How I Used Restore Deck Paint for My Deck Restore Project

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Deck Repair with Restore Deck Paint

Restore Deck Paint - Finished Project

I recently needed to fix my sun-battered and splintered wood deck.  It was in sad shape – the paint was pealing and the top of the wood started coming up.  The wood was still solid apart from the splinters and I didn’t have time to tear it out and start new, so I decided to simply repair the deck with restore deck paint.  I spent quite a bit of time looking for the best restore deck paint and in the end found that Rustoleum Deck & Concrete Restore would be best for my project.

Preparing my Deck for Restore Deck Paint

Before I could apply the restore deck paint, I needed to first prepare my deck.  I used a Bosch Mult-X Oscillating Tool with an aggressive sanding head to quickly remove loose paint and splintered wood.  I also used a Bosch belt sander to sand down areas that had bucked up.  I screwed a few large splits in the treated 2x6s to hold it together for when I apply the restore deck paint.  You don’t need to worry about pre-filling in defects and missing wood because the restore deck paint will fill in those areas.

Restore Deck Paint Sanders

Restore Deck Paint Multi-Tool

I prepared the deck for the restore deck paint with a mix of bleach and trisodium phosphate (TSP) dispensed through a pump sprayer.  I let it set for 20 minutes and then power washed the deck.  You should then let the deck should dry for 24 hours.

Restore Deck Paint Deck Preparation

Applying the Restore Deck Paint

For my entire project I used four 4-gallon cans of Rustoleum’s restore deck paint.  If you’ve never used restore deck paint before, you’ll need to get a feel for it.  Restore deck paint is 10 times thicker than standard paint, so if you’re not careful you’ll apply too much.  My deck had deep crevices, so the primer coat had to go on heavy.  I also had to apply a lot of pressure when rolling the restore deck paint.  I used two 9” rollers and one 4” roller.  I had a putty knife to fill in areas where the roller couldn’t reach and then a chip brush to blend in the restore deck paint so the textures matched.  Rustoleum Deck & Concrete Restore has a lot of sand in it and acts similar to polymer modified concrete overlay.

Restore Deck Paint Steps

Restore Deck Paint First Coat

On my deck, I had some boards that were closer than others so sometimes the restore deck paint filled in the joints and other times it didn’t.  To make the space uniform I used a Bosch 5” angle grinder and a segmented diamond blade to cut materials out of joints as needed.  I used a piece of cardboard when I wanted to remove excess restore deck paint from between the boards when there were large openings; I used a drywall knife when the openings were tighter.  This helped to clear up the boards and better adhere the paint where needed.

Restore Deck Paint Grinder

Restore Deck Paint Drywall Knife

Other Helpful Restore Deck Paint Tips

  • It can take some time for the restore deck paint to cure and it all depends on the humidity and temperature.  If it’s humid and cool, it could take 24 hours for the paint to set, or it may not at all.  Rain can also ruin your project because it will prevent the paint from curing.
  • The surface will be a little rubbery for up to a week after its applied, so you’d want to be careful as to when you set the furniture.
  • Be careful when applying it to corners (i.e. steps) because if the paint isn’t completely cured it can be peel off.
  • I’ve found that the restored deck surface can sometimes burn your bare feet when the temperature reaches more than 90 degrees.
  • Despite these drawbacks, the restore deck paint gave my old deck a fairly hard and durable surface.

Applying Concrete Stain

In addition to applying restore deck paint, I also stained the walkway to the gazebo. My walkway consists of re-purposed concrete boards. These boards are 2’x10’x9″. Each is 10″ thick with metal around them and rebar inside. They weigh 2,750 pounds each – they’re not going anywhere!

Restore Deck Paint Preparing Concrete

I stained the concrete boards with Smith Paint acrylics.  It’s a water based stain that can stand up to the elements and is easy to apply

Restore Deck Paint Smith Paints

I stained the concrete walk-way with a moss green color (and I actually mixed in some blue to soften the green color).  When sealing use one part stain and four parts water (the exact amount can vary depending on whether you want a more translucent or opaque surface).  You can either spray or brush the stain.  After the stain dries you should seal it with two coats of solvent acrylics.

