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        posted
        After 30+ years, our Wolmanized deck needed some serious attention. While still sound, it was badly stained and the boards were severely checked. I considered renting a floor sander, but quickly dismissed that option due to the uneven surface and nail heads. Replacing the decking was considered, but I didn't want treated wood and composite was too pricey. That left resurfacing as the best option. HD had a sale on Behr products, so I picked up some Deckover. After spending the last couple of days putting it down, here are my opinions and some tips for those who might consider it.

        Overall, I give the appearance a 4.5 out of 5 when considering before and after. The stains are gone and it looks pretty good overall. But to get there was a lot more work than I had anticipated.

        First of all, to get it looking decent you have got to fill in the holes and cracks. With a deck the age of mine, this was substantial, and could not be done adequately with a roller. (More on that later.) Therefore, I had to go back over about 60% of the surface with a brush and lay a thick coating down and work it into the cracks, checks and knotholes. Once this was done, the effect was dramatic. Without this step, I would have been very dissatisfied with the appearance of the final product.

        Here are some tips: First and foremost, you have to fill in the cracks. The bigger ones would best be filled with wood filler first, then painted over with the Deckover. In my case, this wasn't really feasible since there were so many, I would have used a gallon of the stuff. Behr says that Deckover will fill holes up to 1/4" and that is pretty accurate. Anything bigger than that is difficult to fill.

        Next, nap size is critical. If your deck is relatively new and has few cracks, or if you are applying this product to concrete, the recommended 1/2" nap is probably fine. The guy at HD told me they recommended 3/8" and I got a tray, rollers and brushes free with my purchase, so I tried them. No good. First coat barely covered the cracks and left a lot of work. I went out and got a 3/4" nap roller and this was better, but it still didn't do a very good job on the cracks until I came up with a method - Once you load the roller, use it like a "tamper" on the worst cracks. This does a pretty good job of filling them. Then go over and roll it as you normally would. My suggestion is to first roll perpendicular to the boards, then parallel with them. This seemed to give the best appearance.

        I really hate it when the paint "bridges" between boards. IMHO, it makes the job look sloppy. However, since you are applying so much paint, some bridging is unavoidable. Keep a hacksaw blade in your pocket and run it though the gaps if you see the paint bridge.

        Given the options and cost thereof, I'm pretty happy with the results. Of course, the jury is out on durability. We won't be shoveling or power washing the deck, so I'm hoping to get around five years out of it.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: joecercone,
         
        Posts: 841 | Location: Rogers City, MI | Registered: Sep 25, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Joe,
        Thanks for the first hand report. A lot of people have asked about it on the boards. My sister is considering it I think I'll email her your review. I'd love to hear about how well it holds up in a year or two. I figure it should buy you several years out of your old deck.

        How do you think a latex caulking would do to fill in the cracks?

        Sparky


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 850 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Sparky: Latex caulk would probably do a good job of filling the bigger cracks and knotholes, but I'm not sure how well it would hold up underfoot. I would be worried about it flexing and causing the Deckover to crack, which would probably lead to premature failure. IMHO, a hardening wood filler rated for outdoor application would be a better option, even though you might have to do some extra sanding.

        I did get some input from a neighbor whose parents had their deck done last summer. It started peeling after about six months, but that was likely due to the fact that the deck had previously been stained several times and had a very smooth surface.
         
        Posts: 841 | Location: Rogers City, MI | Registered: Sep 25, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        My sister actually did it last year, I live several hundred miles away so I haven't seen the finished project. She advised it is holding up well in Pennsylvania. They had a pretty tough winter last year with a lot of snow.

        If you can get 5 years out of it, I think it is a real win.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 850 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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