Caring for Decks, Railings, Porches, etc.

Surface Prep and Maintenance

For optimum long-term visual appeal of your natural wood, correct wood surface preparation is of great importance and well worth the effort. Moisture content of the wood should be no more than 18%. Besides opening the pores of the wood, surface preparation will kill mildew spores that are growing. Apply product within one week of surface preparation for best results.

New or weathered uncoated decks

New wood should be allowed to dry 2 to 3 weeks to bring the moisture level to 18% or less. With new cedar wood some weathering (2 to 3 months) of the wood is advantageous to allow the finish to penetrate the wood surface more effectively.

Sanding is the best method of preparation. Thoroughly sand the wood surface with 60 to 80 grit sandpaper in the direction of the grain and then vacuum the resulting dust. Sanding ensures optimum adhesion and appearance of your translucent deck finish. An acceptable alternative is to clean your deck with a purchased deck cleaner and brightener – follow directions on product container – or use a cleaning solution of TSP/Bleach/Water.

Cleaning solution
Mix and put in garden pump sprayer
– 4 oz. of TSP (100% Tri-Sodium Phosphate)
– 1 quart of liquid bleach
– 3 quarts of warm water

Mix enough cleaning solution in batches to cover the area to be coated (approx. 150 Sq ft per gal)

  1. For wanted vegetation – wet with clean water and cover with plastic tarps.
  2. Cover windows and door openings.
  3. Wet the wood surface with clean water.
  4. Use a garden pump sprayer to saturate the surface with cleaning solution.
  5. Keep the surface wet with mixture 15-20 minutes. While surface is kept wet with the TSP/bleach water solution, aggressively scrub it with a stiff bristle brush. If solution dries a residue may form on wood.
  6. Power wash off the mixture, rinsing thoroughly. Use a 45 degree fan spray at no more than 500 PSI. The washer nozzle must be 12 inches from the surface for the best results. The use of higher pressure may result in damage to the wood. (Use of a garden hose, approx. 60 psi, is not suitable for maximum effectiveness.)
  7. Allow three continuous days of dry weather for the wood surface to completely dry before applying deck product. Moisture content of the wood should be no more than 18%.
  8. Apply coating within 7 days for horizontal surfaces.
Previously coated decks

To ensure adhesion and even appearance, sanding is recommended if the deck as been previously coated with a finish. A translucent finish will not cover an uneven appearance.

New Pressurized treated lumber

Prior to coating allow wood to weather and dry until inner moisture level is 18% or less. This drying process can take up to 12 months. Proceed with new or weathered uncoated wood procedures described above.

Hardwoods (IPE, Teak, etc.)

After sanding and immediately prior to coating, wipe the wood with acetone or lacquer thinner. Allow to dry 10 minutes and follow with one coat of NatureColor® Base Coat. (At this time testing is not complete with NatureOne®100% Acrylic Exterior.)

Railings

Thoroughly sand the wood surface with 60 to 80 grit sandpaper in the direction of the grain and then vacuum the resulting dust. Sanding ensures optimum adhesion and appearance of your translucent finish.

 

Application Procedures

NatureColor® Base Coat
Deck Floors and Rails

  1. Prep procedure
  2. One coat of NatureColor® Base Coat
  3. Wait 24 hours
  4. Optional – One coat of NatureColor® Base Coat

NatureOne®100% Acrylic
Deck Floors and Rails

  1. Prep procedure
  2. One coat of NatureOne® Acrylic
  3. Wait a minimum of 2 hours
  4. Optional – One coat of NatureOne® Acrylic

Applying one coat of NatureColor® Base Coat or one coat of NatureOne® acrylic exterior will provide a non-film forming finish that will not peel or blister. It will give reasonable protection for about 1 year and then you will have to clean and apply another coat. On a new deck, apply one coat.

Applying two coats of NatureColor® Base Coat or NatureOne® acrylic exterior will give a more finished look to the deck surface. This more finished look has film-forming properties that give better water protection, but is subject to abrasive wear and peeling if moisture conditions exceed the films micorporus capabilities to release this moisture through evaporation. Two coats should only be applied to deck floors that are at least 18” above grade and have good air circulation or are covered by a porch roof.

NatureColor® Base Coat performs best applied with a longhaired natural bristle brush. NatureOne® 100% acrylic exterior performs best when applied with a nylon/polyester brush. NatureColor® and NatureOne® products can be sprayed, but always back brush to work the product into the wood and to even the pigmentation and film thickness. Back brushing eliminates over application and pooling of product. Over application can interfere with the finish’s ability to dry properly and can lead to a buildup of material on the wood which can ultimately peel and crack when exposed to too much moisture.

Maintain a wet edge. Saturate end grains. Apply one coat to undersides of the deck floor to minimize moisture intrusion. Avoid applying finish in direct sunlight or when the surface is hot to touch. If conditions become too hot and product is drying too quickly, STOP, and wait for cooler application conditions.

 

Maintenance Procedures

Recoat maintenance will be as visually required performed with a single coat of the same product used when initially coating deck and railings; NatureColor® Base Coat or NatureOne® 100% Acrylic Exterior. Prior to recoating always clean the surface. Follow the power washing procedure using the Cleaning Solution as described above.