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Stain in the deck!

Time to clean the beast!

BEFORE: Time to clean the beast!

HERE WE GO!

DECK WASHING

Everything purchased and a stretch of nice weather – low humidity and in the 80’s. The deck faces east so it gets the morning sun. There is a huge maple next door that does provide some shade so the plan is to work early morning and later afternoon as the deck is in full shade as the day goes by.

The first order of business is cleaning. As I mentioned earlier I purchased Rustoelum deck wash and I plan to use it instead of buying the Behr product to match the stain.

I purchased an applicator and had the deck broom from earlier cleanings. I also used a regular hose and nozzle which did the job.

I purchased an applicator and had the deck broom from earlier cleanings. I also used a regular hose and nozzle which did the job.

The cleaning was uneventful and I loved the applicator which had a flat end and a fine spray to really control the product! I was able to break the deck into six areas for cleaning including the small landing and stairs. I would spray, leave it on for the few minutes and then start brushing with the deck broom finishing with a rinse with the hose. It took a couple of hours and I let it dry for almost 2 days. The reason for the extra dry day was due to all the rain we had prior to cleaning. The deck without much stain for protection had a lot of moisture absorbed already prior to cleaning.

One other thing, I used a Toro Leaf Blower to clear off the spinners and loose debris prior to washing.

Looks better already!

Looks better already!

I have used a power washer in earlier cleanings and staining’s and opted not to use this time as very little stain was on the deck and I felt I could scrub and remove whatever I needed with the wash and a little elbow grease… It turned out just great!

PREP WORK

The railing tops, skirt and in-between the boards got their first coat. This proved to be very time-consuming because I wanted to make sure all the nail holes and cracks were filled. Seriously, lots of time here… You can see from the pictures that just running a brush over the holes and cracks is not enough. You have to “dab” the paint with a brush tip if you want to make sure of good coverage. Thank goodness for the garden cart on wheels as I spent a lot of time rolling along and painting between the boards and filling cracks and holes…a little classic rock helped too.

Just when you think enough product is on the nail...you find it soaked in and left a hole...

Just when you think enough product is on the nail…

All kinds of results!  I wanted all the little imperfections covered and this initial step took at least a day to complete.  The product is thick but not thick enough to cover deeper cracks and holes.

All kinds of results! I wanted all the little imperfections covered and this initial step took at least a day to complete. The product is thick but not thick enough to cover deeper cracks and holes.

Attempting to fill larger knots or holes meet with mixed results.

Attempting to fill larger knots or holes meet with mixed results.

Longer cracks had to be filled by "dabbing" with a stain-loaded brush several times.  I was able to fill most but several are still visible after 2 coats.

Longer cracks had to be filled by “dabbing” with a stain-loaded brush several times. I was able to fill most but several are still visible after 2 coats.

Prep work

Prep work

image

Prep the landing...

Prep the landing…

USING THE PRODUCT

Let’s talk a little about Behr DeckOver the product. I hate to even call this stuff stain because it doesn’t act like any stain I have ever used. Is it thick? Yes! It has a little grit and a “sparkle” when it dry’s. If you have ever baked a cake or watched someone make one it is the consistency of cake batter! No lie! Also, if “any” amount of sun is on the stain while it is in your tray or pail a thick film begins to form – almost immediately.

I also found out as with any stain, the cooler the deck the better the application as the brush became “clogged” very quickly as things became warmer. Not being a professional painter of any kind I end up loading the brush with a ton of paint. I kept trying to be careful but some hard dabbing of paint into cracks and holes caused some issues with the brushes. I had 4 different brushes on hand to handle all the needs – in-between the boards, nail holes, railings, etc…

Generally speaking I believe this product gets thicker and more difficult to work with as the temps go up. It does not “run” like stain but will drip and then dry very quickly. There were spots that I dabbed paint into and did not do a great job brushing them out and when I went back it was too late.

A side note is that this product cleans up very nicely with soap and water. It is easy to use and applies great as long as you don’t load the brush up too much and the heat is not working against you.

Cake batter!

Cake batter!

Too much sun.  You can see the darker film forming on the stain.

Too much sun. You can see the darker film forming on the stain.

STAINING THE DECK BOARDS

I applied the stain on the railing with a brush and a roller on the deck boards. It went on easily and I loaded the roller (3/8″) with a lot of product so the first coat to the deck boards took a lot of product! I think almost a gallon… I was able to brush back and forth. Working in the shade allowed me to put the product on and still go back and smooth-out uneven strokes. Also, the roller covered two deck boards which helped in being efficient. I had the first coat on in less than an hour.

image

image

The label stated that you can wait 4 hours and apply the second coat which in my case the deck had over night and into the next day before the second coat was applied. The deck railing and the deck boards got their final coat without issues. I seemed to use less product this time.

RESULTS

Well, here it is!

After spills and thrills it has been quite a few interesting days wondering if this was ever going to get done! I am by no means an expert at this kind of stuff and overall I am pleased with the results.

