The Homeowner’s Guide to Coating Different Types of Decks

Wooden Deck

Decks are an integral but often overlooked space of a home. They're areas where you get to spend quality time with loved ones, enjoy each other's company and make memories. As such, you should invest in a sturdy and attractive deck. Selecting the right deck coating is a major part of that.

If you plan a deck coating project, knowing the type of deck surface is the first step in choosing the ideal coating. Read on as we share insights on different types of decks by surface type and how to choose the right coating for each.

The Different Types of Decks and How to Choose the Suitable Coating

Wooden Decks

Wood decking is one of the most popular options for most homeowners due to its naturally attractive look. Unlike other materials, wood doesn't need to be enhanced or decorated because it is already beautiful, attractive and vibrant. Wood decks are strong and are easy to shape in intricate ways. However, they typically need more protection from the elements. Using a polyurethane coating such as Liquid Rubber PU deck coating protects the wood from UV light and helps make decks last longer and look better.

Vinyl Decks

Vinyl decking or cellular PVC decking has experienced a surge in popularity due to the lower maintenance requirements. Termites cannot digest vinyl, and the main threats to decking are from physical damage, such as a cat treating as a scratching post. Typically, vinyl decks are resistant to rain, humidity, cold and sunlight, so maintenance usually means giving it a quick clean using a mild detergent. If you do need to treat it, use a liquid deck sealant.

Composite Decks

Another popular option out there is composite decking. Most buy it due to the appealing look and feel of the material. A composite deck features a combination of recycled plastics and wood, and this results in low maintenance requirements and good slip resistance. It also lasts. If properly cleaned prepped and primed, a may also benefit from a coat of latex-based paint.

Liquid Rubber deck and balcony sealant

When Is the Best Time to Apply Wood Deck Coating?

The secret to a job well done is careful preparation and perfect timing. Most issues with deck coatings are due to poor preparation and application in unsuitable weather. So what are the ideal weather conditions, temperature and time of day to apply deck coating?

Inspect Your Deck to Determine the Best Time

Inspect your deck soon after the snow melts to determine whether it is time to paint or stain your deck. If the existing coating is peeling or if you notice any mold, it is time to give your deck fresh paint or coat. Similarly, if the surface is worn or discolored, consider a fresh coat to prevent the wood from deteriorating quickly.

Wait for Ideal Weather Conditions

The best time to stain or coat your deck is when you have two things working together to your advantage: time and the weather. Check the weather forecast before you apply exterior paint or stain. The best time to paint or stain your deck is when temperatures are between 50 and 85°F and the nights are cool. Essentially, before you apply a deck coating, keep in mind the following:

  • Apply the coating on a cloudy day if the deck is not located in a shaded area. Applying paint under direct sunlight affects color uniformity and hinders adherence.
  • Surface temperatures should be between 50°F (10°C) and 90°F (32°C) for 24 hours if you want the best outcome.
  • Apply deck stains when the relative humidity is between 40% and 70%. A higher humidity typically affects the gloss and the drying time.
  • Ensure the wood is very dry with a moisture content that doesn't exceed 15%. Do not start the project if you are expecting rain, dew or humidity in the next three days.
  • Typically, you may need four dry days for preparation, application and drying.

How to Get the Most Value From Your Deck Painting Project

Doing the right job requires the right tools, thoughtful planning and perfect weather. Here are our tips on how to get it done.

Replace Worn-Out Parts

Walk the deck and check rotted areas or cracks that need repair or replacement. Do a slow walk over and check for softness or excess flexing. You should also check the underneath that supports the stair railing and decking. Should you notice rot, insect holes and other damage, have an expert inspect it.

Prep Adequately

Remove dirt and mildew using nylon-bristled brush and water. Remove tougher grime use 1 quart of bleach to 3 quarts of water.

Find the Suitable Coating or Finish

The right color stains and coatings should last at least three or more years to provide adequate protection against elements. Top picks from our tests include the Liquid Rubber PU deck coating. The liquid rubber PU coating lasts 10 times longer than conventional products.

Apply It Right

Ensure the deck is completely dry to prevent a blotchy finish. Use synthetic brushes or water-based stains. Natural brushes tend to absorb a lot of water and may lose rigidity. Using an angled handheld brush is ideal for balusters and other close work. When choosing rollers, go for one that comes with a nap that's a quarter-inch or shorter. Finally, ensure you watch the weather forecast.

Get Help from the Professionals

Adding a deck is one way to enhance the value of your home. To get the most out of your deck, ensure you carry out routine maintenance to reduce the need for repairs and protect your investment. Since decks are exposed to the elements all year round, it's a good idea to weatherproof them with the right coating. If you are planning on painting a deck, knowing the different types of decks and the best practices for coating them is essential.

At Liquid Rubber, our deck coating products are a perfect blend of quality, performance and appearance. Check them out here.