Deck replacement can be expensive if you hire professionals, and expensive and time-consuming if you try to do the job yourself. Deck resurfacer can be an affordable alternative and one that can help to restore your deck, breathing new life into it, while protecting it from future damage. But for those who are just learning about resurfacer, finding the right product can be a challenge.
Fortunately, I’ve done all of the research for you. I’ve tested out several of the leading products and compiled a list of the top four resurfacers that are definitely worth the money. I’ve also put together a buyer’s guide that includes many of the important factors that you’ll need to consider before choosing the right product for your deck, the different types of resurfacers to choose from, and the pros and cons of using these types of products. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that lists each of the products that made it onto my list, important characteristics that will help you choose, and how each product rated.
Deck Resurfacer Comparison Chart
|Liquid Rubber Cool|
Foot Deck Coating
41500 Deck Cover
|TotalBoat TotalTread ||Water-Based||1 Gallon||4|
Liquid Rubber Cool Foot Deck and Dock Coating
This paint is UV resistant and features top line UV stability and solar reflectivity, working to reduce heat transfer by more than thirty-five percent compared to traditional paint. It works for decks, fences, walls, docks, and concrete, forming a solid membrane that will protect your structure from future damage. The paint is very easy to apply, so you can use a paint sprayer, roller, or brush. The manufacturer recommends applying a minimum of one-gallon, for best coverage. This will usually involve three to four coats, which may seem excessive to some buyers, since other products recommend just two coats.
- Easy to apply
- UV resistant
- Can be used on wood and concrete
- Only available in three color options
- Must use three to four coats for the product to be effective
This product is very easy to use, but the need to apply up to four coats in order to provide your deck with protection from future damage, may be a deal breaker for some buyers. Additionally, this product is only available in a few color options, and comes with a steep price tag. However, despite the limited color options and high price tag, this is a paint that can get the job done right, so if you have the budget for it, hit that buy now button.
RUST-OLEUM 41500 Deck Cover
If durability and deck protection are your priorities and deck color options is not, then this product by Rust-oleum may be the best solution. This product comes in a five-gallon container, so you’re sure to have enough product on hand to finish your deck. The paint is four times thicker than traditional paint and is designed to protect and beautify bare wood, treated wood, and concrete. This product comes with enough paint to treat up to four-hundred square feet of deck. Unfortunately, you won’t have any color options to choose from, since the deck cover is only available in a warm brown.
- Can treat up to four-hundred square feet
- Easy to apply
- Works for composite and wood decking
- Can be used on concrete
- Only available in one color
This fast-drying, easy to apply paint will only require two coats for maximum coverage. It works for most types of synthetic decking materials, bare wood, and even concrete. Unfortunately, you won’t have any color options to choose from, which may be a drawback for some buyers who want to give their deck a whole new look.
Saver Systems Deck Resurfacer
The opaque colors will help hide wood grain and imperfections, while also providing max protection against graying that’s caused by UV rays. This product works as both a sealer and stain for wood and can be applied over existing wood stains. It’s available in five color options, each of which will dry to a natural, flat looking finish. It’s also water-based, so cleanup will be a breeze.
- 5 color options
- Protects against UV damage
- Easy to apply
- Requires just two coats
- Only available in a matte finish
This product can be used on vertical and horizontal wood surfaces, without dripping or running. It can also be used on a wide range of wood types including mahogany, redwood, fir, cedar, pine, and pressure treated lumber. You will only need to apply up to two coats to achieve ideal results. The paint does an excellent job of masking wood impurities, while preventing UV damage in the future.
This thick deck paint features a non-skid texture that results in a high-traction surface that will help prevent injures by providing secure footing. The rubberized texture is much less abrasive compared to silica additives. The polyurethane finish is long-lasting and won’t peel, crack, chip, or flake in the future. The paint is also UV-resistant, so it will not fade over time and will prevent your deck from further UV damage. It can also be used on patios, concrete, swim platforms, gunwales, steps, staircases, hatches, cabin soles, docks, boat decks, and traditional decks. The paint is available in four color options.
- Four color options
- Protects against UV damage
- Textured surface
- Will not chip or peel
- Cannot be used in a paint sprayer
The paint is easy to apply using a roller or brush but is too thick to apply with a paint sprayer gun. The long-lasting finish will keep your deck looking great year after year, while the product’s versatility allows you to get the most bang for your buck since it can be used on a wide range of other surface types including pools and staircases.
Deck Resurfacer Buyer’s Guide
If you’ve just bought a home that has a deck that’s in bad shape, or you’ve neglected to take care of your deck, then a resurfacer can be a great treatment option and one that can have your deck looking new in no time. These deck treatments are similar to very thick paint and they’re designed to fill in chips and cracks and other signs of wear and tear, but they’re not meant to show the wood grain.
