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What is the current thinking about wood deck surface treatment?

18 days ago

Stain, paint or restore? Our northern PA cabin's 12 x 16 foot PT wood deck is 50 years old. Morning sun only. The 2x6 decking was not installed with a gap between boards resulting in standing water, leaves and pine needles creating a green slimy surface. Despite that, the deck, rails and joists are solid and don't warrant replacing. After a pressure wash, the wood is not checked excessively and for a cabin in the woods, the surface grain is tolerably raised in spots. An angle grinder with a coarse grit disc easily removes any paint after power washing. I widened the gaps between deck boards with a circular saw for drainage. It is used with a metal table and four metal chairs.

Now what to treat it with? I've read much of the web's deck board "science" of moisture expansion, drying out, encapsulating, stain vs semi vs solid color, etc. Drainage, surface treatment durability and decent looks are what I'm interested in. I've eliminated from consideration the "restoration" products that are akin to a thick paint and transparent stain since it was previously painted and now sanded (mostly).

Under consideration are semi-solid and solid color stains as well as just plain deck paint. I'm not limited to the big box, major label choices but have seen some commercial/industrial products by Liquid Rubber and Gulf Synthetics.

I recognize there is no perfect product. But any suggestions as to types of treatment or brands or pros and cons based on your experiences would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

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