How to Avoid Issues with 10X or 4X Restore Deck Paint

Raise your hand if you like doing a job twice… oh, wait. Nobody likes that idea! You see, while I’m all about doing a job well, I don’t want to keep redoing things frequently. Restaining a deck every year? Um, that’s not on my list of favorite things to do.

So when we needed to restain our deck, we were excited to find a product that promised less work. I was excited at the idea of having a home and garden project DONE.

However, as we researched (and since we originally used the product, too), we’ve heard a few stories about people who haven’t had such a great experience with 10X and 4X Restore by Rustoleum. So let’s take a look at when it goes bad – and how to avoid it.

image of a simple house deck with trees at the background

Yes, 10X or 4X Deck Restore can go bad

Now, let me preface this with a disclaimer – I haven’t done a ton of deck comparison lately.

But several years ago (which was 3 months after I’d updated our own back deck where we used to live), we were house hunting. And seeing decks while house hunting is a totally legit way to do some quick research.

While we looked, we saw a lot of great decks and houses. We also saw some decks that, well, let’s just say that things hadn’t turned out as well for them – and they had used some sort of a restore deck paint. Either a 10X and 4X Restore or a competitor brand.

And it had either not been applied well – or it had not performed well. I didn’t apply it, so I couldn’t say for sure where the fault lay. So yes, 10X and 4X Restore can go bad.

Was I aware of a Rustoleum Restore 10X and 4X lawsuit?

No, I wasn’t aware of a class action lawsuit against Rustoleum’s Restore product line. You see, it worked for us.

Since we no longer have a wooden deck after moving (we’ve got a concrete patio), I haven’t kept huge tabs on this product. After all, this was all based on an honest, unsponsored review.

So, on occasion, I search for updates on the product. It looks like the lawsuit has been settled but some folks continue to have issues with the product.

And, there’s some back-and-forth over whether it’s a product issue or an application issue.

So… what’s the difference between the two? What determines who gets a good result – and who ends up hating it?

The determining factor in deck restoration paint: both quality product and precision application

After seeing the 4X and 10X (or similar products) applied on other people’s decks, I think part of the determining factor is this: it’s not applied **exactly** according to the directions.

How do I know that instructions were skipped?

Well, I saw some decks that had been painted – but were missing paint in large swaths across the deck. Rule #1 with this stuff is to apply liberally. Oops.

I saw another deck that looked… odd. It took me a few minutes to put my finger on why the deck looked so… off. They’d painted the cool wood-looking 10X finish across the shortest parts of the boards. In other words, the texturing and wood grain were going in the wrong direction!

It made their solid wood deck look like a very poorly done imitation. And everything looked… off. It was really unsettling until I figured out what the problem was!

Another deck I saw did great on the deck, but they forgot to apply the 4X to large portions of the deck railing. Especially between the rails. That made an otherwise fantastic looking deck look sloppy, unfinished, and like a lot of work needed to be done to fix it. Oops again.

Does that mean that you’ll get a perfect result if you follow the instructions perfectly?

Well, it’s a lot more likely. However, there are factors outside of your control that can still affect the end result. This stuff needs to be put on your deck within a certain temperature range, for example. And humidity will definitely affect how it cures. After all, humidity affects regular paint, too.

Sure, you can do your best to make sure that those factors are accounted for – but unless you can control the weather, surprises can happen.

In other words, follow this one step to make any deck paint project a success

Look, no matter what deck paint project you’re doing, odds are there will be instructions. And, if you want to make life easier on yourself, follow this one step.

It’s just a single, easy step. Are you ready for it?

Read and follow the instructions.

Okay, so if you’re making a new project, you’re probably pioneering your own set of instructions. That’s a lot harder. But if you’re using an existing product or tutorial, there will be instructions. Pray they were well-written, then follow the heck out of them.

And if you’re using the Rustoleum Restore product line, I’ll make life easy for you: here are the 10X Restore Instructions.

Let’s go over a few of them, shall we?

  • The directions say you WILL need two coats. I promise you… they aren’t trying to sell extra 10X; you really DO want two coats. That second coat makes a big difference. The first coat, done right, looks fine. But the second coat? It makes it look great – and makes it last, too.
  • They also say to roll the Restore Roller in only ONE direction. You could ignore this advice, if you want your deck to be pitted, uneven, and missing coverage in areas.
  • Rustoleum also advises rolling along the length of the boards – doing so gives the boards a natural, wood grain look. It looks beautiful. You can roll it across the shorter, narrower parts of the deck, but it makes your deck look like you used some really weird, patch-worked wood to build the deck. It doesn’t look pretty – trust me.
  • Let the 10X and 4x dry before you walk on it – at least 24 hours for light use. Ours ended up needing more than that to dry. We tested it after 24 hours and it wasn’t dry enough. We ended up letting it cure for about 4 days – testing it each day to see if it was ready for regular use. Be sure to test in an inconspicuous area, ‘mkay? You’re welcome.

Those instructions aren’t there to make your life miserable. They’re there to make your deck look amazing. So before you crack open that next can of paint, take a moment to pause. Read the instructions. Re-read them, and then go for it.

Takeaway advice on deck paint projects

Look, no matter which paints you end up choosing, I’ve got some advice for you.

Test it first. Test it in an inconspicuous or small area. That way, you’ll be able to see what it looks like and how it performs on a small scale first.

Then you can decide whether or not to move forward – or to change your plans.

Best of luck, friends.

Cite this article as: “How to Avoid Issues with 10X or 4X Restore Deck Paint.” Kimberly C. Starr, 29 March 2019,

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Make sure you download my printable tips on using 4X and 10X Restore.

By Kimberly C. Starr

I'm a ginger who loves reading, eating, being a nurse, spending time with my family, and writing about it all. I believe humor is the best medicine, followed very closely by chocolate and tacos. To read more about me, click here.