Outdoor living spaces are a staple of Australian lifestyle.



Not only do they give your family a place to enjoy pleasant weather, they also double as entertaining areas for barbeques and family get togethers. With as much as our decks get, it’s important to take careful measures to protect the wood using on the deck from high foot traffic, moisture rot, UV rays, and a plethora of other damaging items that it comes into contact with day by day.

 

Every outdoor deck needs a protective finish to improve its lifespan. Today, we’ll take a look at the best finishes to use on outdoor decking, and how you can add the coats yourself over a short weekend.

 

Why Finish your Deck?

 

 

Like indoor floors, decks fall victim to all types of abuse. Some of the most common things that deteriorate a decks appearance include:

 

  • ·         Heavy foot traffic
  • ·         Pet nails
  • ·         Scratching from shoe undersoles
  • ·         Moisture/Rain
  • ·         UV Rays
  • ·         Bird droppings
  • ·         Moving Furniture
  • ·         Barbeque grease

 

 

Need to Knows about Picking a Finish

 

Most wood finishes don’t work because the wrong finish was selected for the type of wood.  There are dozens of names and types of outdoor finishes, including:

  • ·         Sealers
  • ·         Coatings
  • ·         Protectors
  • ·         Stains
  • ·         Finishes

These terms essentially refer to one thing – the type of protective coating you choose to place on outdoor decking.

 

Wood finishes are designed to prevent wear and tear caused by heavy foot traffic, and are essential for ensuring your deck lasts as long as it should. Without a finish, it’s likely that your deck color could begin to fade, rot, and deteriorate prematurely.

 

 

What types of finishes should you choose?

 

  

Types to use: 

 

Solid stains:

 


Solid wood finishes look very similar to paint in the sense that they offer a bold color that covers the grain of the wood completely. Available in several finishes, solid stains are often considered to be the most effective way to protect hardwood decking.

 

 

Oil-based finishes: 

 


Oil based finishes make it possible to quickly finish your deck in about half a day, and are renowned as the “easiest” way to coat your deck. That said, they’re also believed to be the least durable type of finish on the market. If you do choose to go with an oil finish for your deck, be sure to set a date to recoat the floor as oil finishes really only last for a year without compromising protection.

 

 

Varnish and Urethane: 

 


An excellent way to protect your deck, varnishes and urethane coats last generally about 2-3 years before requiring a new coat. Once the coating begins to crack, it’s time to refinish. For the most durable finish, seal your wood with epoxy first and cover the base coat with varnish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding a protective coating to your deck is essential for keeping your deck looking and functioning beautifully for years. Homeowners who intend to take their refinishing project on themselves should keep in mind that pigmented finishes will leave brush strokes and will not layer evenly without care – if this is your first DIY finishing project, we recommend picking a clear coated finish rather than something pigmented to ensure you don’t have different colors throughout your deck.

 

 

How can you protect your outdoor deck from rot and warping? Start by applying one of the best finishes for outdoor timber, like oil and varnish based coatings.