Why is my deck stain peeling? How to fix and prevent it

Timber decks exposed to the elements can take a battering if not prepared and maintained properly that results in weathering and peeling. A peeling timber deck looks unsightly and can be very challenging to restore.

The timber needs proper preparation before finishing with a heavy-duty product that will withstand ongoing exposure.

Common reasons for peeling:

  • The deck wasn’t properly prepared; poor preparation can stop the oil from penetrating and means that it fails to protect the wood.
  • The wrong type of stain or sealer was used; a heavy duty exterior deck oil is required to withstand exposure to the elements.
  • An inferior quality decking stain was used.
  • Too much stain was applied, or the coats were too thick and not allowed to dry between applications.

How to fix and prevent future peeling

In just 3 steps you’ll have the job done and ensure that your timber deck is protected for years to come.

1. Remove the weathered, peeling layers

The first step is to remove all traces of the peeling deck coating and take the timber back to bare wood by stripping or sanding it.

After stripping or sanding the wood, Cutek CD33 Naked will remove the final traces of its previous coating.

Depending on the state of the wood, it may be possible to use Cutek CD33 Naked without sanding.

Tip: As you scrape the wood, reset any nails or screws that stick out from the surface.

2. Clean and rinse the wood

Once stripped, the wood will need a good restoring scrub. Cutek Proclean restoration agent will remove the residue from the stripping process. Once applied, a power rinse with a high-pressure washer will be necessary.

Tip: Use a lower setting to avoid damaging the wood fibre.

3. Seal the wood

The final step is to finish with two coats of a hard wearing timber deck oil that will excel in the most challenging of environments, such as Cutek Extreme. Each coat must be applied evenly with brush, paintpad or roller.

When using a Cutek Colourtone, it is essential that the oil is stirred frequently and applied in thin coats. The wood must feel completely dry and non-greasy before application of the second coat.

Tip: After stripping and cleaning the wood, apply the finish as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary exposure to the elements.

The Cutek difference

Treating timber upon installation can prevent the occurrence of peeling deck stain. Cutek oil penetrates the timber to protect it from the inside out. Where other coatings envelope the wood, Cutek Extreme deeply diffuses into the timber. It lasts longer in tougher climates and won’t peel like other products.

Contact us for more advice on how to seal wood utilising Cutek’s wood finishing range.

How to salvage reclaimed wood flooring

Reclaimed wood flooring is a popular choice. The aged patina of the wood is attractive and can achieve a stand-out look when renovating. However, there are some challenges that come with the choice to salvage wooden flooring.

The following steps break down the process of salvaging the wood and address some of the issues that might present themselves.

1. Remove nails and metal objects

Reclaimed wood often contains old nails, hooks and other metal objects. These can be hazardous to work with, especially if power tools are going to be used on the wood.

All nails or tacks need removing to ensure a smooth finish and practical use.

2. How to strip paint or remove unwanted varnish

Much reclaimed wood will have been coated with varnish or paint in its past life. Cutek CD33 Naked paint stripper will remove all traces of unwanted paint or varnish from the timber prior to cleaning.

If the coating is particularly thick, the wood may need sanding down before Cutek Naked is applied.

3. Clean and dry the timber

A thorough wash with Cutek Proclean will provide a deep cleanse to ensure removal of all dirt and dust that has accumulated over time. If the wood has been exposed to excessive moisture, any traces of mould and mildew will also be removed.

After cleaning, ensure that the wood is given enough time to dry thoroughly on suitable racks or drying frames.

Avoid letting the boards bake for too long in harsh heat because the sun can cause them to eventually bow or curl.

4. Address imperfections

Reclaimed wood often comes with minor staining and imperfections, this can add to the charm of the salvaged timber. Any unwanted marks can be sanded or oiled as part of the finishing process.

5. Finish the timber

To protect the salvaged wood and achieve a desired look, it can be finished with a deck stain and sealer. Choose a finishing oil and Colourtone to suit your other décor.

Cutek CD50 will protect your wooden floorboards for years to come and its application will transform the look of your flooring once a Colourtone is added.

