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Best deck coating product?

It’s time, now that the winter rains have subsided, to think about refinishing our front steps.  They are made of pressure-treated 5/4 by 6 deck boards, and last year we used the Behr Waterproof coating recommended to us at Home Depot.  It didn’t work.

Old deck boards

Old deck boards

I used this same product on our fence, and had the same result on the horizontal top plate.  However, the vertical fence panels look as good today as when I applied the coating.  The stairs, as you can see, did not fare so well.  The water getting in under the coating, combined with the friction of many footsteps, served to rub most of this coating off of each exposed step.  To address this, I’ve decided to try a new product: Behr DeckOver, which is a heavy, acrylic, slip-resistant coating.

Behr DeckOver

Behr DeckOver

Step one was to remove the old coating.  Rather than pressure wash, which can force water into the wood and delay the dry-time, I chose to sand using my belt sander and my orbital sander.  Before I could do that, though, I had to make sure all the nail heads were tapped into the wood.

Using nail punch to set nails

Using nail punch to set nails

Once the nails were below the wood, I was ready to sand.

Deck boards after sanding

Deck boards after sanding

After sanding, I cleaned the stairs with Behr #63 Wood cleaner.  Then I taped along the edges so that the DeckOver would not get onto the fascia boards along the sides.

taping edges

taping edges

And then I was ready to paint it on.  I used a roller for the most part, which helps with giving it a little more texture, and just used a brush for the edges and corners.  This product requires two coats, so after the first coat dried, I applied the second.

One thing to note: as the coating dries, it cures, and in the process a powdery white substance appears on the surface.

DeckOver after curing

DeckOver after curing

But don’t worry.  This substance is water soluble, and comes off easily with a hose or a wet sponge.  In fact, we just waited for the rain, and that took care of it.

finished stairs

finished stairs

We’re very happy with the look and feel of the refinished steps.  Check back with TheBuild.ca in a year, and we’ll let you know how well it lasts over the winter!

9 Comments

  1. c says:

    What color did you use. It looks great and the color looks natural.

  2. karsten says:

    so the white coating that appears when curing and then disappeared with rain – did you do the second coat over that or……?

    thanks for the info – doing the same to my deck this weekend!

    • admin says:

      When I did the second coat, it hadn’t yet appeared. It seems to come out over the next day or so. I wouldn’t worry about it, but you should probably put the second coat on fairly soon after the first one dries in any case, just so no dirt or dust get onto the first coat. Should be a nice weekend. Good luck!

  3. hingkit says:

    Great Review!

    I have cracks like yours even after sanding …. how well did this product cover the cracks?
    From the stairs pictures it looks like they can still be slightly seen?? Even the second coat?

    • admin says:

      Only very thin cracks will be completely filled. If that bothers you, you could always use a wood filler first, and then apply the deck coating. I don’t mind the cracks myself. I was more concerned about getting a product that didn’t flake off after a year.

  4. Ann says:

    So how does it look a year later?

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