Australian Timber Oil Stain Review

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Matt Stone

Australian Timber Oil Stain

Can of Australian timber oil by cabot stain company in front of a fence

Product Description

This is a review of Cabot Australian Timber Oil Stain for fences and decks.

I recommend Cabot Australian Timber Oil for fences and decks. Cabot has made a high-quality oil-based product that penetrates well and gives the wood a good color. The three different oils in the product each protect the wood in slightly different ways adding to the protection.

Keep in mind that applying this Cabot stain will not be as straightforward as some other stains on the market. Care must be taken while applying it to avoid lap marks and shine from over-application. It is great for professional deck stainers and for homeowners with some DIY experience.

Overall Score: 6.6/10

Single Gallons

Five Gallon Buckets


3 oil formula provides extra protection

Transparent colors enhance natural wood grain

Protects From Moisture and UV Rays


Not the easiest to apply

Few color options

Keep reading to learn more about this stain.

In my career, I have had good success using Australian Timber Oil on decks for my customers. The colors look good when they are applied, the product penetrates well, and I have found my customers to be pleased with the results.

Product Overview

A deck stained with australian timber oil
This is Australian Timber Oil on a wooden deck. The color is mahogany flame.

Australian Timber Oil is a fence and deck stain made by Cabot. Cabot is a well-respected company for making quality outdoor stain products. This product uses a mixture of linseed oil, tung oil, and long-oil alkyds. Each of these oils protects outdoor wood in a slightly different way. 

Oil-based stains protect lumber by keeping moisture from getting into the wood. The goal in combining the three oils together is to give well-rounded protection for your outdoor structures.

This Cabot stain also includes trans-oxide pigments that resist UV rays and give a beautiful color to your wood. UV rays will break down a fence or deck over time and contribute to the dull gray color that covers untreated exterior lumber. By adding a stain with UV blocking pigments, you will keep the gray at bay. This means that you can choose what color you want your fence or deck to be instead of letting nature take its course.

Product Ratings

Ease of Application6
Initial Appearance8.5
Average Rating:6.6/10

Ease of Application

deck stained with australian timber oil natural color

Australian Timber Oil (ATO) is a traditional oil-based stain. It is made to be applied in one or two thin coats so that it fully penetrates the wood. It is not meant to be applied very heavily because any pools of stain will dry into a shiny film.

Care must be taken when applying ATO to maintain a wet edge. This means that you should not allow the stain to dry in the area you are working on before you continue staining. If wet stain is put on top of dry stain, that place will be darker. This will make the color of your stain job look uneven.

If you plan to spray Australian Timber Oil with either a pump sprayer or an airless, make sure to back brush the stain into the wood. To do this, you will need a large brush that you will run over all the stained surfaces. This will help push the pigment into the fibers and even out any spots where the stain is too thick. This step is necessary to get the best-looking and longest lasting results.

Because you have to keep a wet edge and back brush, ATO is not the easiest stain to apply. If you are an experienced DIYer, you should not have trouble if you follow the directions carefully.

One thing that sets ATO apart from other exterior stains is that it comes in an aerosol can as well as buckets. These spray cans are great for staining spindles on decks or small pieces of furniture. They would also work for getting stain into tight areas that may be difficult to reach with a brush.

Requires Back brushing: Yes

Requires keeping a wet edge: Yes

Application methods: Brush, Roller, Pump sprayer, Airless Sprayer

Initial Appearance

cabot australian timber oil stain on two fence pickets to show the color
Cabor Australian Timber Oil gives a rich color to exterior wood.

Australian Timber Oil is a transparent stain which means it will allow a good bit of wood grain to show through. The pigments in each of ATO’s color options enhance your outdoor structure’s natural beauty. 

The stain looks great on new wood, especially cedar. Since this stain uses transparent colors, it won’t cover up blemishes and imperfections in old wood.


This oil-based stain is designed to fully penetrate the wood fibers. Care must be taken not to over apply the product or it will dry without fully penetrating. This will result in shiny spots where the stain was too heavy. 


ATO is a premium stain and the cost is a little above the average for products of this type. In my opinion, the quality of the product makes it a good value.

Ease of Reapplication

Reapplication of the product should be about as straightforward as the initial application. Cabot does not recommend stripping an old coat of Australian Timber Oil before putting a new one on. 

If your fence or deck is dirty or showing signs of graying it will need to be treated and cleaned before applying a new stain.

Resistance to Peeling

If applied correctly there should be no peeling with ATO. It is designed to fully penetrate the wood which will keep the stain from peeling off. The only time you may have issues with this is if it was applied too heavily and did not fully penetrate the wood.


Cabot offers a lifetime warranty on their stains as long as they are applied correctly and maintained according to their instructions. You can find the details of their warranty here.

Product Information

Stain Type: Oil-based, penetrating

Color Options: 4

Application temperatures: Greater than 50°

Recommended coats: One

Coverage: Smooth surfaces 300-600, Rough surfaces 250-350

Dry Time:24 to 48 hours

Cleanup: Mineral Spirits

Data Sheet:

Manufacturer: Cabot

Alternatives to Australian Timber Oil

Ready Seal Exterior Stain

image of a ready seal stain can close up

Product Description

Ready Seal brand fence stain is far easier to apply than Australian Timber Oil.

  • Protects against Moisture and UV Damage
  • Natural transparent colors
  • Enhance the Beauty of Natural Wood

Overall Score: 8.0/10

Single Gallons

Five Gallon Buckets

Our Verdict

We recommend Australian Timber Oil as a good way to enhance the beauty of your wooden fence or deck. The stain offers protection from moisture, UV rays, and mildew which will make your wood last longer and look great.

There is a bit of a tick for applying the stain just right so we recommend it for more experienced DIYers. Also, some customers may want more color options than the 4 you get with ATO.

Purchase Australian Timber Oil

Single Gallons

Five Gallon Buckets

How Much Stain Do You Need?

Want to know how much stain to buy for your next fence stain project?

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Author: Matt Stone
Matt has worked as a professional painter for over 10 years. This includes much experience with all types of wood stains. He loves to write about wood stains to help others make good choices to protect their homes and make them beautiful.