Restore Deck Paint Smith Paints

After the stain dries you should seal it with two coats of solvent acrylics.

Restore Deck Paint

Restore Deck Paint Stain Finish

Now sit back, relax and enjoy your newly restored deck

Restore Deck Paint Finished 2

Restore Deck Paint Finished 3

Restore Deck Paint Finished 4

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Gerald Taylor is principal for El Dorado, Ark.-based Images in Concrete, a concrete art design firm. He specializes in custom freehand concrete engraving and coloring of existing concrete,…Read more

49 comments on “How I Used Restore Deck Paint for My Deck Restore Project

  1. Joe

    Good advice – I’ll be gearing up to do my deck this fall before it gets too cold. I like the idea of the angle grinder to more clearly define the boards – I’ve noticed that issue on my deck, and I’m sure it will be magnified by the thick restore paint. I assume some touch-up may be required after that step? Deck looks great.

  2. Gerald Taylor Post author

    Thanks Joe. It does take some time to do the touch up work, especially where you clean out the joints. I used a putty knife and a dry wall tool. I like using the dry wall knife to not only clean out between boards, but using this tool as you roll will help the paint adhere between the boards. I like this better than cardboard when the openings are small.

  3. Eric

    I have been seeing a lot of commercials for this product. It is interesting to hear first the details behind using the product as well as your observations. Nice job!

  4. Gerald Taylor Post author

    Thanks Eric. Glad to share info. Time will tell how good the product is. I have used coatings that looked good for decorative concrete, but one year later were pealing off and made some contractors to go out of business.

  5. Gerald Taylor

    Hi Bob,
    I’m really not sure how it would bond to a composite material – probably not much to bond to mechanically . Here’s a help number from Rustoleum (877-385-8155) they should be able to advise .

  6. Matthew

    Does anyone have experience on the life of the “restore deck paint’? We have some old decks that need something and this look like a good product but just didn’t know.

  7. Dirty

    WoW Gerald, your deck came out beautiful! I love the colors you picked for the deck and rail along with small side walls. I’m guessing that was a standard pressure treated 2x deck boards? One more question how long is that deck coating system expected to last?

  8. Gerald Taylor Post author

    Thanks Dirty
    The deck is 2×6 pressure treated . As far as the time it last , I hope it last atleast 5 yr. When it comes to coatings I just have to wait an see. But we had some really hard freezes , no delamination any place yet . Even places where I screwed the splits together holdng well for now.

  9. Gerald Taylor Post author

    Steven just left them stained .
    I will do some follow up shots after clean up of deck . We had some serious freeze thaw issues this winter . But looks like it’s just like it applied yesterday .

  10. Marisa

    I am interested to see how it looks today! I am planning on doing this over the next several weeks and have already begun the prepping process. Nice tips!!

    1. Gerald Taylor Post author

      Marisa I just power washed the pollen an dirt off my deck today .
      I was surprised , There was no damage to the deck after the hard winter . My wife said it looked like I had just done it !
      Only a couple of small places on the edge of the step . Not the materials fault , I was running out of material an left it with just a thin primer coat . Here’s a couple of photos today .

  11. Robert

    Your deck had been painted prior to the Restore correct? Did you have to sand down bare wood or did the TSP/Bleach “open” the paint enough to let the Restore adhere?

  12. Gerald Taylor Post author

    Hi Robert
    applying over painted surfaces could be a little risky . That would be a good question for rustoleum .My wood was painted but it was rough an splintering . This surface imade a good mechanical bond . The only reason I sanded some was to knock down high spots . Bleach an TSP will not open pores in a painted surface . Tsp an bleach is for cleaning oils mildew etc .from wood ,

  13. Jim Young

    I do not recommend Deck Restorer especially in climates where there is snow. All of my deck restorer peeled off or dissolved as the snow melted.

