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Best oil or stain to use for finishing deck planking?

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I'm building the Corel Flattie as an RC conversion, and I want to colors and wood finish to look pretty similar to what this user did. I'm a novice at wood finishing. The deck wood is tanganika. What do I use to achieve that effect but also keep it waterproof?


If I don't want any stain, and just want a clear waterseal, can I simply use a generic product like Thompson's Water Seal?

Edited by FoxtrotHotel
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  • 4 weeks later...

Dulux Diamond glaze (its for wood floors) very durable and reasonably waterproof. Smallest can is one litre I think, but can be gloss or satin. One word of caution, before you close the tin make sure you wipe the rim of tin with a wet cloth and similarly the lid, otherwise you will have great difficulty in opening the tin again. I usually decant some into a plastic bottle with a screw top, but still make sure that the thread is clean. 

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I think he mentions somewhere in his blog using Danish oil which is a mixture of Tung oil with Varnish. This would bring out the natural beauty if wood and water proof at the same time.


I would be a bit cautious using trade products for modelling, my experience is they do not work well and that the dedicated modelling products are better. Never tried this Dulux varnish though, it may work well.


A sanding sealer will water proof the wood without changing the colour at all. 


I think you ll struggle to get the exact colour which may actually be altered by his camera and then your screen. Best to go for a colour that satisfies you. I d get some Tung oil and see if you like it.


Test on some scrap wood NOT the model!

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If you will look at his post #15, you’ll see his pics of planking the deck. From those it looks like he used an aniline dye on the planks. You can see the raw center plank he has marked for drilling the mast holes and then the same plank drilled and ready to install. It is quite a bit pinker. Aniline dyes often dry pinkish, until a top coat is put on them. And the color is very even, which is hard to achieve with oil stains on basswood (or any softwood). I suspect he used a light dye.  Then any oil varnish on top will shift the tint back to tan. 


Danish oil is good. Hardware store tung oil is good (it will have additives to dry faster). Pure tung oil is good, but takes a long time to dry and is thicker, like linseed oil. Wipe on poly is good. Sanding sealer is often a form of shellac, which would also work fine. That’s why it tends not to change the tint of the wood. Blonde shellac has very little tint, and does not penetrate, like oils do, which is part of why the change the tint of the wood. 


You can can get your basswood deck to look like his by dyeing the planks with a light dye and/or by using an oil finish that darkens the wood, like tung oil. 

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