A few weeks ago, friends asked my opinion about their aging wood deck. The deck was about 12 years old and had really started to show its age. One reason for its early demise was that it basked in sunshine all day long, causing the original treated wood decking to crack and splinter. The deck had gotten so bad that they had stopped using it altogether because the kids and dog were coming in with splinters lodged in their feet and paws.
They'd pretty much decided to replace the decking until I told them about "Rescue It!" a fairly new product from Olympic Paints. I explained how it filled in cracks and bonded securely to the decking, leaving a comfortable, slip-free surface with a pleasing uniform solid color. After comparing the cost of using Rescue It! with the cost of replacing the weather-damaged wood with a new railing and decking, they were sold.
A few days later, with their help, we cleaned the deck and railing with a deck cleaner and hosed the surface down with a garden hose. We waited two days and then sanded some of the loose wood fibers clinging to the railing and decking. We then filled some of the larger cracks in the wood with exterior caulk. Next we started brushing our cedar-colored Rescue It! onto the railing, dabbing it into the cracks and crevices with a brush. We used a roller wherever we could and then brushed the surface to even out the coating (it's thicker than paint or stain). With the railing finished, we did the same with the decking. At the end of the day, the deck's appearance had changed so dramatically that smiles were everywhere.
The next day we gave everything a second coat. As we stepped back to admire our handiwork, they couldn't believe how a little elbow grease and a couple days of sweat had given them back their deck, not to mention the improvement to the appearance and value of their home.
Rescue It! is the perfect product for a structurally sound deck that's suffered from overexposure to weather. Since then, I've recommended it to others. I've also talked to homeowners who applied it last year and are still raving about the results.
My own cedar deck was looking like a tired old friend in need of a helping hand. Because the deck sits in the shade most of the day, I had a couple spongy boards that needed replacing, as well as some mildew and algae. I gave the deck a "flossing" with an old keyhole saw to remove the debris that gets stuck between the boards. Next, I replaced a few rotting boards and then washed the deck with a deck cleaner. A pressure washer on a mild setting was the final step in getting rid of locked-in grime.
After I waited a couple days for the deck to dry thoroughly, it appeared to be fairly uniform in color except for the new boards that I'd pieced in between the others. Because of this, I chose a semitransparent stain to add a little color to help blend the new with the old. After I masked off the siding, the flashing and the adjoining concrete slab, I rolled the "Timberline" color stain onto the decking. My railing has a contrasting solid white stain that I just finished last year, so my focus was just on the decking.
I rolled on the stain and then back-brushed with a 2-1/2-in. brush, paying attention to the spaces between the boards and keeping an eye out for uniform coverage. At the end of the day, it looked great! In a matter of 12 working hours, I'd gone from "avoiding the reality of my deck" to sitting back and admiring it. Elite Stain's rich oil finish and pigments give me confidence that my deck will give me years of minimal maintenance and maximum relaxation.
Last winter my wife and I decided to paint our bedroom. We were looking to transform it from a drab off-white to a more interesting combination of colors. After uploading a photo of my room to the Olympic website http://www.olympic.com/color/paint-color-visualizer (watch the tutorial first), we chose a two-color combination. The sophisticated interactive program let us actually see what the bedroom would look like with our chosen colors. A service like this is really valuable because I've made mistakes before and have ended up with a couple gallons of paint I will never use.
Feeling confident about my choices (Indiana Clay and Pale Ecru), I prepped the room by removing wall fasteners and spackling the holes. When I got around to painting, the Olympic One eggshell rolled onto the wall and spread like paint that costs much more. I got excellent coverage from one coat and could not detect where I'd spackled. I'd finished the whole project in a half day and got great-looking results—an even sheen and even coverage. Nice stuff!
— David Radtke, Contributing Editor
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