Rust-Oleum Deck Restore Review

May 17, 2013 | by Ethan (email) |

Update May, 2014: After a full year, our deck continues to look great and we are very happy with Rustoleum’s product. However, other users have had a poor experience with this product and that is reflected in many of the comments. It is important to note that people visiting who do leave a review are more likely to write a negative review than a positive one. This happens because people only look for reviews on sites like ours after they use a product when that product didn’t perform well. We have not taken the time to analyze all of the use cases, as this product was installed on our deck (and we only have one!). It could be that this product performs better on certain wood species than others, or with certain pre-treatments, or in certain climates. It may fail when being used over top of an existing stain, or over top of newer wood. Given the number of negative reviews below, and the amount of negative user reaction on Rustoleum’s Facebook page (, we encourage you to tread cautiously before proceeding.

Early this year Jocie and I attended a Rust-Oleum media event. They shared information about several products, and the one that really piqued my interest was the Rust-Oleum Deck Restore. They described it as a thick coating that fills gouges and cracks and buries splinters. It also hides imperfections, and the textured surface is slip resistant. In short, Rust-Oleum Deck Restore sounded like the perfect product for my old, weathered deck.

Restore Your Deck with

When Jocie and I purchased our home, the deck was already a bit neglected. It was bad enough that you’d easily get splinters, and subsequently we never spent too much time on the deck. If you know anything about decks, they require periodic cleaning and sealing to combat mother nature. Fred and Kim went through the process with their pine deck and used Behr Premium Deck Sealer. After witnessing their experience, I was convinced composite decking was the way to go. However, the cost for materials to re-board the deck was high enough for me to abandon the idea. Needless to say, I was excited about a low-cost alternative that would enable us to enjoy our deck again.



Rust-Oleum kindly provided enough Deck Restore to cover the horizontal surfaces of our deck and stairs. Deck Restore isn’t intended for vertical surfaces (like balusters) so they also provided a matching solid acrylic stain. Rust-Oleum offers a broad range of color choices, and we selected Saddle. I estimate all the materials cost approximately $450 (Deck Restore, stain, rollers, roller grids).


Preparing the Deck

To get the deck ready, we cleared it off and removed any embedded dirt. Around here the Oak flowers can be a real hassle, and we had to sweep the deck periodically.


The deck needs to be dry before applying Deck Restore so we waited till the next day to resume.


We taped off were the deck meets the house. We also covered the shed underneath the stairs and the HVAC unit underneath the deck.


I went around with a hammer to pound in any nail-pops. I also removed various hardware like the gate latch and some plant hangers.


I put in a bunch of screws to further secure the railing and any boards that had a tendency to bounce.


Applying Rust-Oleum Deck Restore

Deck Restore is very thick, and we used a lot more product than I expected. Rust-Oleum states that a four gallon pail covers about 100 square feet with two coats. It’s applied with the Restore rollers which are a polyester honeycomb roller designed to help texture the surface of the deck boards.


I rolled it on in the direction of the deck boards, and I was pleased to see it fill in so many cracks. I also rigged up a painters tool for edging the boards. More on that later though.



While the first coat dried, I went to work on the stairs.


Four hours later I was back applying the second coat, making sure to fill in missed areas like the one pictured below.


I found that letting the Deck Restore dry enough to walk on and using a garden hoe to cut the gap between boards worked really well. It resulted in nice, clean lines.


The Finished Product

We found that the deck needed a little more than 48 hours to completely dry. It’s only been a few days since the work was completed, but already I’m extremely pleased with results. The deck looks like a hybrid between composite and wood. All the cracks are filled in creating a nice, even surface. Plus, I’m not worried about splinters anymore.







302 Responses
  1. Brady says:

    You said you used more than expected. How big is the deck and how much did you use?
    The deck looks great.

    • Ethan says:

      Great question Brady. We used five 3.75 gall buckets, and we still have about 1/3 of a bucket left over. Our deck and stairs equate to about 325 sq. ft.

      • James McHugh says:

        Hi! I just found your link to Rust-Oleum Deck Restore Review. I noticed that it was applied last year and was wondering if it held through the winter and part of this summer. We are interested in using Rustoleum or Behr. Do you have any feedback?


