wood. This close grain is due to various factors including preservative treatments, machining, mill glaze etc.

The high grade trans oxide pigments used in our oils have a larger particle size than the base oils so they can’t pass as far into new wood as they can weathered, older wood. As the wood ages it opens up and is able to absorb more pigment. The older the timber the more pigment it’s able to absorb and the more pigment it needs for weathering and UV protection.

Below is our guide to which oil works best at the different stages of your deck's life.


Great for decks 1-5 years old and will need to be re-applied every 12 to 18 months or so.

Semi Transparent:

Ideal to perk up your deck as time fades the natural beauty of the wood and is ideal for years 5-8. These oils are richer in colour than transparent and add depth to an older deck. Reapply every 2-3 years.

Semi Solid

Perfect for timbers over 8 years old with its high level of rich pigments. It’s also available in the widest range of colours from true black to deep browns and stunning greys.

This is a guide to why and when and not an absolute ‘rule book’. If you have a younger deck and want to stain it grey that’s also fine but please do ask for advice. Our friendly technical team is always on hand to help and advise.

For more assistance and technical support please contact



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