If you had to cite just one reason for the growing popularity of 100% acrylic deck coatings over traditional oil-based products, it would be their durability: Acrylic coatings simply last longer and need to be re-applied less frequently.
That’s certainly a compelling enough reason to favor water-based acrylics for use on decks and other exposed wood. But as with anything else, if you want the complete story, you have to go beyond the headline. And when it comes to the performance advantages of acrylics over oil, there’s plenty to say.
Deck coatings made with 100% acrylic owe their long-lasting performance to a variety of things: exceptional adhesion; flexibility when subjected to changing temperatures or even deck movement underfoot; and resistance to the sun’s damaging UV rays
But there’s more – performance benefits you’ve likely never heard about that help create and maintain an attractive appearance for your deck. Among these are some coatings characteristics with odd-sounding names: lapping resistance, wet abrasion resistance, and uniform erosion.
Lapping resistance is an application property that is especially important when applying semi-transparent acrylic deck stains. It means that if you overlap your brushstrokes or roller marks during the application, it won’t be very apparent. You’ll still get a consistent-looking finish.
Wet abrasion resistance is related to the fact that 100% acrylic deck coatings dry very quickly. In terms of performance, it means that there is little chance just-applied stain or finish will be accidentally wiped off or washed away in a sudden shower, even if the coating has been in place for only a few minutes.
A third little-known benefit of 100% acrylic coatings is uniform erosion, meaning that as the finish wears, it will do so consistently, rather than in a splotchy manner. Clearly, this is an aesthetic benefit. But it contributes to durability also: A finish that erodes here and there can quickly begin to flake and peel, a problem that can only be corrected by re-finishing the entire deck. This type of failure is very rare for an acrylic coating.
Knowing the whole story about 100% acrylic deck coatings – including these little-known, but very important, performance characteristics — should make it easy to decide what type of coating to use on your outdoor deck. Rather than being put off by the strange names, put on some acrylic deck coatings, and enjoy their wonderful benefits!