While I’m all about doing a job well, I don’t want to get stuck having to do that job any more frequently than I have to. Restaining a deck every year? Um, that’s not on my list of favorite things to do. So when we decided to use Restore 10X to restain our deck, 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.
Yes, 10X or 4X 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. So yes, 10X and 4X Restore can go bad.
Since that time, I’ve also gotten a few comments and emails from readers – some of whom tell me they’ve even been a part of a class action lawsuit against Rustoleum. And these readers tell me that they’ve had a bad go with the Restore product line.
On the flip side, I also get a few readers who tell me they’ve loved the recommendation – and the result!
So… what’s the difference between the two? What determines who gets a good result – and who ends up hating it?
The determining factor: precision
After seeing the 4X and 10X (or similar products) applied on other people’s decks, I think 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.Want to see how you can make sure your deck turns out great, no matter which product you end up using on it? Follow the instructions.Click To Tweet
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. It 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’s 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 affect how it cures. 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 project a success
Look, no matter what 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.
More Home and Garden DIY Resources:
- Home and Garden: Tips, DIY Projects, and Activities
- My Review of Restore 10X and 4X for Deck and Concrete
- Restore 10X Advanced product page
My Must-Have DIY Resources:
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- Live outside fearlessly (and without a sunburn) with the best work hat ever
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