Decking varnish recommendation
Two years ago, we treated and painted the decks in our back garden using a Dulux decking paint - I think it was called Cuprinol. The paint has weather, chipped and looks awful. This spring/summer, we're going to sand the decks down and wanted to know if anyone can recommend a high quality decking varnish that we can use.
A window restorer recommended Demidekk products to me a while back. I've used it on some exterior woodwork and a timber shed. It goes on a treat and looks good but it's not been on long enough yet to draw too much of a conclusion. Worth investigating.
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Ultimately, @editor, I wouldn't use a paint or varnish at all on decking. The concept of paint or varnish is a thin fairly flexible barrier to protect the wood, but the constant footfall is almost guaranteed to wear that barrier away fairly quickly. Rather than a varnish I'd opt instead for an oil; it soaks into the wood so the protective barrier is integral to the timber, it remains as flexible as the timber itself and any normal knocks become irrelevant to its protective capabilities. The downside, of course, is the fact you ideally want to give it a quick recoat each season to maintain the protection.
All of this is irrelevant, though, if your decking is grooved. In that case, trying to sand the existing paint away from the grooves will be a really intensive job I doubt you'd be interested in undertaking.
As a result, if oiling is an option then I've had good experiences with Sadolin and Liberon as brands and their decking oils would do the trick nicely. If oiling isn't an option then I would suggest you have a chat with your local Brewers or similar trade paint store; they might have a yacht varnish that would be suitable but most exterior varnishes are designed for wood that normally wouldn't be walked on (window frames, conservatories etc.).
Either way, I'd suggest you buy from a trade store rather than the likes of B&Q or Homebase. The paints, oils and varnishes at a trade store are generally fresher than those at a DIY store and that makes a difference for finishes that need to protect wood in harsh environments.
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@majordennisbloodnok, the decks in the back garden aren't grooved, and the oil is a good idea. I'll looks into our options. Slippage is the only thing we need to consider. I like Sadolin as a brand.
@dunlorn, thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into what Demidekk have to offer.
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