Benefits of Deck Resurfacer
Resurfacers allows you to resurface and restore concrete patios, decks, and almost any type of surface in just a matter of hours. Essentially, this method can save you thousands of dollars, since it’s an effective solution to replacing your decking or concrete. If you have a deck that’s splintery and old and will not hold paint and must be repainted annually, then resurfacers can be the solution. Instead of tearing down your deck and spending thousands to replace it, you can apply a couple of coats of resurfacer and have your deck looking new again.
- You don’t need any special skills to use this type of product, although some past painting experience will come in handy.
- Many of these products are a combination of high-performance military grade resins and polymers, with silica additives and other bonding agents that give it long lasting power and durability. Basically, a resurfacer can stick to almost any type of surface that has been prepared properly and will provide a beautiful finish that can be easily applied using a brush or roller.
- This type of paint can be applied to any type of dry, clean concreate or wood surface. There are no special prep requirements other than power washing the surface in order to remove dirt and debris. However, previous coatings will also need to be properly prepped or removed since a resurfacer will work the best when it’s applied to bare wood or concrete. In some cases, wood surfaces will need to be sanded lightly and primed before applying this type of paint.
- Resurfacer is also a good choice for use on sidewalks, steps, pools, and any other area that gets wet often, since it’s very slip resistant. The finished surface will have a natural texture that will work to cover and hide minor imperfections in your wood.
- As you can see, this type of paint can be an affordable, effective solution if your deck has been dry, damaged, or turned into a real eyesore. Now, lets learn about the different types of resurfacer available.
- These products have a high UV rating. This means, even after many years of use, there will be little to no signs of fading caused by exposure to sunlight.
- Unlike a standard stain for your deck, resurfacers some in a wide variety of color options to choose from.
- These products are very thick industrial coatings that are six to ten times thicker than the paint you use to paint the walls in your home. While stains and finishes are used to bring out the natural beauty in wood, a resurfacer is perfect when the wood’s natural beauty has been damaged by the sun and exposure to the elements and you need an affordable way to re-beautify your deck.
- The resurfacer’s thickness is what allows it to fill any nail holes, burrs, chips, or cracks in the wood, easily.
- It provides a nice, uniform look for your deck that gives it an updated, clean appearance.
- It can also significantly extend the life of your deck for several years.
- These products are easy to apply, so an entire deck will only take a day to paint. Re-staining a deck is a more time-consuming process.
- When you use a resurfacer, it will make your deck almost maintenance-free.
Using this type of paint can have an instant impact on how good your deck looks, and it’s an affordable way to give your backyard a makeover. Now that you know about the benefits this type of deck treatment has to offer, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to look for in a product that will work for your specific deck, based on a variety of factors.
Other Important Features to Look for
In order to slow down the wear and tear of aging wood, you need to use a deck resurfacer. It will help to preserve the deck’s authentic coat, while also adding the desired decorative look for your backyard.
To make sure you end up choosing a high-quality resurfacer, look for the following properties:
The resurfacer should prevent cracking, which can occur with precipitation and UV rays. This type of exposure can eventually lead to warping.
The product should also be designed to protect the wood’s surface from insects and microorganisms. Bare wood tends to attract insects and is the perfect environment for mold and fungus growth.
Many manufacturers will also guarantee the product for a determined amount of years. Of course, just because a manufacturer claims that the product will extend the life of your deck by five to ten years doesn’t mean it can or will, simply because the biggest factor is the current condition of your deck at the time you use the product. However, when a manufacturer makes this claim it can give you a little peace of mind knowing that the resurfacer is designed to hold up for several years.
Types of Resurfacer
Like finishes and stains, there are many different types of resurfacers to choose from. Make sure you choose the correct type based on the kind of wood your deck is made out of, your environment, the look you want to achieve, the current state of your deck, and make sure it’s a type that can provide ultimate protection from the sun, rain, snow, and more.
Oil-based resurfacers are the most popular option. This type of paint often consists of mineral additives and oil. Since the additives contain solids, they will begin to settle down over time, so the product should be stirred thoroughly before use. Oil-based products should contain excellent bonding properties, so it should have no trouble sticking to the deck’s surface. Keep in mind that because resurfacer is so thick, especially oil-based products, that it can take twenty-four up to forty-eight hours to dry. Unlike other types of resurfacers, oil-based products have poor UV ray resistance. Over time, the coat will gradually fade and become colorless. In most cases, you will need to repaint the deck every four to five years.