For exteriors, Cutek Extreme is a high performing decking treatment offering protection from the elements and resisting water from the inside out.

Using salvaged wood in home improvement projects is not without its challenges. However, it can be an extremely satisfying environmental choice that results in the creation of unique statement floors.

Don’t cry over spilt paint: How to remove unwanted paint from timber

Faced with removal of a small paint stain or a larger project such as stripping back a painted timber deck, the removal of unwanted paint can be a daunting task.

Broken down into simple steps, the job can be much easier to approach.

Step 1: Choose the best paint stripper for wood

Cutek CD33 Naked is a biodegradable paint remover for wood.

The product removes paint fast and offers a safe, low-odour alternative to other paint strippers that use dangerous chemicals such as methylene chloride or NMP.

Step 2: Test the paint remover

Patch testing is a step that is often overlooked. It is vital to work out how long the paint stripper needs to be left on the timber and how much will be required to complete the job. The product guidelines will assist with planning for intended coverage.

Step 3: Assemble equipment

In order to do a thorough job, the right tools are required. These include a good quality paint brush, drop sheets or masking materials, a clean paint pot, pressure cleaner or paint scraper. It might also be useful to use a lamb’s wool applicator and paint tray for large areas, such as a timber deck.

Step 4: Application

Apply paint removal product evenly with a brush to dry wood, rubbing into the grain. Keep the area wet by applying more.

With Cutek CD33 Naked, the reaction time is approximately 30-60 minutes.

When the paint begins to strip cleanly off the timber, the surface is ready for rinsing. Testing at regular intervals will help to determine when this point is reached.

Step 5: Removal of paint stripper

Once the paint is stripping cleanly off the timber it needs to be power rinsed off thoroughly. For best results, power rinse with a high-pressure washer set to under 750 psi, with a fan jet pattern to avoid damage to the wood fibre.

Top tip: NEVER use ‘turbojets’ on timber.

Next steps

Following use of paint stripper for wood, it is important to complete the restoration process by coating the timber with an appropriate Cutek wood protection oil.

Cutek Proclean will do a thorough job of deep cleaning the timber before treating with oil.

Failure to treat stripped wood with Cutek Oils will result in the weathering process occurring more rapidly than it took prior to exposing the timber.

Follow these simple steps when stripping unwanted paint from wood to ensure effective removal without damaging the timber.

Talk to us to discuss how Cutek’s range of products can help you to fulfil your next restoration project.

Timber that stands the test of time

The best timber installations are prepared and treated using the highest quality products following a professional process. The resulting timber will be able to endure the most challenging conditions to maintain a desired look for years to come.

Follow these 3 insider tips for installing long-lasting timber.

1. Use professional wood cleaning products

Surface preparation is essential to enable oils to diffuse deeply into the timber and achieve long-lasting results. Anything that is likely to prevent penetration must be removed with a professional grade wood restoration product.

New and pre-treated wood may be ready for oil without preparation. However, timber that is pre-treated with other oils or is significantly weathered will require thorough cleaning first with Cutek Proclean, the natural wood cleaner

If stripping is required to remove any previous film or coating, Cutek CD33 Naked will do the job. This process can be followed by a treatment with Cutek Proclean.

Seal and protect the timber

Using Cutek Wood Preservative wood treatment oil will give strong resistance to damage caused by moisture, fungal decay, mould and termites.

Cutek’s CD50 Oil gives long-term protection from the effects of moisture, minimises warping, cupping and splitting, ensuring that exterior wood lasts longer. The high protection wood oil works to control moisture from the inside out.

Wood that will be exposed to extreme conditions will benefit from treatment with high performance wood coating Cutek Extreme Oil.

Use a colour

Cutek oils enhance the colour of the timber. Mixing a colourtone into Cutek oils before use will ensure the wood finish will lighten or silver off less over time.

Cutek’s ten colourtones are wood stains that have been specifically developed to closely match popular wood species. Selecting a colourtone close to the natural shade of the timber species will give the most enduring result.

