When can I coat my new timber deck?

Post by: Cabot's

You have just invested your time and hard-earned money into a new timber deck and its looking fresh! You are getting ready to coat it, but with all the different recommendations about how to prepare new timber, you are not sure what to actually do.

You may have read an article about weathering the timber. But that doesn’t sound right? Won’t that make your timber go grey? Exposing it to the elements and letting it get wet in the rain unprotected sounds like the opposite of good deck maintenance and care.

Well, have no fear, Cabot’s is here to help!

The key to coating new timber is ensuring the tannins and oils have been removed. This will ensure the final finish of your coating will not only look amazing but will also last longer. It means you strip the timber back, so you start with a clean slate.

New timber such as merbau, spotted gum and jarrah are rich in tannins and oils. Tannins can cause the timber’s appearance to look patchy, discoloured and stained once coated.

Removing tannins and oils naturally is called weathering. Weathering involves exposing the timber to rain and the elements over 4-6 weeks. This may sound counter intuitive but it’s true! Also, if half your deck is under cover, you will need to hose it down regularly while it weathers, which is time consuming and this whole method can give variable results. It’s worth noting that there is no test that can be completed to ensure the deck has weathered completely if you go down the natural weathering route.

To speed up the weathering process and to confidently remove the tannins and oils for a fantastic finish, we recommend using Cabot's New Timber Prep. New Timber Prep is specifically formulated to actively draw tannins and oils out of timber and to allow you to coat your deck straight away. It’s a small extra step, which is really easy to do, and it means you no longer need to wait 4-6 weeks to coat your deck! After all, when you have spent time and money on an amazing new deck, why wait?


Preparing your timber for coating

Hose down the deck ensuring all the timber is wet.

Step 1. Apply Cabot’s New Timber Prep undiluted using the Cabot’s Deck Prep scrubbing broom following label instructions. 

Step 2. Allow New Timber Prep to do its magic for 15 minutes, then wash off with a high-pressure hose

Step 3. Whilst the timber is still wet, clean the timber with Cabot’s Deck Clean and the Deck Prep scrubbing broom. Dilute 1 part Deck Clean to 4 parts water.

Deck Clean will remove any residual dirt and rejuvenate the timber ready for coating.

Step 4. Allow Deck Clean to activate on the surface for 15 minutes. Then rinse off with a high-pressure hose.

Step 5. Allow to timber to dry before coating. To speed up the drying time you can use the squeegee on the back of the Cabot’s Deck Prep scrubbing broom.



Your new timber is now reading for coating. For tips on what product to use on your deck, read our blog The difference between using a stain and using an oil.

For extra advice on completing this project, watch the Finish in a Day video with our mate Adam Dovile.