  14. Ed

    I applied Rust-Oleum Restore to my deck mid August 2013.
    We followed the manufacture’s instructions religiously. We also watched their video for product application. We used Rust-Oleum deck cleaner for preparation and their special roller for application.
    Fast forward to March 2014 and this stuff is peeling and cracking everywhere.
    The failure mode is either peeling up in large sheets or it crumbles when you step on it.
    The major problem is that in sections of the deck where it neither peels nor crumbles, its removal is all but impossible without destroying the wood decking.
    The only thing I can do now is pull up the fir decking and either replace it (very expensive) or turn the decking over, put it back down and use a conventional stain (labor intensive).
    Needless to say, “I am not happy”.
    Please do not simply believe what I say. Verify this for yourself.
    Go to:
    Home Depot Customer Reviews:

    Amazon Customer Reviews:

    Most Importantly: Rust-Oleum’s Facebook Page

    See the hundreds of Horror stories


    Stay away from this garbage, junk product

    1. Gerald Taylor Post author

      Daaryl I’d give rustoleum a call but It looks like they have many issues with this product . I guess the polymer solution was so diluted so theres no bonding agent . Possibly power wash it off an start over . But at best its just cosmetics . For now mines holding up well . But will see what happens in another year .

  15. Elwood

    I see you share interesting things here, you can earn some extra cash, your blog has big potential, for the monetizing method, just type in google
    – K2 advices how to monetize a website

  16. Gerald Taylor Post author

    Sorry to hear the horror story on the rustoleum product . After a year an 4 months mine is still intact an looks like i just put it down . Coating problems are 1 reason I got away from decorative concrete . Lots of things can effect the adhering to the surface There are 2 places on the whole deck the size of a quarter on the edge of a step .

  17. Ron Danekas

    Really great tips for restoring a weathered deck. What made you think of using your old concrete boards for a walk way? I really like this idea as it gives the yard a nice feel to it with the stain.

    1. gerald taylor

      Thanks Ron , I just see items around and wonder how they can be used . About the boards they are Extremely heavy an thick with steel around the out side . After placing I welded these together to keep them from moving as they settle .
      The rough surface really hold stain an sealer well .
      By the way the deck looks just as when I put it down .

  18. Huckleberry

    We put restore on our front porch in Montana and did the steps as well. One year later, we notice it is coming off on the edge of the steps…. is there a bonding material we could use first before we repair it so it stays in place? The rest of the porch looks great still.

    1. gtaylor

      Hi Huckleberry , I also have the same problem an just on the edge of 2 steps . I’m only talking about a total chipping of 1/2 ” x 4″ ., thats all . I don’t know of another material to prep the area . Possibly rough up the wood on the edge to make a better mechanical bond . Glad to hear the Montana deep freeze thaw hasn’t delaminated surface . Wish had a solid ans. for you .

  19. Marian

    we put Restore product on our deck. It has peeled, chipped and came off in large areas. We did everything the directions indicated. We also hired a professional painter to do the work. What can we do now, except replace the entire deck.

    1. Gerald Taylor Post author

      Sorry to hear , my deck was extremely rough . The only option I had was to replace deck . I have had a few edges of step to peel , that’s all . 1/2 cup of material would patch .
      Myextremely rough surface
      Hopefull will lock it tight enough for a few more years .before I have to rip deck up .

  20. Gerald Taylor Post author

    Sorry to hear Caroline .
    That’s tough decision whether to tear off . I didn’t have any choice my deck was so bad . But you can do all the right things an still have failure . Maybe the other will come off with some help then paint .

  21. Pamela

    My deck is in extremely bad shape. The previous home owner power washed the deck put didn’t refinish it. I am now in the process of refinishing the deck I power washed it to remove mold and mildew. My plan was to use Restore 10X to fill in some rather large cracks and the wood is a bit rough. But I live in north east Ohio and the past several winters have been rather rough. Will deck Restore work and will it last or am I wasting my time is there another product that would work better. Say like concrete paint or steel paint for bridges?

