You’ve just finished meticulously oiling your deck, carefully running your brush down every plank twice over. With your deck glistening and the hard work done, you might be asking yourself: how long does decking oil take to dry?
In this article, we’ll explain the standard drying time for decking oil, cover a few specific brands of oil, and explain what to do if your decking oil doesn’t seem to be drying.
Decking oil drying time
On average, decking oil takes about four hours to dry. But every brand is different, so the best thing to do is check the tin of your decking oil to see the estimated drying time. The drying time of your decking oil also depends on the temperature—it will dry slower during cold periods, and faster in hotter periods.
The word “dry” in this context is also a little misleading, because a deck can take up to a week to fully dry/cure. But usually, you can walk on the deck about four hours after applying the oil, and replace the furniture after about 24 hours. To get an idea of drying time for your decking oil product, check out the guidelines below.
Intergrain UltraDeck decking oil drying time
Intergrain’s water-based UltraDeck oil takes about three hours to dry, and its oil-based Nature’s Timber oil takes about four hours.
Sikkens decking oil drying time
Sikkens Cetol Deck takes about six hours to dry, and it’s Cetol HLSe product takes about three hours. Cetol BLX-PRO is quicker than both, with a rough two-hour drying time2.
Cabots decking oil drying time
Cabot’s water-based AquaDeck brand takes about an hour to dry, and it’s oil-based Natural Decking brand takes about six hours.
Cutek decking oil drying time
Cutek’s Extreme CD50 can take a few days to dry, so is by far the slowest-drying oil on the market1.
Johnstone’s decking oil drying time
This decking oil takes just 30 minutes to dry, and can be recoated after an hour.
Feast Watson Matt Look decking oil drying time
Feast Watson’s water-based Matt Look oil takes about 12 hours to dry, but can be recoated after four hours. It’s oil-based Traditional Timber oil takes about 18 hours to dry, and can be relocated in an hour.
How do I know if my decking oil is dry?
To test if the deck is dry, place the very tip of your finger on one of the boards, preferably in a corner so that a smudge will be less noticeable. If the board feels sticky, it isn’t dry yet.
Decking oil not drying?
A common cause of decking oil not drying is applying too much. If your decking has been absorbing the oil but suddenly stops, the wood is probably already saturated with oil, and so can’t absorb any more. To fix this, you can wipe off the excess oil with a lint-free cloth.
Other drying problems include:
Trying to apply oil over a decking stain, paint, or varnish.
Not cleaning the deck well enough before applying the oil
Applying the oil over a new deck that is already naturally oily
If you want more information on oiling a deck, check out our comprehensive article on the topic. It covers everything you need, including tools, preparation, maintenance, and oiling for particular types of wood.