All About Using Oil on Mahogany Decks
So, you have your plans for a beautiful mahogany deck to create the perfect outdoor setting you always wanted. You have already contacted a local hardwood supplier and the wood is sitting in your driveway. Now it is time to oil your deck in order to ensure that the wood you just bought has the longest lifespan that it can.
While, yes, genuine mahogany on its own is of a high enough quality to withstand the elements, adding some protection to it will help it last even longer.
For an unbiased Green World Lumber recommendation for what oil to use for your deck, head to the bottom of the page.
What are the Benefits of Oiling Your Mahogany Deck
Using an oil on your genuine mahogany is dependent on two things; if you want to maximize the wood’s lifespan and if you enjoy the natural look of genuine mahogany. So what does that mean exactly?
Part of the reason for buying exotic hardwoods, like genuine mahogany, is that they come with a long lifespan. This is important if you are the type of person that does not want to have to continuously fix or, worse, tear down and rebuild your deck every 10-15 years. Using oils on your deck is a preventative measure to get the longest life out of your mahogany hardwood.
Oils Help Wood Last Longer
There are two types of oils, water-based and oil-based. Both are designed to help maximize the lifespan of the wood without altering its natural colour. Even the best exotic hardwoods, like mahogany and ipe, are not impervious to mother nature. They can withstand the weather for a long time, but eventually moisture will seep in and cause damage or, worse, rot and fungus.
Oils are used as a preventative measure to help counter these nasty effects that could completely ruin your deck. Oil-based oils penetrate deep into the pores of the wood, while water-based penetrate slightly but mostly sit on top. In both cases, the goal is to help your mahogany reach its maximum lifespan by keeping or replenishing the lost natural oils of the timber.
Oils Help Maintain Natural Colours
Unlike stains, the primary use for oils is not to alter the colour of your wood. The goal of oils is to let the natural beauty of your wood shine through while keeping it protected from moisture. When applying a clear oil to your genuine mahogany and other exotic hardwoods, it will protect the wood and help maintain its colour longer than left untreated. The wood will still turn into an elegant silver if you let it. If you want to maintain the original colour of the wood, you will simply have to reapply the oil to help keep the colour. Follow the directions on your deck oil of choice to know how often to reapply.
Some oils, specifically water-based oils, will darken your wood slightly but the natural lustre of your genuine mahogany will still be on display. You can also find oils that have some pigments or UV tints in them that will change the colour of your wood.
Another aesthetic benefit of oils is they do not peel as often (if at all depending on the amount of sun you receive, the quality of the oil, and if you have tints/pigments in it) as stains, ensuring that even when it comes time to reapply, your deck does not look like a weathered mess.
Beware of UV Tinted or Semi-Transparent Oils
A deck oil that is semi-transparent or contains micro tints that protect your deck from UV rays can sound like a really good idea. However, these benefits only go so far. While they still work at penetrating the wood, the pigments or tint mixed into the formula will not let the oil absorb into the wood pores as well as a clear oil would.
This is especially the case if your deck receives a large amount of direct sunlight every day. This will cause you to have to reapply your oil more often then you should. It could also lead to some flaking. If that is the case, you will have to sand or chemically peel your deck to reapply oil. This is why Green World Lumber recommends using a clear oil on your deck and let the mahogany’s natural beauty shine through.
A GWL Recommended Deck Oil
As we have noted today, oiling your deck can help make the wood last longer by protecting it from moisture while also helping let the wood’s natural colour be on full display. To help achieve these goals, Green World Lumber recommends using a clear oil on your deck. If you are committed to using an oil with a micro UV tint or a semi-transparent oil, then try and either place your deck in an area that does not receive a lot of direct sunlight or add some sort of cover or canopy for your deck.
As personal choice, Green World Lumber recommends using Cutek Clear Oil on your decks. GWL has no affiliation or kickback from this product; we just love it and think it works best with your genuine mahogany deck. It comes as a clear oil which will penetrate deep into your wood, offering protection and allowing the natural colour of the mahogany decking to shine. While, as noted, we don’t recommend tint or colours to your oils, if you do desire this you can manually mix them in.
Check back next month for a step-by-step “How To” in the proper way to oil your deck.