Alkyd is a great alternative to oil-based. It’s made out of a special varnish and it possesses excellent resistance to the elements. It can prevent moisture from penetrating the surface of the wood, which will prevent warping in the future, and it’s also designed to easily withstand major changes in temperature. It’s also very affordable and features a wide range of colors to choose from. This paint can also be used to create different types of visual effects. Additionally, it’s much easier to mix compared to the oil-based alternative. Unfortunately, alkyd is very flammable, so you must avoid smoking or grilling around the area until the paint has fully dried. It has an average lifespan of six to seven years, which is slightly better than oil paint, but it also has a very unpleasant odor that tends to linger for several days after application.
Water-based paints are just as popular as oil and they offer excellent durability and a wide variety of color options. There are four types to choose from, including:
Acrylic is the most popular option, and it’s also very affordable. It offers excellent resistance to weather conditions, especially UV rays, which will help to prevent fading. It also offers great water vapor permeability, preventing moisture from penetrating the deck’s surface. In order to achieve an even, beautiful surface, two coats is all you’ll need for several years of protection.
This type of resurfacer doesn’t contain ingredients that can affect your health, making it more environmentally friendly than alternative resurfacers. It can take up to eight hours for the paint to dry completely, which is impressively fast.
This is a modern material that possesses superior properties compared to acrylic resurfacers since it contains special additives. It’s safe for use around animals and humans, so you won’t need to wear a respirator when applying.
Due to its high water vapor permeability, the coat will allow the base to breathe. Unfortunately, latex paint can be pretty pricey, so it may not be the best choice for you, if you’re on a tight budget.
How to Use
Before applying the first coat, you’ll need to pressure wash your deck to remove dirt and debris. Doing so will ensure that the paint forms a solid bond with the surface of the deck. Next, you will need to fill large cracks and knotholes with latex caulk and allow it to dry.
The next step is applying the paint using a special roller. In order to achieve the proper coating thickness, you will need to reload your roller every three to four feet. Avoid trying to make the product go further by working the roller back and forth. This will only cause the coating to thin out. Some resurfacers will fill any gaps in your deck, while other products may fall through the gaps. Try to refill these gaps as you go by adding more of the product in a concentrated area. The first coat probably won’t look very impressive, while the second coat will work it’s magic and will fill in any remaining gaps in order to provide a smoother texture. You will apply the second coat using the same technique you did for the first. Give the deck a total of twenty-four to forty-eight hours to dry before you set foot on it. The average drying time should be clearly listed on the product’s label.
Is it Safe to Resurface My Deck?
If your deck looks dilapidated and old, that doesn’t mean that you need to spend thousands of dollars and have the pros come in to build you a deck from scratch. Thanks to the top resurfacers on the market, you can instantly breathe new life into your old deck. However, there are circumstances in which a new deck is necessary, especially if there’s rot involved. But in many cases, a resurfacer is enough. So, what are the signs you should look for that will indicate all your deck really needs is a coat or two of resurfacer? Let’s find out.
If the framing of your deck is in good shape, all it may need is a resurfacer treatment. Make sure you carefully inspect the underside of your deck, which will reveal whether or not there is any structural damage. You should only use a resurfacer if the deck’s frame is in good condition. If you notice warped or rotted wood or a section of the deck is falling apart, then it will not be suitable for resurfacing.
When you inspect your deck, look for any missing or loose connections between the joints and different pieces that make up the frame. If the deck is painted when there’s faulty connections, then structural issues will arise in the future. You should only resurface your deck if it’s productive and safe to do so.
If you’ve inspected your deck and the frame is solid, there’s no warped or rotted wood, then it’s time to shop around for a product that will protect your deck from damage in the future, and one that offers a variety of colors that will allow you to choose the perfect one to complement your yard.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Deck Restore Paint Last?
These coatings are very thick, so they can easily fill in splinters, knotholes, and gaps, providing a smooth, clean texture that can potentially last over ten years without the need of additional applications. How long the coating will last will depend on the type of resurfacer, the brand, and overall quality.
Is it Better to Stain or Paint an Old Deck?
Paint will last much longer than a stain. While paint can last over ten years before you need to reapply, stains will last half as long. Oil-based paints will offer the most moisture protection, while latex can provide better defense against fading.
What Happens if You Paint Over Stained Wood?
Most stained wood will have been coated in a glossy varnish or polyurethane. If you decide to directly paint over the glossy surface, then the paint will not be able to form a solid bond with the deck’s surface. This will cause the paint to peel, chip, and crack. To provide the right bond with the surface of the wood you must sand the stained deck, prior to painting it.
Final Thoughts on Deck Resurfacer
A beautifully cared for deck can have a major impact on the appearance of your home, making it appear well-maintained. Deck resurfacer can help breathe new life into an old, worn, and faded deck, instantly, and affordably. The products I’ve included here, and the buyer’s guide are both designed to help you choose the right product for your deck, one that will last for several years and offers the type of protection your deck needs to look great and last for many years to come.