Oil Verses Stain

There are two main ways to protect and enhance the appearance of your Cedar timbers.  Using a timber stain or a wood oil.

Which one is right for your property?  Much will depend on what has already been used and what you are trying to protect. 

For cladding, garage doors, and the outside faces of louvres, etc.  We tend to favour the wood oil due to its ease of application, the way that it replenishes the natural oils in the timber, adds anti-fungal properties, is not film forming, and that it only requires 1 coat each time. 

However, if your Cedar already has a timber stain that is in good condition, re-staining with that product may be the best option.  We often recommend stains for surfaces that will be constantly touched such as entrance doors, stairs and decks and the inside faces of louvres, as the stain is more hard-wearing.

Generally, manufacturers will guarantee their timber stain or wood oil products for 2 years. However, we believe that in most cases, depending on the exposure of the cladding to the elements, a timber stain or wood oil will provide effective protection for between 3-5 years.

Staining of timber requires 2 coats each time, whereas wood oil is only applied with 1 coat each time, and even though it is a more expensive product, it becomes more economical as a result of the reduction in labour time to apply it.

After the initial application of wood oil, the Cedar should be re-oiled again within 12 months.  This re-coat (second coat or top-up) is required maximize the oil’s protective qualities and will further extend the life span of the colour tone of the wood oil surface treatment.  After this, the re-treatment regime is the same as with a timber stain.  In most cases, depending on the exposure of the cladding to the elements, a timber stain or wood oil will provide effective protection for between 3-5 years.

While stained cladding may still appear to be okay after 5 years, in most cases the stain is no longer acting as a water repellent barrier and the cladding will be absorbing moisture.  Oiled cladding may look worse, at the 5-year mark, but the oil (and especially if the 12-month top-up re-treatment has been done) will be still in the timber and acting to inhibit moisture absorption.

To find our which is best for you, give us a call on 0800 888 091 or book a visit so that we can assess the Cedar cladding on your home and give you some helpful advice.

The information presented here is general in nature.  Since it does not take into account your unique circumstances, it may not be suitable to your needs.  We encourage you to contact us for specific advice before taking action.