What is Weathering and Why is it Important?

When you have invested in a new deck, there are two key steps you need to take before coating the timber, which will help enhance its lifespan for the long-term.


The first step is weathering, which involves exposing the timber to rain, sunshine and everything in-between. The purpose of weathering is to help remove the tannins and oils from the surface of new timber. If not properly removed from the surface, Tannins can cause the timber’s appearance to look patchy and discoloured once coated. If your deck is undercover, be sure to hose it down regularly to replicate some of the effects of natural weathering.

Typically, new bare timber needs to weather for between four and six weeks, although more oily species like Spotted Gum benefit from at least a couple of months of weathering prior to coating. During this period, timber can become grey in colour – a natural part of the process that indicates the deck is weathering successfully. It signals that the lignin holding the timber’s surface fibres together is breaking down, which will open up the grain and allow the coating product to penetrate more deeply into the wood, offering greater protection against the elements.


Before you begin coating your deck, you need to give it a thorough clean. Use the following guide to ensure the surface is entirely free from contaminants.


Step 1: Mix water with Cabot’s Deck Clean, which will help to remove any excess tannins, in your Deck Hand

Step 2: Use the Cabot’s Deck Prep applicator to apply the solution and gently scrub the deck

Step 3: Rinse down using a hose

Step 4: Allow the deck to dry


Step 5: Select the coating product that will help you achieve your desired finish. Choose Cabot’s Deck and Exterior Stain if you are looking to alter the colour of your timber, or Cabot’s Aquadeck or Natural Decking Oil if you simply want to enhance the timber’s existing tone

Step 6: Apply the first coat using Cabot’s Deck Coat

Step 7: Leave to dry for the specified drying time before applying the next coat


By allowing your timber to weather, followed by cleaning it appropriately, coating products will adhere properly to the timber’s surface, offering a rich and long-lasting finish.

Need more help? Speak to the team at your local Mighty Helpful Mitre 10 who will be able to help you with the right decking products.

Information courtesy of Cabot's 2017.