Follow these professional steps to ensure that timber installations are protected from the inside out to endure the elements and stand the test of time.

Call us to discuss how Cutek’s range of high quality products can help you to ensure that your timber looks great and is long lasting.

Restoring an ageing wooden outdoor furniture set

Cutek’s professional grade cleaners and oils can give a new lease of life if used when restoring timber furniture.

1. Get the look

Assess the state of your outdoor furniture and decide upon the finished look you want to achieve before you start.

2. Sand or strip furniture

Brush the furniture down to remove surface dirt or cobwebs. If the timber has been left in its natural state, you’ll just need to sand it down.

Furniture that has been painted or coated in a film forming product such as stain, varnish, linseed oil or acrylics may need stripping. Cutek CD33 Naked is a mild and effective stripper that can remove multiple layers with one application.

3. Prepare for oiling

Prepare the timber for oiling using one of Cutek’s timber care cleaning solutions. Depending on the state of disrepair, your restoration work can commence with Cutek Quickclean or Cutek Proclean, for a deeper clean and removal of stubborn stains or oxidization.

4. Apply oil and colourtone

Cutek’s choice of timber oils work to control moisture from the inside out and minimise warping, cupping and splitting. This means that your furniture will keep its good looks when outdoors exposed to the elements for longer.

The unique wood protection system can be applied to furniture as a clear oil which fades in the sun to a natural silver patina.

With Cutek’s 10 colourtones to choose from, your furniture setting can also be restored to fit its surroundings or matched to other pieces. Choosing a new colourtone can significantly change the look of a setting.

5. Accessorize

Once your timber furniture restoration work is complete, have some fun with styling. Adding accessories such as cushions and table décor will have your outdoor setting looking showroom sleek and good as new.

Wooden furniture repair is a viable and satisfying alternative to purchasing new furniture. Do a thorough job utilizing high quality wood repair products, and your enduring wood revival will be enjoyed by friends and family for seasons to come.


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Five Steps to Reviving a Tired Timber Deck

Don’t replace your tired deck, rescue it by following five steps to deck revival.

If your deck is in disrepair, follow these simple steps to restoring it to be enjoyed for years to come. For best results, choose a warm, dry spell to undergo your timber restoration.

1. Assess the deck

First, check that the deck is structurally sound. Look out for loose, damaged, split, warped or rotten boards and make a list of what needs replacing before heading to your local hardware.

Top tip: Be sure to include balustrades and steps in your pre-timber repair assessment.

2. Replace damaged boards

When replacing boards, it is important to use the same wood profile. Directly replacing old decking boards with the odd new one can look unsightly, so it might make sense to move the boards around. Replacing visible boards with existing boards on the outside of the deck and laying new boards at the edge can make a difference to the finished effect.

Top tip: Remember to use decking-specific nails to avoid timber splitting in wood repair.

3. Clean the decking

Give the deck a good once over with a broom then follow up with a clean.

To remove grease and grime use the biodegradable cleaner Cutek Quickclean.  A deep clean may also be necessary in preparation for oiling. Cutek Proclean is a professional grade wood restoration product that will remove stubborn stains and address oxidization to restore wood to look like new.

Top tip: Visit cutek.com.au to identify the right cleaning solution for your project using the product finder.

4. Strip the decking

It may also be necessary to sand or strip the deck to remove all existing wood coatings to allow the deep penetration of Cutek to ensure that the wood is prepared right back to the raw material.

Cutek CD33 Naked is a safe, mild and effective coating and paint stripper. It is suitable for removing multiple layers of wood coatings such as latex paints, stains, varnishes, linseed oils, acrylics and other film forming coatings.

It’s the smart alternative to conventional strippers that use dangerous chemicals.

5. Apply deck oil

High quality oil will ensure that your deck is fully restored to its former glory. What’s is best is the Cutek oil will also protect the deck from the inside and out. Your tired deck may need up to 3 coats to achieve the desired look.

You may consider adding a colourtone to clear oil. There are 10 different tones available from Cutek, each has been specifically developed to closely match popular wood species. Adding a colourtone is highly recommended for decks that were in bad disrepair with several boards replaced.

