Wood decks are by far the most common type of deck you will see across the US, however it does take some regular maintenance in order to keep it safe and beautiful. Despite our best efforts at staining and sealing, deck boards can still sometimes become cracked and splintered making the deck not only old and worn looking but can also present some safety concerns over time. Some homeowners choose to replace worn deck boards with composite decking boards but for many this option may be cost prohibitive. If you fall into that category there is some good news I have to share with you about a more affordable solution to your worn and cracked deck boards. There is a product designed to restore your existing deck boards called deck paint restoration.
What is a Deck Restoration Coating?
Deck restore paint coatings are made from a durable and long-lasting tintable acrylic base material with UV inhibitors and added solids. The solids that are added to the coatings provide texture and hold the product together once applied to the wood surface. There are several brands to choose from – some brands allow the wood to breathe yet still also repel water while others form an impermeable barrier. No matter which brand you select, all of them will require thorough surface preparation in order to get all the benefits of the restorative coatings.
Deck paint restoration coatings are designed to be a thick solution that can fill in cracks, splinters and knotholes. These restoration coating products also retexture the wood surface and can last up to 13 years for a single coat. Even better news! This DIY project won’t take you weeks and weeks of time! You can complete the prep work on one weekend and them apply the restore paint coating product during the next weekend. In order to prepare your wood deck for the coating you will need to clean it thoroughly with a pressure washer and deck cleaner.
Deck restoration paint covering options
Some retail brands that we’ve used and can highly recommend are:
The Restore 10X product is ten times the thickness of paint while the Restore 4X (as well as the other products) are four times the thickness of paint. If your deck has larger cracks and knots to fill your best bet is to use the 10X product as it will be more durable and better able to cover those cracks and knots to restore surface flaws. However, be warned the additional thickness of these products also means that it covers fewer square inches so it will take more product to cover your deck area. If you deck only has some minor cracks and knots to restore you may want to consider the thinner coating products in order to save time and money.
Another important consideration when selecting a paint restoration coating is the color. If your deck receives a lot of direct sunlight during the day you will not want to choose a dark color because the coatings absorb a lot of heat and retain it longer than untreated wood deck boards. For decks that receive direct sunlight in the heat of the day you will want to select a lighter coating color so that the deck does not become to hot to walk on with bare feet.
Another consideration when selecting a coating product is that some products (such as the Restore 10X) can only be used on horizontal surfaces. You will need to select a matching or complimentary product that is designed for vertical deck surfaces such as posts. To save on costs when buying more than 4 gallons consider buying the restorative coating product in bulk pails. As we’ve mentioned earlier in this article the effectiveness of the restorative deck coating products has a lot to do with the preparation process. We recommend purchasing t he manufacturer’s deck wash in order to be sure that the wash you use is compatible with the coating product.
Some deck restoration products (such as Restore 10X) can be used only on horizontal surfaces, so you’ll need a matching or complementary product designed for the deck’s vertical surfaces. And, if you’re buying 4 or more gallons, buy it in pails instead of individual gallons. You won’t have to refill your roller tray constantly (the product goes fast!). Before you leave the store, buy the manufacturer’s recommended deck wash to ensure compatibility with the deck coating. And buy enough application rollers (one roller for every 4 gallons of material). Ask the store for extra stir sticks—you’ll need them to clean the product from the gaps between boards.
Happy deck restoration weekend! If you would rather skip this DIY project we’ve got your back! Give our team a call to discuss prep and restorative coating application prices!