Painting decking boards is not very common these days when compared to coating boards with clear oil, but it was considered fashionable many years ago and a good way of protecting your timber decking. Painting decking boards, posts and handrails in the same colour as other exterior surfaces like weatherboards and windows, helped a home to look uniform. Today, products like clear varnishes, stains and oil have replaced the need for painting decks because they have become more durable, flexible and UV resistant. This small project highlights the differences in approach to painting and coating a deck.
Scope of Work
The work required for this particular home was two fold. The first part required that the front porch decking and steps be repainted and the second part required that the rear decking be recoated in an exterior oil.
Part 1: Painting Deck and Steps
The front porch was largely used as a storage for personal items, old furniture and bikes and whilst there were areas that showed signs of were and tear and many surface scratches, the deck was in good condition.
- All decking surfaces were washed using Intergrain Ultraprep Timber Cleaner, with the assistance of a stiff bristle broom and high pressure water
- Once dried, all decking surfaces were lightly sanded to remove any stubborn oil finishes, loose flaking paint edges and to remove timber fur caused by high pressure washing
- After a quick rinse to remove loose dust, when the boards were dry, the deck and steps were undercoated using Dulux Precision Maximum adhesion
The colour for the deck and steps was a colour match. It is the same colour that was used previously to paint the verendah posts and 2 front windows. So it was important that the front surfaces remained uniform and the same.
The front deck was coated using a product called Cabot’s Timbercolour Deck & Exterior Paint. It has strong adhesion and is very durable under all conditions. There were 2 coats applied to the entire deck and small steps.
Part 2: Recoating Merbau Decking
The rear deck was installed about 18 months prior and it was in very good condition. The rear deck is used extensively and it is an area that has many pot plants and garden items sitting on it due to a lack of space. It was very dirty and the sheen of the original decking oil had faded considerably.
- All decking surfaces were washed with high pressure water as well as using Intergrain UltraPrep Tannin & Oil Remover, to assist in the removal of dirt and stains
- Once dried, all decking surfaces were lightly sanded to remove any stubborn oil finishes and to remove timber fur caused by high pressure washing
- A final surface wash of the deck using Intergrain UltraPrep Timber Cleaner, helps to clean and rejuvenate the decking ready for final oil coating
The deck is constructed with Merbau decking timber and the original oil used to coat the deck was tinted with the colour Merbau. The clients requested that the same product and colour be used again.
The rear Merbau Deck was coated with a product called Cabot’s Aquadeck. Aquadeck is a very durable water based decking oil that can be recoated on the same day and easily reapplied for any future maintenance. On this occasion 3 coats of decking oil was applied.
This project comprised of two different applications of coating systems. One was the application of decking paint and the second was the application of natural decking oil. Both are very similar in preparation and coating although with painted decking it is important to sand the surface and coat it with a strong bonding undercoat to help with adhesion to the top coat of paint. I don’t feel that one application is better than the other and ultimately which way you proceed will be determined by your own circumstances. Painting decks helps to cover old, weathered and damaged boards and is a cheaper alternative to replacing them or removing the existing coats. On the other hand, applying natural decking oil helps to highlight the natural characteristics of newly laid decking boards. Overall, they are both very good applications to consider.
A project that involved the restoration of a Merbau Deck, will showcase the effectiveness of Ultraprep and the Timber cleaner.