Oil vs Stain? What to pick for your deck.

Picking colour is an important decision and once a colour has been applied to timber, it is a big job to take it back.



Oils and stains are both semi-transparent. This means they allow the natural grain of the timber to show through the colour so the character isn’t hidden. The current colour and condition of the timber will impact the end result, so colour selection is very important. Visit your local Inspirations Paint store to discuss colour choices with our expert staff!


Handy tip: Always do a test run with 2-3 coats of the colour on an offcut or an area of timber that won’t be seen before applying colour to the whole area.


What's the difference between an oil and a stain?

Let’s break it down. The easiest way to remember it is this: oils enhance the natural colour, stains change it.


Oils - Enhance natural timber

If you like the natural colour and grain of your timber, an oil is the best product to use to enhance it. There are two different types of oils – oil-based and water-based. Oil-based penetrates the timber for a more traditional look. Water-based is more long lasting as it sits on top of the timber surface. They also tend to dry much quicker than oil-based and are perfect for a 'Deck in a Day' application. Intergrain Ultra Deck Timber Oil is a great water-based oil to protect your timber.


Oils contain a small amount of pigment which is essential in providing protection against UV and foot traffic. Due to the small amount of pigment, oil is less durable than a stain.


Stains - Change timber colour

f you’re wanting to change the look of the timber completely, stains are for you! Stains contain mid-strength pigment and are designed to completely transform the look of the wood with rich colour that still allows the grain to shine. Intergrain Ultra Deck Timber Stain is a great water-based stain that comes in 16 colours and provides great protection.

Stains contain more pigment than an oil and offers longer lasting protection than an oil against weather and foot traffic.


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