Intergrain provides various clear acrylic coating for interior and exterior timber. The range includes everything from putty, timber revivers and cleaners right up to stains, oils and pigmented varnishes. We’ve used Intergrain for many interior and exterior house painting project and we found some advantages and disadvantages. The product we are going to take you through today is Intergrain Ultra Deck, having recently used it on a couple of deck maintenance jobs.
First and for most Ultra Deck is a water based product meaning that it is easy to clean up, gentler on the environment and fast drying (compared to traditional decking oils). It has a natural looking finish, what I’d call semi-gloss or satin, and has some inherent pigment to aid in the aesthetics department and tint can be added by your local painting contractor to achieve a darker tone. Intergrain claim that it will not peel, flake or blister however, I have seen otherwise, most likely from improper preparation and cleaning.
Ultra deck can be applied by brush or lambswool applicator only, if you roll it it will aerate the coating and you will get both pigment stipple and air bubbles. You can apply by spray but you need to brush it out immediately and it can be kind of more trouble than it is worth. Being a water based product it will dry on you if you don’t maintain a wet edge. So coat a small area of a time, three to four boards of decking at a time, this will prevent lap marks. It will take 4 hours to tack off for re-coat and best stay off it for 48 hours with shoes etc. Furniture should be left of for at least a week as it may remain tacky.
In terms of maintenance ultra-deck pulls its weight. After twelve months your decking should just need a clean down and one coat, keeping mind that extreme exposure may be different. Ultra deck seems to weather more evenly compared to decking oil however wear and tear in the first month of a freshly coat deck is not great.
Intergrain is up there with the market leaders so you can expect to pay a little more and along with applicators, cleaners and timber revivers it can become an expensive little exercise the first time around. The maintenance is where it comes into its own. You would spend half as much on traditional decking oils but have to do it twice as much. Best off doing it once and doing right.
- Acrylic decking ‘oils’ will last longer than traditional decking oils.
- Maintains colour longer than traditional oils.
- Easy to apply
- Hassle free water wash up
- Same day re-application.
- Environmentally friendly.
- Not as hard wearing as solvent based varnishes
- Certain tannin in the timber can react with acrylic products and cause a bleaching effect.
- Expensive initial cost (on bare timber where three coats are needed)
- Limited selection of colours
- 7 to 30 day moisture sensitivity after application.