I inherited a very old deck with this house.
We removed the rails and all the boards which were unsafe to support weight the weekend before I moved in. I was determined to save the majority of the deck and began to look for ways to extend its life.
After much research and talking to contractors I decided to use Rustoleum’s Restore 10X which is specifically marketed to cover and protect old decks and concrete. I read both glowing reviews and some really horrible reviews on this product (the negative reviews said the paint peeled off).
My son’s go-to handyman told me a friend used Restore on his deck and it held up beautifully. I then learned one man near me loved this product so much he patented a special nozzle to apply Restore using a paint sprayer. I’ve had good luck with many products by Rustoleum over the years so decided to take a leap of faith and go with it.
I should mention at this point that Behr also sells a product for painting old worn decks but the reviews are so bad and when I asked around everyone (from sales people at the home improvement stores to handymen) told me not to use it in my climate.
Before I go on I should tell you that of the many products I’ve used by Rusoleum I have been very happy with them. I’ve used their spray paint to make over an antique iron bed, paint door knobs etc. I’ve used their chalkboard paint for years with fantastic results and even used their Cabinet Transformation kit to make over my son’s first kitchen, which I liked so much I borrowed the leftover material to update my bathroom cabinets in this house.
That said, I HATE RESTORE!
My deck is 15 ft by 17 ft plus a set of stairs and two ramps. The deck alone therefore measures 255 sq ft. The Restore 10X only covers 25 square feet per gallon. Hedging my bets by planning for the worst case scenario of peeling paint I decided to to only use the Restore paint on the deck then color match a deck and floor paint to do the stairs and ramps. This way should the paint peel I would have to give up and replace the old boards on the deck (how would you sand old wood that has gouges in it?) but the stairs and ramps, which are new or at least in good condition would be fine. And with the deck alone using 10 gallons by switching to paint or stain I only needed one gallon for those, saving a lot of money.
I was told, and can say it’s true, that the color chips don’t properly represent what the paint will look like on your finished product. I picked a gray which turned out blue on the deck, not the look I was going for. If you want to use Restore and color match another paint wait and make your own color sample to take to the store.
Now the process
I followed the directions to a T. I pressure washed the entire surface, let it dry. This step is a bit confusing according to Rustoleum’s directions. Some say to clean with a pressure washer, other places the directions say not to pressure wash. I chose to pressure wash because the build up over time, and mildew in spots, was too much to believe paint would adhere to it. The pressure washer damaged further some of the wood boards leaving me with small splinters of wood that later had to be cleaned off.
I had amazing pictures of before and after of the pressure washing but a virus wiped my computer clean.
Even with sweeping, I probably should have vacuumed the deck as well because I still found splinters of wood as I applied the wood primer.
After power washing I left the deck to dry for two full days. I did this because as old as the wood is I wanted to ensure the wood was dry all the way through. Had the wood been damp the primer and paint would not have adhered.
In order for Restore to work the company developed a special primer that must be used first or the paint supposedly won’t adhere to your wood. I considered purchasing only one can of primer since you only need one coat but opted to purchase a second just to be safe figuring I could take it back if I didn’t use it. Well, just to do the deck I used 1 and 3/4 cans of primer.
The primer is applied easily with a basic roller. I then allowed the primer to dry overnight.
Applying Restore 10X
Rustoleum sells a special paint roller cover for application of Restore 10X. The store was good about making sure I had the proper roller covers and told me Rustoleum would not guarantee the product if I didn’t use them.
The cover is plastic with small holes, similar to mesh bags you find produce in.
I heard you need to really push the product onto the deck boards but I had no idea just how hard it would be to apply. I couldn’t lift my arms the next morning and everything from my back to my neck screamed in pain for a few days. The product wants to adhere to the paint pan and the roller cover, not the wood.
I have one section I had to redo because I had assumed that because I just had the paint mixed I didn’t need to stir it. Even though the Restore 10X looked thicker than regular paint it had settled.
You cannot use paint brushes. Good luck getting around railing posts, getting in those larger cracks in the wood or coating the sides of your deck boards. (I should say at this time the directions state if you have cracks larger than 1/4 inch you need to buy their crack filler and apply that before priming. I didn’t realize this until I had already primed the deck.
As you attempt to get the product on your roller you end up pushing in into the paint tray more than anything else. Just a really hard product to use in all ways. The splatter from the paint is the worst I’ve ever encountered in all my years of painting, I ruined both a pair of shoes and pair of pants.
I had about a cup of paint left and attempted to pounce the paint into the cracks and along the exposed side edges of the boards. [It held up pretty well in those spots.]
If the product holds up and protects the deck from further rotting it will be a job well worth it but the cost and amount of product used seems a bit crazy when added up.
Here’s a breakdown of the costs from the home improvement store near me:
- Wood primer $6.47 each. I would have needed several of these if I were to fill every crack 1/4 deep or more
- Restore Deck Start Wood Primer $34.97 per can
- Restore 10X 24.97 each
- Restore 10x Roller covers: $4.97
My total was $329.58. Plus I still need to purchase deck and floor paint ($22) to paint the steps and ramps.
From an environmental perspective this was a major fail on my part. I was so insistent I wanted to save the wood I didn’t think about the footprint of this product (once dry I realized this is mostly a plastic coating) or its cost. My costs would have been less than this if I’d simply removed the rotten boards and replaced them.
Would I recommend Restore 10X?
The big question, was all the work, and pain, worth it? In other words, did it hold up and protect the deck?
The answer is yes and no. Areas where I couldn’t get the paint to adhere I coated with a solid color stain. The stain held up fantastic but the Restore only held up in some areas. I applied the Restore In September 2016, here are some close ups of the deck today.
Touching the exposed wood I found that not only the Restore peeled off but so too did the primer.
If I want to do this properly, the solution would be to sand off all the product and start over. Being that my wood is in bad shape sanding isn’t really an option.
I tried to get a closer image for you in this last one to show you the “lumpiness” of the Restore 10X coating. Another issue I have with it is that it is impossible to clean. Taking a broom to the deck is an exercise in futility.
So would I recommend this product to you.
NO! Don’t waste your time. If you can’t afford to replace your existing deck or porch, or aren’t ready to replace it, patch the cracks and holes, use a good porch and floor paint or a stain and good sealer to extend the life of your deck or porch but don’t bother with Restore 10X. For the money, I could have removed every deck board and replaced them and still had some cash left over, and I wouldn’t have been as sore as I was applying this product.