Top tip: Where possible, each coat is best applied at the same time to allow it to dry evenly.

How long it takes for timber deck restoration depends on its initial state. Once you’ve assessed the work involved and sourced your materials it could be possible to get the majority of your makeover finished in a day. However, you may find you need to apply second or third coats of deck oil on subsequent days.

Talk to us about how Cutek’s range of cleaning products and protective oils can help you to revive your tired deck in time for Summer.


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Around the bend: How to avoid timber warping

Wood brings genuine class and natural durability to any building project. However, there’s one thing that builders and homeowners dread: timber warping.

Here’s a simple rundown of what causes wood warping, twisting and splitting – and how you can minimise the risks.

What is timber warping?

It’s when flat or straight wood changes shape – ranging from subtle twists to timber bending along the entire panel. Because it affects a building’s structural integrity, warping isn’t just an aesthetic problem: it can be downright dangerous.

What causes it?

It’s quite a complex science but, put simply, warping happens when there’s a rapid gain or loss of moisture in the wood.

Wood is a natural, porous material. When it gets wet, it swells. When it dries out, it shrinks. If that happens unevenly, the shape can change. For example, if the sun-facing side of a timber panel dries out faster than the underside, it will shrink faster – causing the panel to bend.

Many factors can influence if, and how much, this happens, such as:

  • The species of wood: some, like Cedar, are more stable and less vulnerable to warping.
  • How and where timber is stored.
  • The environment it’s installed in (eg dry or humid environments can cause warping, causing either moisture loss or absorption).

How to minimise warping

The right oil is a crucial ingredient to keep moisture content consistent in your timber. For example, Cutek oil has been uniquely developed to diffuse very deeply on application. Wood soaks up Cutek just like a sponge – protecting it from the damaging effects of water and significantly extending its dimensional stability and service life.

Here are some other tips to help get “around the bend”.

  • Choose the right timber for the job (eg stability and performance in different conditions).
  • Give your timber time to acclimatise and dry out in a cool, dry, shaded place before installing it.
  • Always store timber in a protected, well-ventilated environment – and strapped into bundles.
  • Avoid long, unsupported spans of wood when building: and ensure it is held firmly into place at appropriate intervals.

Talk to us more about how Cutek oil can protect your timber from warping, cupping and splitting.


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4 top tips for winter deck maintenance

Winter brings a hiatus in outdoor entertaining but don’t ignore your trusty timber deck. In fact, it’s the perfect time for decking maintenance so you’re prepared for the onslaught of winter weather – and ready for the return of warmer months!

1. Inspect and rectify

Replace any loose boards and fix protruding nails. If you have potplants on your deck, check the wood underneath – and make sure they’re placed on top of blocks so they don’t trap dirt or moisture on the deck’s surface.

2. Time for a clean slate

Summer sun, spills, barbecues, and foot traffic all leave their mark on your deck. And soon it will face winter chills and rain. (Not to mention year-round bird droppings, which look terrible as well as being acidic: bad news for your timber deck surface.)

It’s important to give your deck a deep clean once a year – and winter is a great window. Cutek’s range of powerful wood cleaning products will restore timber to look like new, while being incredibly easy to use for swimming pool areas, timber cladding, fences and verandas. Safe and easy to use, Cutek cleaners and strippers work magic on stains, oxidisation, grime and grey timber.

3. A winter coat (or recoat)

Decks are particularly vulnerable to the elements – and the dreaded splitting and warping of boards. A vital ingredient for deck care, high-quality oil protection helps your timber decking maintain its great looks, stability and longevity.

Cutek oils penetrate deep into the wood core upon application, protecting it from the damaging effects of water and significantly increasing the life of your deck. You can allow the wood to age gracefully into a beautiful silver patina on exposure to sunlight. Or you can add a colourtone to the clear oil, choosing from 10 options. A winter deck makeover perhaps?

