As we move into the warmer months a lot of people will be looking at rejuvenating their outdoor timber. Whether that be a re-sand of a deck or just re-coating an old finish just to keep it looking good. With this in mind we thought it might be an idea to give you the low down on what’s out there in the market place these days as far as decking finishes go.
Depending on what you have had success with in the past you will always have your own natural preferences. In the oil based range we can recommend a few that have seemed to work well for our customers over the years. As with most oils they tend to provide a very natural looking finish with that nice low sheen that a lot of customer like.
- Sikkens has long been one of the leading brands that have set the benchmark in the outdoor finish market. They have two finishes they manufacture which can be used in conjunction with each other. Sikkens HSLe is a semi-transparent penetrating finish based on an oil-alkyd resin. It is available in a range of different colours and can be used as a three coat system or used in conjunction with Sikkens Deck. If you want to use the Sikkens Deck, the manufacturer recommends using HLSe as a first coat and the two coats of deck over the top. Generally speaking the Sikkens Deck is a higher build finish and should wear better than the HLSe as a three coat system. Sikkens also make a product called Deck Plus which has anti-slip properties for those areas that may need a little more grip.
- Urethane Coatings Decking Oil offers a low sheen, semi-transparent finish highlighting the natural features and grain of timber. For those working on a budget this oil is very well priced and still provides an excellent option for protecting your timber. It will weather naturally without cracking or peeling.
As the name suggests water based decking finishes use water as the flowing agent. A lot of these products now have excellent wear characteristics and can be easily washed up with water. Most manufactures of these products recommend a three coat system. Being water based they also tend to dry a lot quicker than oils and hence the opportunity to get multiple coats on in one day. Some of the better quality finishes are:
- Intergrain Natural Stain is available in a range of different colour options and provides good wear and chemical resistance. This product has been on the market for a while now and the feedback from a lot of our customers are that it looks great after three coats and seems to be wearing well.
- Intergrain DWD is a product designed to enhance the natural characteristics of the timber. It provides a low sheen finish that has excellent UV, water and mould resistance. It is designed to be used with the Intergrain Dimension 4 primer. Use the primer as a first coat and then apply two coats of your DWD. The UV component of the DWD gives the coating a transparent golden brown-orange tint.
- Intergrain Ultradeck is a fast drying product that is available in a range of colours. Once again Ultra deck has a lot of loyal followers in the trade who enjoy the ability to get more than one coat on in a day.
- Flood Spa N Deck is a little unconventional because it is applied to the wood with the surface thoroughly wet. The purpose of this is to allow product deep penetration into the timber’s pores. Spa N Deck comes in a range of six pre-mixed colours to suit all types of timber.
- Feast Watson Wet Look. For those customers that want that glossy, freshly coated “wet look” then this may be the product for you. Wet Look will wear naturally over time and even though it is glossy it is still no more slippery the Feast Watson’s low sheen oil.
As with any timber product that is exposed to the great outdoors, people must understand it is going to need timely maintenance. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what product you use they will all show signs over wear over time. Depending on whether it is exposed to full sunlight and rain or it is in a more sheltered position will have a bearing how it holds up. A periodic assessment to see if there are any areas that are fading etc. will ensure it just needs re-coating rather than a total re-sand.