A brief note on experience using Deks Olje - 19th June 2005
Deks Olje is a oil based product that protects wood from the elements and provides a 'bright' finish. I chose to use it on a limited area (primarily seat tops) to provide an attractive wood finish in contrast to the main painted parts of the boat. My reasons for using it were predominantly due to laziness - it appeared to provide a quick way to get a bright finish without the hassle of varnish.
To start with I purchase two 4 litre cans - Deks Olje has two parts, the first is a light oil which is used to soak the wood and leaves a matt finish, followed by a number of coats of the second, gloss part (you can only use the first part if you wish). Cost was about AU$150 for the two cans.
To prepare the wood I rubbed it back quite well with 240 grit sandpaper, providing a smooth finish - the can recommends using no finer than 120 grit, but this left my grain with sanding marks. Thereafter I spent the best part of five hours saturating the wood with part 1, through a process of liberal coating time and time again. This was not difficult, although a little tedious - the can stresses that the wood should be kept 'wet' with the oil throughout this period, the goal being to thoroughly penetrate the timber and provide a deep protection. Maintaining the wetness is OK except on non-horizontal surfaces where the obvious tendency is for it to run off.
Having done the first part I waited 5 days before starting the first of 6 gloss coats applied over about two weeks. I noticed that the Hoop Ine ply appeared to have some discolouration, which I can only assume is the leeching through of some of the resorcinol glue used in the ply; whilst not major I was a little irritated at this so my recommendation is make sure you do a thorough test (I had done one sample but it had not displayed any issues). I found it hard to apply without getting the odd minute air bubbles - to combat this I bought a very expensive brush but it didn't seem to make much difference. About the best result was using one brush to wet out the surface and then a second, less saturated brush to do long slow strokes across the material to smooth the surface. I did a light sand with 600 grit wet and dry between coat 5 and 6. The finished result is good; I am happy with the gloss bright finish and it comes close to varnish. It has some very minor surface 'noise' but this may be my application. Next time I will try varnish - I suspect that it requires a little more trouble in its application, but I also believe it may give a harder more enduring surface (this appears to be the case in a Classic Boat magazine test on a number of bright finishes. Did it meet my expectations:
1) it was easy to use
2) like all reasonable finishes it relies upon multiple coats
3) I am happy with the finished job.