4. Know your stuff

Before cleaning and oiling your deck, do your homework so you do it right. While it can be tempting to launch right in, making sure you use the right products for your wood – and follow the right process – can save time and heartache while getting the best results. The Cutek website makes it easy with ‘how to’ videos to guide you every step of the way.

Talk to us more about how Cutek oil can protect and revive your deck this winter.


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Five Australian timbers from our neck of the woods

Why choose Australian timbers for your next project?

To start with, native Australian timbers are beautiful – so they’re fantastic for feature areas such as decking, flooring, cladding, walls and ceilings. Most architects and builders won’t hide our native timbers away but will allow our native species to shine.

Many Australian timbers are hardwoods, and are incredibly durable, so they’ll stand up to repeated use and perform well in weather. Here are a few of our favourite Australian timbers.


As a class one timber with fantastic durability Blackbutt is a great all-rounder and structural timber option. It’s easy to machine, takes on fixing and is termite and fire resistant. This native hardwood also grows quickly in plantations, meaning regeneration is easy, so it’s a reasonably sustainable choice. Blackbutt responds well to stains and finishes – preserve the beautiful colour with Cutek. We recommend Blackbutt for flooring and decking.


Highly sought-after Jarrah is a premium Australian timber that adds instant style to any space. It offers a beautiful range of colours, with the sapwood a light yellow and the heartwood dark red. This Western Australian timber offers class 2 durability and it has a high resistance to termites, rot and weather. It also offers a high Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating. Jarrah looks best as a feature – use it on floors, decks, balustrades, in furniture, cabinetry or feature cladding.


The cool temperate Tasmanian climate gives us the Myrtle tree, or as it is also known Tasmanian Myrtle, with its rich colours of red and brown. Architects and builders seek out Myrtle for its fine appearance, and the fact it is very easy to work with. While it is a strong timber it’s not as durable over the long-term as other hardwoods. Therefore it’s best suited to use indoors on panelling, joinery, architraves, internal flooring and furniture.

Spotted Gum

Incredibly strong and known for its versatility, Spotted Gum is a favourite for its structural and architectural applications. Boasting a hardness rating of 1 (scale 1-6) and with class 1 durability, you can use Spotted Gum with confidence for claddings, flooring, joinery, decking, fencing, furniture – even on boats, sporting goods and tools, such as axes. Spotted Gum offers a variety of colours from light brown to dark red and interesting grain patterns. With a lower tannin content than other natives, Spotted Gum won’t “bleed” as much, making it ideal for coating and finishing.


An east coast native, Ironbark is as strong as its name suggests. It is of very high density and scores 1 on the hardness scale and 1 in the durability class. As such a strong timber, it’s not as easily workable as alternatives like Spotted Gum and Blackbutt, however you can be assured of its strength and resistance to pests. Ranging in colour from light to dark reddish browns, Ironbark is receptive to stains and has a high natural sheen. Choose Ironbark for a solid deck, fencing, retaining walls, outdoor furniture and landscaping.

Australia is ripe with native woods that are a sustainable, economic and stylish choice for timber construction projects. Add to their natural beauty with a colourtone to retain a freshly oiled look or simply use clear Cutek oil for a natural weather appearance with long term protection from the effects of water.

Talk to us about choosing the right type of Australian timber for your next project.


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Video view: the unique way to preserve timber’s style and strength

When it comes to protecting wood, traditional coatings can be a ‘style over substance’ trap. A new video shows how a breakthrough formulation does it differently, preserving timber from the inside out. 

While traditional coatings may look shiny and impressive, the unfortunate truth is their beauty is often only skin deep. And that means high maintenance and big disappointments for design, building and construction professionals and their clients.

Cutek is different. Unlike other oils and coatings, Cutek diffuses deeply into the wood, to repel moisture and maintain the structural integrity of timber. It’s the professional’s choice for long-term dimensional stability.

Do you want to see why water is timber’s natural enemy, why timber is so prone to cracking, splitting, warping and rotting, and how Cutek products can dramatically reduce moisture’s ability to do so much damage?

It takes just over two minutes to discover this and more – watch our new video to see how it works.