Deck Wars

by West Side Paint and Decorating
FYidoctors in Dunbar
Small Batch Ice Cream

It’s that time of year again! The promise of lazy summer days, relaxing outdoors and soaking up the beautiful BC sunshine are just around the corner. But first, you need to create the oasis, and as they say you only get out of something what you put in. This is especially true when considering getting your deck summer-ready. The question is how much effort should you put in and which products should you sue?

First, let’s look at proper deck preparation. Later, we will focus on staining and the products we recommend.

Approximately 80% of finish failures are due to improper preparation.

Proper preparation results in better adhesion, and a richer looking finish. To ensure a high-quality outcome, stains require a stable, dry surface free of dirt, dust, mildew, loose wood fibres and mill glaze.

Benjamin Moore prep products are ideal to prepare the wood surface for application; they range in price from $21.99 to $36.99. Here is a quick overview of them.

  • REMOVE® – designed to remove peeling oil and latex stains
  • RESTORE® – a bleach-free formula designed to restore greyed and severely weathered wood
  • BRIGHTEN® – removes tannin and rust stains and breaks the mill glaze on new wood
  • CLEAN® – ideal for maintenance cleaning and removing mould and mildew stains

Another great deck prep product we offer is: CUTEK PROCLEAN ($84.99), which has three products in one (cleaner, brightener and restorer) It counteracts the weathering process by eliminating years of discolor­ation from all species of wood. It cleans, brightens and restores wood surfaces back to the appearance.

CUTEK PROCLEAN is exceptional at removing stubborn stains such as tannin stain, resin stains, fungal & algae stains, oil & grease stains, surface greying and many other chemical stains that may destroy the natural beauty of wood.

*Always sand surfaces after washing and allow them to dry thoroughly before staining.

Debby’s Top Tips:

  • Apply ARBORCOAT/CUTEK to all sides prior to construction (if possible).
  • Ensure moisture content is between 13-16%.
  • Check weather forecasts before you begin YOU NEED 4 CONTINUOUS DAYS OF SUN!
  • Use a lint free lamb’s wool/synthetic applicator.
  • Cover vegetation with clear plastic drop sheets for easy clean up.
  • When applying to vertical surfaces, ap­ply from bottom to top.
  • Always work in the direction of the wood grain.
  • Try not to apply REMOVE or stain in direct sun.
  • Get a friend and bribe them with beer/ wine to help you!
  • Play music, it helps make the job more bearable.

Now, let’s look at two different stain types we offer

ARBORCOAT (Benjamin Moore) and Cutek (Austra­lian imported synthetic oil-based wood protection system). Everyone is different, both staining systems offer great results, but it depends on what your spe­cific needs are. If you are unsure, come on by, have a coffee and let’s discuss.

Waterborne Stains ($66.99 – $68.99 per gallon – 200-400 sf)

Waterborne stains clean up easily (with soap and water), dry quickly and provide excellent UV protec­tion, which slows down the fading of wood’s colour, known as greying.

ARBORCOAT waterborne stains are available in four different opacities.

  • Translucent (available in 6 colours only) enriches the beauty of wood with a touch of colour and allows the grain and texture to show through.
  • Semi Transparent (available in 75 colours) allows some of the woodgrain and texture to show through with a bit more colour. All semi transparent colours are also available in a semi solid opacity.
  • Solid Stains cover a majority of imperfections while lightly allowing the texture of the wood to show through. Solid Stains are available in over 3,500 Benjamin Moore colours.

Classic Oil Finishes ($52.99 – $64.99 per gallon)

ARBORCOAT classic oil finishes have been developed to protect exterior siding, decking, fences and out­door furniture from the elements in a range of opac­ities. The unique alkyd formulation enhances the natural beauty of the wood delivering rich colour and long-lasting protection, without obscuring woodgrain or texture.

ARBORCOAT alkyd finishes pene­trate deeper into the wood, provide resistance to cracking and peeling, and are easier to recoat.

ARBORCOAT oil finishes are available in 3 different opacities.

  • Translucent – 6 colours only
  • Semi-Transparent- Colour Preview Colours only
  • Semi-Solid – Colour Preview Colours only

($129.99 per gallon, plus $12.99 for tint)

CUTEK is a synthetic oil-based wood protection system that pene­trates deeply into the wood where it works to control moisture from within.

CUTEK is made in Australia and is imported by DECK SOURCE in Ontario. This outstanding product is ONLY AVAILABLE at West Side Paint & Decorating in Vancou­ver and at Gordons Home Sales in Nanaimo.

CUTEK OILS penetrate deep into the wood and pro­tect from within. They never peel or flake. Mainte­nance is simple – clean and recoat – no sanding or stripping needed. Wood that is left to silver (patina) after coating with CLEAR CUTEK OILS can easily be restored to a natural look even after years of weath­ering.

CUTEK EXTREME is a unique wood protection oil which keeps bamboo, hard and soft woods protected for many years. It comes as a clear synthetic oil, with a choice of 10 CUTEK COLOURTONES that can be added to enhance the natural look and added UV protection of your project.

The most important thing to remember is PREPARATION!

Once you’ve that taken care of, then you need to figure out whether ARBORCOAT or CUTEK is best for you. While nothing beats our in-store customer ser­vice, here are some points to ponder:

  • Colour choice (ARBORCOAT)
  • Price point (ARBORCOAT)
  • Recoating (CUTEK)
  • Maintenance (CUTEK)
  • VOC levels (ARBORCOAT)


Debby is the store manager at West Side Paint & Decorat­ing. She is a trove of information and has hands-on expe­rience of almost all DIY projects you could imagine. Need advice or help with any DIY projects, product types and choosing the correct product for you? Visit Debby in-store today!

West Side Paint & Decorating

3354 Dunbar St, Vancouver BC