  22. frank

    your site convinced not to buy restor paint from home depot for an dlder deck.thanks.do you all have another product that would give good results.thanks

  23. Jonathan Wehrly

    do you know if I have to strip all the paint off to bare wood, or can I sand most of it before I apply the Restore? My wife wants to paint the ceiling on the porch as well but it has several layers of paint on it.

    1. Gerald Taylor Post author

      Jonathan my deck did have some stain on it . I lightly sanded it . That would probably be a good question mfg . What really made mine hold is my wood was split an rough . It really allowed for a good mechanical bond . It’s been 3 years . just an half a coffe cup of material would patch the complete deck .

  24. J Scholes

    I have read on several forums of people not happy with Restore 10X. I find myself wondering if they skipped the primer step. All the posts that mention multiple happy years had the primer in how they did their deck. Like Ed, July 2, 2014. He says they followed directions religiously. He mentions stripping and cleaning and then coating. What about the primer, Ed? Did you prime the deck? I pressure washed my 3 year old deck and stripped it back to raw wood (was stained with a semi-transparent stain) and sanded with a belt sander where needed. I then put two thick coats of primer. Primer is a bonding agent. For those who had it peel in 1 year I am guessing they did not spend $40 more for primer. Looking at what three 4 gallon pails of 10x cost me for a 10×30 deck, the primer (2 gals) is worth it. Use the rustoleum primer made for this. It is mentioned by name in the instructions. Not a step to skip!

  25. Earthamae

    Google restore disasters and the lawsuits. We are dealing with the aftermath of this product as many dissatisfied consumers are. We follow directions and had horrible results.

  26. mary

    i live in the bahamas i have used this product and was happy now i want to use it on an old wooden deck that have rusted screws showing can i used this product and will not rust stains come through the paint in a few weeks or can u recommend me on what can i used or do thank you

    1. Gerald taylor

      Glad it worked well for you .
      Many people had failures .
      Works best on a rough surface not slick new boards .
      My deck had broken boards that I screwed back together .also rusted heads . But if your in a salt environment not sure . I would ask the Co .

  27. D

    We have cleaned our old deck with the high pressure water spray, need to sand next, lots of splinters, feathering; but we don’t want to paint it again. I’d like just a natural look–can anyone recommend a thicker-type, long lasting clear sealant that will somewhat fill in cracks? The watery type stuff doesn’t last after the first rain. Thanks1

  28. Robin Barksdale

    Restore did fill in my cracks and splinters, but I would LOVE to know how to get it off. The deck gets so hot we cannot walk on it. Way before it gets to 90 degrees. I’ve had to put down outdoor rugs in most places on the deck. When I say it burns our feet, I am not exaggerating. My grandchild cried walking from one rug to the other. It would be MAJOR burns if you stood on it 15 or more seconds. We can’t get it off with a pressure washer. Any ideas of getting it off?

  29. f galloway

    it won’t stop raining here for more than 3 days somwtimes just a few drops but its rain . i’m trying to put primer on my patio as we have it all sanded . the paint peeled up over winter and its only 3 years old. how dry does my patio have to be to get the primer on it. I may never get it finished before winter we live in B.C,

  30. William A. Remick

    I stripped and repaired my deck per instruction. I then painted my deck per the weather for optimum drying. After only 1 year my deck is bubbled & pealed disgusted that this “PREMIUM” paint is such a SCAM!! DO NOT EVEN THINK OF THIS PRODUCT IT IS LOWER THAN CHILDREN’S WATER COLORS.

  31. deck builders

    Thank you for your awesome tips. I am new to the deck building industry and I need all the help that I can get. You have taught me a lot with this post. I appreciate your knowledge and expertise. I hope that someday, I will be as skillful as you and your company. Cheers to a more successful year of 2021! Best regards from our deck builders in Ashburn, Virginia.

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