        • Steven Meadows says:

          My wife and I applied Restore to our 10 year old deck in August 2013. We were pleased by the appearance & non slip surface after the job was completed. However, recently we noticed, especially on the railings, that the product has started to bulge up and crack. Has anyone had any similar problems? We followed the instructions for application as directed. It looks like we will have to remove the bulges( some abut 8 10 inches long) and re-apply. Any suggestions/

        • Dolly Hoffman says:

          This products peeled off in sheets over the winter. We now have to redo. We followed the instructions to the letter. Not pleased with this product at all. Expensive and anot lasting.

        • c quin says:

          I too did my deck with rustoleum deck paint. We had a lot of snow and a very cold winter. As soon as it melted I was horrified to see that the deck paint came up in sheets! I don’t know what to do. I spent many hours and a lot of energy and a lot of dollars last summer. What a disaster!

        • Beth says:

          My husband and I used this product on our deck and stairs in early summer of 2013. We followed the directions to the tee. By beginning of winter 2013 we saw several places where the paint had begun to chip and peel. After a long, hard winter the deck now is absolutely awful! There is absolutely no paint in so many areas. We spent so many hours in the hot sun using this product and now we have to redo it ONE year later! We also had to use a lot more product than what was indicated. Our deck just soaked it up. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT!

        • Edward Erslev says:

          I have some unbelievable problems with the product less than a year after applying. The surface has actually started to flake off in large pieces ALL OVER THE DESK. This is a unbelievable and then I just learned they have come out with a new product. Something is very wrong I have pictures and pieces if anyone wants tosee

        • reagen says:

          DO NOT USE this PRODUCT. I followed instructions to a T, even sanding my old deck. Less than 12 months later, it is chipping in large flakes!!!!

        • Edward Erslev says:

          Total deck flaked and came off. Major Problem DO NOT PURCHASE

        • Edward Erslev says:

          It did not even make it through the winter and by now May 2014 it is almost totally gone off our deck and on some of the top rails of the deck. This is a major major major failure product and they don’t sell it any more

      • Sheri says:

        you mentioned you used 5 – 3.75 Gallon buckets…..was that for one coat or two??? I know they recommend 2….I am writing this in July 2014….Are you still happy with the product??? Any peeling?? As far as prep work, did you sand or fill in cracks or get rid of previous stain????? Thanks for any info you can give me– – – – Sheri

        • Ed says:

          1. It’s still June Sheri….not July….
          2. You sound like you may be interested in using this crap.

          All I can say is ..Check your calendar and DO NOT USE RESTORE!!!!!!!!!

    • Janet Barbossa says:

      How does rustoleum deck paint hold up to shoveling the snow year after year?

      Thank you
      Janet Barbossa

      • Beth says:

        It does not hold up! Doesn’t even need snow or shoveling – just your typical rain shower causes the paint to chip. Do yourself a favor and do not use this product.

    • Pat Mills says:

      We have a long painted driveway under a carport in Sarasota FL. It has had several coats of paint and is pealing & unsightly. Will the Concrete Restore work on this?

      We also have a garage floor inn IN that has cracks. How about this?

      • Mary says:

        The company says that this product is not for concrete on drveways due to the heat of the tires will melt the application and eventually peel off.

    • connie hinerman says:

      We used it last year — loved the finish….BUT, it did not weather ONE winter…bubbled up, peeled

      TERRIBLE product

    • cindy says:

      I used this product and it flake just after 6 months not happy with this now I have the cost to strip and re due cindy

  2. Kind of looks like it’s coated with a tan Rhino Lining or Line-X (truck bed liner). What does the hand rail feel like? Chunky? You’ll have to comment back at the end of summer or next summer about how it has held up.

    • Ethan says:

      I hadn’t though about bed liners but you’re right, it does look (and feel) like that. The rail is a little rough, and I think back-brushing it for a smoother finish may have been a good idea. It’s not uncomfortably chucky. I’m really curious how it stands up over the summer- will it loose adhesion, wear through?

