Kwila Decking Oil or Stain: Which Finish Is Right for You?

A Kwila deck is a worthwhile investment to increase the value of your home and provide a beautiful outdoor space. Kwila is a strong hardwood that is durable, denser than other timbers and has a high resistance to decay, boring insects and fungi. But, without a protective coating and regular maintenance, Kwila can eventually weather and deteriorate.

The first step in your Kwila deck maintenance is selecting the right type of coating, which leads to the big question many have: “What is the best for Kwila decking- oil or stain? We are here to answer that for you with this comprehensive guide

The 2 Timber Finishes For Kwila Decks: Wood Oil And Stain

How To Choose Decking Oil Or Stain – 2 Factors to Consider

Typically, there are two different finishes you can use to protect your Kwila deck: stain and wood oil. The finish you choose will depend on;

  • The aesthetic appeal you want – Do you want to maintain or change the colour of Kwila or get the natural silvered/grey look that comes with weathering?
  • How much deck maintenance are you prepared to do? If you want less maintenance, go for a deck stain because oils have less pigment generally, so you have to maintain more frequently.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can then explore the qualities of each of the two different types of Kwila finishes.


Kwila Decking: Oil vs Stain

Here’s a quick snapshot of the differences between Kwila decking oil and stains.

Kwila Decking Oil

  • Clear or lightly pigmented
  • Can be applied on its own.
  • Allows the Kwila to weather and become silvery grey, which can be appealing to some.
  • Deeply penetrates the Kwila and protects it from the inside out
  • Requires less time and effort to apply as you can work faster and expect fewer aesthetic issues.

Kwila Decking Stain

  • Highly coloured using Dryden Colourtone+
  • Added to Dryden OilStain – can not be applied on its own
  • Can be used to get a colour similar to Kwila’s natural brown or get a different colour – there are 37 colours to choose from!
  • Provides enhanced UV protection against NZ’s harsh sun
  • Can be more difficult to prepare during the maintenance process because of uneven weathering. You’ll have to stain the whole deck, but it’s worth doing so because of the added UV protection

Now let’s look at these two finishes in more detail, exploring their unique qualities and frequency of maintenance.

Decking Oil for Kwila

How does decking oil work? Dryden OilStain deeply penetrates your kwila deck while nourishing and protecting it from within. If properly used and maintained, this premium oil can greatly extend your Kwila deck’s lifespan.

Dryden OilStain is water resistant to help minimise warping, cupping, and splitting, which happens when water gets into the timber.

Made in New Zealand, Dryden OilStain is specially formulated to withstand our harsh weather and UV conditions.

What is the colour of Dryden OilStain? Our decking oil provides a clear finish, which means after application, your Kwila deck will gradually weather and become a beautiful silvery grey.

How often do I need to apply OilStain? You need to regularly reapply the OilStain deck oil every 6 months to 2 years if you want maximum protection.


Deck Stain for Kwila

How do you add colour to a deck? Dryden Colourtone+ is a tinted solution that is added to the clear-based deck oil to add colour to your Kwila deck and prevent the natural silvering process, as well as add a layer of UV protection.

What colours are available? Dryden Colourtone+ comes in 37 colours, you can choose to give your Kwila deck a brand new look if you don’t like its natural tone or want to prevent the natural silvering process.

However, please note that because Kwila is naturally denser and has more tannins in it, the colour from the stain won’t show as much as it will for other timbers like Radiata Pine.

How often do I need to apply Dryden OilStain? Check every six months and apply if maintenance is needed.


How Much Deck Oil Do I Need To Buy For My Project?

Now you know what type of finish is best suited for you, the next question will be”How much product do I need? Below are some rules of thumb to figure out how many litres to buy.

Remember, timber type, dryness, and outdoor temperature all affect the amount of deck oil needed.

Timber Type and Coverage rate 

  • Dressed low-density timber (Pine) 9-12 m²/litre
  • Dressed high-density timber (Kwila) 10-12  and 12-14 m²/litre
  • Dressed modified timber (Accoya) 6-8 m²/litre


Wrap-Up: Key Points To Remember When Choosing A Kwila Decking Oil or Stain

  • Kwila decking is a worthwhile investment to improve the value of your home and is renowned for its strength, durability and resistance to decay.
  • Two types of finishes can be used to protect your Kwila deck: stain and oil. The finish you choose depends on the aesthetic effect you want and how much maintenance you’re prepared to do.
  • Dryden OilStain decking oil offers deep penetrative protection and allows the Kwila to weather with a silvery-grey look. But because it’s a clear finish with less pigment, you will need to maintain it more frequently.
  • Dryden Colourtone+ is added to OilStain to prevent silvering, add more colour to a deck and enhance UV protection. It comes in 37 colours!
  • The amount of oil or stain needed depends on the timber type, dryness, and outdoor temperature.

For more information on how to maintain your Kwila decking, contact us, and we would be more than happy to help!

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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Soft Grey