Sunday, January 8, 2012

Used Peanut Oil As Deck Watersealer

Okay, the holidays are over and if you deep fried turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, or both then you may have a lot of peanut oil that you need to dispose of. The reason that I say peanut oil is because that is what most people use for deep frying turkeys in outdoor fryers, and that is what I happen to use as well. If you use canola or vegetable oil you may have different results. I'm not actually sure what my results will be yet:)
I fried a couple of turkeys around the holidays this past season, and I had about 3.5 gallons of used peanut oil that I just didn't want to throw away, but after frying a turkey the oil is pretty much used up. Call me a cheapskate, but I just have a problem throwing something away that I've paid money for, so I strained it and I have had it sitting in a bucket ever since Christmas day trying to figure out a way that I could put it to use.
Well, today I decided that I was going to put that used peanut oil to use. This may sound crazy, and I may regret doing this, but I used it to waterseal my deck. It is a project that I have been needing to get done for sometime now, and today it was accomplished... I think:)
Typical watersealer is 100% mineral oil. This is why a deck that has waterseal on it will cause liquids such as water to bead-up on the surface. My concern is that peanut oil is a more organic oil than mineral oil, which means that it may have a tendancy to breakdown more rapidly leaving the deck unprotected from the elements. It is commonly reccomended to waterseal your deck at least every other year with typical watersealing products, but using the used peanut oil every year after the holidays may be just right considering the organic nature of the peanut oil.
I used a paint roller to apply the oil to my deck because the oil was too thick to be applied with a garden sprayer. After rolling the oil on the deck it took the remainder of the day absorb into the wood. Once absorbed, I poured water onto the wood to test the beading affect, and the results were good. The water beaded-up nicely.
One word of caution though, your deck will have the faint smell of a frying turkey, but I expect that will only last for a few days (I hope). Also, your deck will be darker than you may expect because of the darker color of the used peanut oil compared to the clear color of most watersealing products.
Understand this, I am posting this on the same day that I completed this project, and the long term results of this project are not in yet. Therefore if you attempt this before I post the long term results and your project turns into a disaster, don't come crying to me. If this is something that you consider doing, wait a few days, weeks, or months then send me an email asking me for my results before you move forward with this. Let me be your guinea pig.
Keep in mind that if my results are bad, I will post them here.

God bless!


  1. Just to let you guys know, there was a very slight aroma of fry oil around the deck for roughly a month after treating it with the used peanut oil. It has now subsided, but the protection is still there. It does not protect as well as mineral oil, but if you fry turkeys every year, I believe that an annual application would be sufficient.

  2. Brady...
    Just came across your posting re: peanut oil on the deck. My wife has it in her head to do this to our tigerwood deck (although the oil will be straight from the jug, not used) and since it has been 4+ years, I was wondering how it has turned out for you. I assume you are reapplying the oil after the holidays each season...has it ever gotten sticky/gross? Do you regret having done it? I don't want to do something that I will regret when I have to replace all of that tigerwood!