      • Joyce street says:

        I have brick pavers that are cemented in. Can I use rustoleum restore on it? if not, do you have any suggestions?

  3. Walty says:

    How many sq ft and how long did it take you?

    • Ethan says:

      I estimate about 325 sq. ft. and it took me and Jocie about 10 hours altogether. That time includes prep, taping and applying.

      • Jocie says:

        I think it took more than 10 hours combined work….maybe more like 14. but so worth it. When we refinished the deck several years ago (striped and sanded) it took way longer than this!

  4. byeedo says:

    Do you have to maintain it now or is it maintenance-free like a composite deck?

    • Ethan says:

      Composite is almost maintenance free, and the maintenance Rust-Oleum recommends for Deck Restore sounds similar- mild cleaner, brush and water. They do state that diluted bleach can be used for difficult stains. Also, it’s important to avoid high-pressuring washing as that can damage the coating.

      • Sherri says:

        I read another review that they used a regular roller instead of the textured one Restore recommends. It still had the slip proof texture, was much smoother. She also diluted it with water…about 1 cup per gallon. I read it has been a couple of years and it still looks beautiful.

        • RobinM61 says:

          Using the flat roller would probably work fine, but I bet any “guarantee/warranty” about the length of the durability of the product will be voided by the addition of water to thin the product…

  5. KatieQ says:

    I was excited to read your post. My husband and I have been considering using Restore on the deck at our summer house, but have been hesitant. After reading your post, we have decided to go ahead with it.

    • Ethan says:

      I really am impressed with it so far. The horizontal surfaces of a deck take the most beating, and that’s what this product targets.

      • RobinM61 says:

        I have been researching the best way to restore our deck and have narrowed it down to the Restore and Encore. I watched videos at both the Restore and the Encore sites on application (it looks like prep is about the same, but Encore has an additional step of applying an Encore primer made to help the wood and the Encore bond). The Encore product doesn’t require painting the wood between the cracks at all, while the Restore suggests painting the cracks first with the stain used for the uprights, applying with a brush and doing the staining of the uprights first–did you do this or just apply the deck restore?

  6. Mickey says:

    Looks like a promising product. I really like the idea, just not sure I like the look (or probably the feel) on the hand rails. Do you know if it would adhere to a deck that has been stained already? I’m thinking of maybe doing just the floor boards and use regular stain on the hand rails and balusters. Also, if you didn’t score the gaps between the boards would the product have really dried over them? Thanks again for another useful post!

    • Ethan says:

      Hey Mickey,

      I can understand your point about the rails. Ours were in such bad shape that I considered replacing them before doing this. However, the Deck Restore was able to fill in most of the cracks and splinters, and I’m glad we applied it to the rail. You can back-brush the coating to create a smoother surface.
      For a deck that’s been stained, if it’s still beading water, you’ll need to strip it to ensure good adhesion.
      And yes the gap between boards was almost non-existent in a few areas so if I didn’t score / cut the gap it wouldn’t be there.

  7. OurPinterestingFamily says:

    Looks like a great product. Your deck looks beautiful.

  8. poiboybf says:

    You could probably smooth down the railings with a random orbital sander I’d think. I love the color you chose. Deck doesn’t look neglected anymore! Enjoy the summer on it.

    • Ethan says:

      I thought about that too. I’m also curious if a little ‘weathering’ will knock down some of the texture so I decided to wait and see. However, Rust-Oleum claims it’ll last 12 years so I gotta think it’s pretty durable.

      • Mary says:

        We have had this applied to our deck for two years now and still looks the same as the day we applied it. Also, no mold or mildew issues. We get mold and mildew on everything else except this stuff.

  9. MissFixIt says:

    Never seen this product before I’m curious to see how it looks as the years pass.

  10. feep says:

    What kind of traction do you get when this is wet?

