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Good paint for recoating staging decks


Stuart91
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Now is the ideal time of year to repaint our stock of staging decks, before they spend another summer being kicked around muddy fields.

 

I'm struggling to find decent paint for the job. We're overcoating the existing paint, and whilst we can sand down some of the grot we won't be able to get them all down to the bare wood. We're looking for a black matt finish, that's going to be both waterproof and durable.

 

The deck manufacturers have suggested emulsion, which is what they use on the bare wood but won't work for the overcoating. We're going to repaint the entire lot so don't need to worry about the shades matching. Unfortunately most of the obvious marine/outdoor paints have a gloss finish which is no use for this. We could live with satin, but matt would be ideal.

 

I've seen many a theatre stage recoated with Flints' Black paint, but unfortunately it's water soluble so no use for outdoors.

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I spoke to Flints, they told me their standard black "obliteration" paint wouldn't work outdoors but didn't have any other alternative suggestions. I might just not have spoken to the right person. A sealer could make a lot of sense, it's certainly worth the hassle if it's going to help the finish last.
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Water soluable and water resistant / water proof are two completely different things.

 

Indeed. You only have to look at the range of outdoor paints you can buy which wash off your brush with water as an example of this.

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Emulsion isn't water soluble once it's set. Back in the days I was responsible for decking we always used emulsion to repaint it.

 

Is emulsion fine for overcoating? I was under the (possibly mistaken) impression that it was best if it could soak into the wood. Even with the sanding we've done, there's still paint on the majority of the surface.

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with using emulsion paint over an existing layer of paint.

 

Having said that, my preference for floors or decks is mylands vinyl silk. I think it wears better than emulsion, and its just as easy to apply, brushes and rollers cleaned with water. It has a slight sheen, but personally I don't mind that, it's not a gloss, or even a satin. If you wash it with water and Flash (or similar) it won't come to any harm. If it is outside all the time, probably good to use a floor sealer like Bona Mega, though I wouldn't bother for indoor use.

 

painting over old paint, make sure surface is clean and dry, clean off any flakes of old paint, quick sand to provide a key, and you should be OK.

Edited by andy_s
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Thanks, Andy - that's all very helpful.

 

If it is outside all the time, probably good to use a floor sealer like Bona Mega, though I wouldn't bother for indoor use.

 

The decks do a mixture of indoor and outdoor gigs. Most of the outdoor stuff is single-day events, gala days etc. It's not unusual for them to soaked and then put back in a van and not emptied for a day or two. (Imagine a gig on Saturday that doesn't get unloaded until Monday). The original factory finish has lasted OK, our oldest decks are about 8yrs old and it's only now that they've become tatty enough to justify the effort of a complete re-paint.

 

I'm guessing from this that a sealer might not be necessary, but if it buys us more time before the next re-paint then it could be worthwhile.

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Isn't there a "slippery when wet" problem with silk? How do you go on with slip liability if repainting something like this?

 

With "standard"/DIY paints isn't there a conundrum with matt=keyed but poorer water tolerance, silk=smoother/shinier but better water shedding?

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Isn't there a "slippery when wet" problem with silk? How do you go on with slip liability if repainting something like this?

 

We tried some of the "anti-slip" paint on some other decks some years back. The surface ended up like sandpaper, nobody was slipping on it, but it would remove skin every time it got handballed around.

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