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

The first step in your pine deck maintenance is selecting the correct type of coating, which leads to the big question many have: “Should I stain or oil my pine decking?”

We are here to answer that for you with this comprehensive guide. Here’s what you’ll discover:


The 2 Timber Finishes For Pine 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 pine deck: stain and oil. The finish you choose will depend on:

  • The aesthetic appeal you want – Do you want to maintain pine’s distinctive creamy yellow tone with distinct growth rings 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 pine finishes.

Pine Decking: Oil vs. Stain

Here’s a quick snapshot of the differences between using Dryden’s decking oil on its own as a clear coat vs. adding Colourtone+ for a stained effect.

Pine Decking Oil
  • Clear (or lightly pigmented)
  • Can be applied on its own.
  • Clear finish allows the pine to weather and become silvery grey, which can be appealing to some.
  • Deeply penetrates the pine and protects it from the inside out.
  • Requires less time and effort to apply
Pine Decking Stain
  • Highly coloured using Dryden Colourtone+
  • Added to Dryden OilStain – can not be applied on its own
  • Can be used to either maintain pine’s warm, yellow tone or get a different colour with Dryden OilStain- 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 Pine

How does decking oil work? Dryden OilStain is one of the best pine decking oils in NZ because it deeply penetrates your pine deck while nourishing and protecting it from within. If properly used and maintained, this premium oil can greatly extend your pine 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 pine 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 Pine

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 pine 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 pine deck a brand new look if you don’t like pine’s natural tone or want to prevent the natural silvering process.


How often do I need to apply deck stain? Apply Dryden OilStain with Colourtone+ once every 2-3 years and whenever patches of uneven weathering appear.

Featured: Products for Pine Maintenance in New Zealand



*Will silver as product weathers overtime


*Will silver as product weathers overtime


Lite Oak










Weathered Cedar



Silver Grey







Black Teak













Soft Grey


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 or  12-14 m²/litre
  • Dressed modified timber (Accoya): 6-8 m²/litre

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


  • Pine is an affordable decking material that’s durable and resistant to decay, boring insects and fungi.
  • Two types of finishes can be used to protect your pine 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 pine 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!

For more information on how to maintain your pine 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 pine deck maintenance, click here.