Railing top...

Railing top…

Landing...

Landing…

Deck...

Deck…

Deck and stairs...

AFTER: Deck and stairs…complete with a big splat of BIRD CRAP on the steps! Can never have anything nice for too long!

FINAL THOUGHTS

When I began researching Rustoleum and Behr I was looking for a product that would cover and restore a neglected deck more thoroughly than a thinner stain. I initially wanted to use Restore because from the videos and pictures it seemed to give the max coverage and greater protection due to its thickness. However, I chose to go with DeckOver thinking it would give me better coverage than regular stain but not as thick as Restore and perhaps easier to apply. Now, I will never know if Restore was the product to go with but these are some thoughts…

Likes: DeckOver was easy to apply and clean-up and has provided better coverage of old and worn boards than any other stain I have used. So far, NO cracks, NO peeling and NO white blotches. If you compare my application of this product to other pictures/videos of DeckOver it was not a complete coverage of all the deck board imperfections. It certainly did not cover like pictures/videos of Restore. So if you are looking for your deck to have a “composite-deck” look this may not be the product.

When you run your hand across a board you can feel the grit but not to the point that it is going to cut your hands or feet or cause discomfort to your pets. My cat and dog are walking and laying on the deck without issues.

It is not a smooth finish like a stain which I was looking for in this product. My hope is that this thickness will provide better protection for longer years to come in the extreme weather we have in Minnesota.

Dislikes: This could be due to “operator” error but it did not cover deeper cracks and holes. I keep seeing the video of the Restore product rolling over cracks and splinters and filling them with ease…again I will never know. I also understand that this product has its limits and will not cover or fill the larger cracks that have appeared because of my neglect but I was hoping that after an initial fill and two coats that I would get more favorable results. I think that I could have also been more careful to apply more product to uneven boards. So as much as I say this is a dislike I think the product acted and did what it was supposed to upon application.

Another dislike was the heat on the deck boards. Ok so let’s talk about this as I did read about added heat somewhere during my research. As I mentioned earlier part of the deck gets the morning sun and a good chunk of afternoon sun before complete shade in late afternoon/evening. Now I have walked on this deck for several years with and without shoes – all times of the day and never noticed the deck being too hot to walk on. However, I took about 4 steps out on the deck yesterday without shoes and felt the heat on the bottom of my feet! Wow! I did not linger and quickly went inside searching for shoes… (The dog and the cat didn’t seem to mind too much yet…) There is a definite increase in heat…don’t know why but it is there! I am not too concerned and we will adapt and adjust as needed.

Appearance of a long crack after initial "dabbing" and 2 coats later.  Many smaller cracks are completely covered.

Appearance of a long crack after initial “dabbing” and 2 coats later. Many smaller cracks are completely covered.

A close-up of a board that did not get full coverage...to the right near the shadow.  I could have been more careful...After calling the 1-800 number they recommended that since it was still newly stained that I could "dab" additional stain and pull it out with the brush.  They said I could get a slight variation in color but that would be the risk I was willing to take...

A close-up of a board that did not get full coverage…to the right near the shadow. I could have been more careful…After calling the 1-800 number they recommended that since it was still newly stained that I could “dab” additional stain and pull it out with the brush. They said I could get a slight variation in color but that was a risk I was willing to take…

The deck will have 5 days to cure before furniture and flower pots are placed back on the surface. We have walked very little on the deck and mother nature has been kind in giving us this spectacular stretch of weather! Going on 5 days without rain!

WHAT IF IT RAINS?

I did call the 800 number on the can as I had some concerns about rain coming earlier in the application process. Customer service was great as they answered all of my questions and gave me advice about what to do if it rains. This is what they said about rain…STOP STAINING! The person from Behr even looked at the radar and weather forecast for my area and we discussed what to do. They stated that if whatever I had stained did not have at least the recommended time to dry (24 hours) then I ran the risk of compromising the stain…peeling, bubbling, etc… We also talked about covering the deck with tarps if needed however, they really stressed to stop staining and wait it out…

HOW MUCH STAIN DID I USE?

In the end, I used 4 gallons of stain and it was down to the last drop too! I don’t have vertical wood railings so I know that saved me both time and product. I wish they had a smaller container that I could buy for some touch-ups…

WINTER CARE

I plan to use a plastic snow shovel and also a broom for lighter snow removal during the winter. Time will tell if this product will withstand the weather, pets, deck chairs, people and anything else that comes its way…

RECOMMEND OR NOT?

Today, I can recommend Behr DeckOver. I love the color and it was pretty true to what I expected. It is a lot of work staining a deck hence the title “stain in the deck”, but right now I feel pretty good about the results!

I hope to post from time-to-time about its life. Hopefully this information will help anyone who stumbles into this blog. I know I was searching for anything and everything to make that perfect decision.

Happy staining and rock on!

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