An All-Inclusive Guide To Protecting And Staining A New Kwila Deck

You’ve invested in new Kwila decking for your home, and now it’s time to ensure it stands the test of time. Kwila, or Merbau, is widely used in New Zealand as a decking material because it’s a high-quality, strong and durable hardwood that’s naturally resistant to borer and fungal rotting. But, to make sure your new kwila deck lasts and looks great for years to come, you need to seal and protect it properly and then regularly carry out maintenance.

Here’s everything you need to know about oiling or staining a new Kwila deck. We’ve covered basics like, “Should I stain or oil my new deck?” and “Why do I need to seal and protect my Kwila deck?” before diving deep into detailed, step-by-step instructions for oiling or staining Kwila decking.


Why Seal And Protect Your New Kwila Deck?

Known for its rich reddish-brown colour, Kwila is a high-density, durable hardwood used as a premium decking material in New Zealand. Because it’s imported and stronger, it’s more expensive than Radiata Pine, which is grown right here in NZ.

So, sealing and protecting your new Kwila deck is not just a matter of preserving its beautiful aesthetic; it’s a smart investment in ensuring the longevity and value of your outdoor space. Because if your brand new Kwila deck isn’t properly sealed or coated, it will eventually suffer from:

  • Cupping
  • Weathering
  • Splitting
  • Discolouration
  • Silvering
  • Moisture retention

What Is The Best Protection For New Kwila Decking?

A deeply penetrating decking oil, like Dryden OilStain, is the best protection for a new Kwila deck because it nourishes the timber from within to extend its lifespan by helping to reduce excessive warping, cupping, and splitting. It’s also water-resistant, which is great because moisture is the biggest enemy of Kwila decks.

Polyurethane products like water-based, film-forming stains are more suitable for interior timbers; they will give your new Kwila deck a shiny appearance but go cloudy and flake quickly. Dryden OilStain is specially formulated for exterior use to deeply penetrate into Kwila, unlike film-forming, polyurethane stains that remain on top of the wood’s surface as just a film.

For enhanced protection, add Dryden Colourtone+ to OilStain. On top of giving your Kwila deck a beautiful stained effect, Colourtone+ provides enhanced UV protection.


Should I Stain Or Oil My New Kwila Decking?

The answer to “stain or oil for new Kwila deck” depends on the aesthetic effect you want and how much maintenance you’re prepared to do.

  • Dryden OilStain offers deep penetrative protection that allows the Kwila to weather with a silvery-grey look and requires less maintenance.
  • On the other hand, using Dryden Colourtone+ stain provides enhanced UV protection, has 37 colours to choose from, and gives the potential to maintain the Kwila’s natural yellow-brown/ dark-red-brown colour.

So, ultimately, it’s your personal preference. For a more detailed explanation of this, check out this guide – Kwila Decking Oil or Stain: Which Finish Is Right for You?


When Should I Oil My New Kwila Deck?

After installation, prep your new Kwila deck with Dryden LiquidTimberClean and then coat it with Dryden OilStain or OilStain and Dryden Colourtone+.

Usually, you need to leave Kwila decks to weather for at least six weeks so that the wood becomes porous and absorbs the oil better. But with Dryden OilStain, you can skip the weathering stage because it’s designed to deeply penetrate the Kwila.

Step-By-Step Instructions For Oiling and Staining A New Kwila Deck

Step 1: Clean and prep. After six weeks, it’s time to coat the deck, but you need to first clean and prep with Dryden LiquidTimberClean.

How to use:

  • Mix Dryden LiquidTimberClean 50/50 with water.
  • Apply directly to the entire deck.
  • Keep wet and active until any stains and cosmetic marks are acceptable or gone.
  • Blend the total area with the 50/50 mix once the timber is brightened or any marks are gone.
  • Rinse with clean water until soapiness is gone, especially in grooves and joints.


Step 2: Oiling and staining a new Kwila deck.

Oiling a new Kwila deck with Dryden OilStain:

  • Apply with a wide bristle brush or a speed pad: For dressed timber, use a wide bristle brush or a speed pad – just avoid the lambswool types. A medium-nap roller or airless spray system can also be used to apply the oil to your cladding.
  • Keep stirring the oil: Remember to regularly stir the oil throughout the application process to maintain consistency, especially when using Colourtone+. You don’t need to apply fresh oil to every part of the deck unless it needs it. But if you do start on any face, finish it off! This ensures a nice colour consistency across the deck
  • Don’t thin or dilute: Dryden OilStain should not be thinned or altered in any way – you simply apply it to the wood surface and wipe off any excess solution. After the initial 30-60 minute waiting period, allow the deck to dry before applying another coat – it’s as easy as that!

Staining a new Kwila deck with Dryden Colourtone+:

Choose from over 37 colours and add the selected stain to Dryden OilStain. Then, carry out the same application method as above.


Step 3: Regularly maintain your Kwila deck. Give your Kwila deck a wash every six months and recoat as needed, depending on the condition of the deck.

Wrap-Up: Key Points On Protecting And Staining A New Kwila Deck

  • Oiling or staining a new Kwila deck is important to protect it from weathering, cupping, splitting and discolouration.
  • A deeply penetrating decking oil like Dryden OilStain offers protection as it nourishes the timber and protects against moisture.
  • Use Dryden Colourtone+ together with OilStain for added UV protection and a stained effect.
  • Prepare your deck with Dryden LiquidTimberClean.
  • Apply Dryden OilStain or OilStain and Colourtone+ using a wide bristle brush or an airless spray system.
  • Regularly maintain your Kwila deck by giving it a wash every six months and recoat as required, depending on its condition.

And that’s it! If you follow these steps, you’ll have a beautiful Kwila deck that will last. Explore all our timber care products here and find them at your local Dryden reseller. For more helpful guides on deck maintenance, click here


*Will silver as product weathers overtime


*Will silver as product weathers overtime


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Weathered Cedar



Silver Grey







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Soft Grey