If your outdoor deck has emerged from its fight with Old Man Winter battered and bruised, you’ll likely soon be shopping for a deck coating. Fortunately, you’ve got options – and some very good ones at that.
Depending upon the way you want your deck to look – and the way it looks right now – you can choose between three different types of deck coatings. Each has its advantages.
If you really love the appearance of wood and want your deck to look as natural as possible, then choose a 100% acrylic semi-transparent stain. These coatings, which come in a wide range of colors and hues, let the grain and texture of the wood show through.
Keep in mind, however, that the totally natural look of a semi-transparent stain comes at a price: While this type of stain will help protect your deck from water damage, harmful UV rays, and other hazards, it will do so for only about 12 to 18 months. At that point, you’ll have to re-apply the stain all over again.
A second option – one that will provide more long-lasting protection – is to use a solid color 100% acrylic stain. This type of coating lets the texture of the wood show through, but not the grain. That’s because solid color stain contains much more pigment, so it’s more opaque, almost “paint-like”.
The added pigment in solid color stains provides even more UV protection and better durability than semi-transparent products, so solid color stains last longer — typically, three to five years. Getting those extra years of deck protection is an appealing proposition for most homeowners.
Semi-transparent and solid colors stains are great choices when a deck is in reasonably good shape. But what if your deck is severely weather-beaten, or even on its last legs? Then your best (and, possibly, only) option is to apply one of the new wood restoration coatings to stretch out the life of your deck and avoid — or at least postpone — costly replacement.
Wood restoration products are super-thick 100% acrylic coatings that can help bring a deck back from the brink by filling in and concealing cracks and crevices up to ¼-inch deep – all the while creating a tough, slip-resistant finish that resists future cracking and peeling. They, too, come in a wide range of attractive colors.
All three types of 100% acrylic deck coatings have excellent adhesion characteristics, which is a prime reason they last longer than competitive products. Most contain special ingredients to fight mildew. And, since they’re water-based, they offer simple soap and water cleanup for your applicators — and for yourself.
By applying any of these coatings, you’ll ready your deck for upcoming bouts with wicked weather of all sorts. They are fights you can win as long as you have the right deck coating in your corner!