    • Mary says:

      This stuff is great even when wet. We have a pool and the kids dont slip anymore. We used it as a last resort before neediing to tear it down. WHen this no longer is good in ten year or sooner if money available we will replace. We applied it two years ago and still looks great and the paint has held up through snow, rain and sun. Regarding the sun, it does get hot on the feet. No problem my kids just wear slippers. This solved our problems and the deck is great. We applied Glidden porch paint and in less than a year pealed, so our deck was really bad. And we had resanded and everything. The porch paint did nothing and the Restore did everything we needed. I live in Atlanta, GA

  11. trebor says:

    The review is interesting because I need to refinish my deck at some point too. However, I’m not sure something textured like Restore is what I’m looking for. I also need something that will withstand pretty hot summers (100+ degrees is fairly common).

  12. JustME says:

    Ethan, it’s nice to see that you’ve used this product and liked it too since we bought some last spring for the front porch. I got it all prepped and ready to go, but between a rainy spring, a wedding, a drought and the high heat of last summer into fall it never happened. I know someone from HT that did a porch last summer and is pleased enough with it that she’s doing more decking this spring. I’m anxious to get ours finished now that our vacation is behind us. Hopefully the weather will cooperate this year. 🙂

  13. I’ve been curious to see the Deck Restore put to the test, and I’m glad that the honest and reliable review comes from you guys at OPC! Like everyone else, the texture on the hand rails would probably drive me nuts, but I think it’s perfect for adding traction on the decking boards and steps! Nothing worse then slippery deck boards! Great review, thanks Ethan!

  14. JustME says:

    I just heard back from my friend that used Restore last summer and she said it survived their winter quite well. They don’t get allot of ice and snow, but they got some and it’s still looking and preforming great.

  15. Reuben says:

    I didn’t know this product existed. It looks pretty cool. you didn’t say much about how you stained the spindles, yet, I imagine that being the hardest part of the job, or at least the most labor intensive. The end result looks great.

    • Ethan says:

      Staining the spindles was very straight-forward (and tedious).

    • Mary bRice says:

      We have an old deck, but have recently expanded it with, or course, treated lumber. I’ve read that this product cannot be used on new treated lumber. Is there any way that new part can have a “primer” or something put on it so that the entire deck can be done at the same time. Thanks.

  16. bigredmachine says:

    Now this is an overdue product. I can see this being very popular.

  17. Jake says:

    Been looking into this for my deck. Not sure how it will work though as my deck is a little more weathered than yours. I will still need to replace a few deck boards as I have a couple that are cracked in half. Maybe I’ll do a test spot to see how it works first.

    • Ethan says:

      One of the nice things is you can replace as many boards as necessary, coat everything with Restore, and you’ll still have a nice, consistent look in the end.

  18. supimeister says:

    I had seen this done before on a friend’s deck and was wondering what they had done… I am really impressed they say it will last 12 years… I am skeptical, but that will be impressive if/when it does!

  19. HANDYMAN51 says:

    Although the texture on the step’s handrails might feel strange to some, it could greatly improve the ability to prevent a fall, which might be more likely now with improved friction on the steps. It would probably be a good idea to warn less mobile users of the deck to be aware that the boards will have a ” rubberized” feeling. My parents would likely trip and fall on this. My mom has MS and can’t pick her feet up very well when walking. Nothing would spoil a nice day on the deck like a trip to the ER! ( I like the looks of the deck! I wonder if cleaning off bird droppings might be more challenging with the textured surface?)

    • JustME says:

      Good point about a rough surface not being good for everyone Handyman. You can brush over Restore to give it a smoother finish though. I think that’s what I’ll do for our front porch once it stops raining since it’s used most often by delivery men. I wouldn’t want any of them to misstep and fall. Thank you for bringing this up.

    • Mack says:

      Handyman51, the “bird droppings” issue is one I hadn’t thought of…hopefully, just a simple spray with a hose and a little dawn detergent on the spot will take care of that.
      We just put this product down on a 6 X 6 area of our deck (that’s as far as the gallon went), we’ll probably need 5/ 3 gal. containers to complete the job.
      I’m hoping the coating holds up to moving chairs around on it, etc.

    • NMLady says:

      I was thinking the textured surface would make it safer for my disabled mom. She has slipped several times on her ramp and I was hoping to use this to add texture to the surface.

  20. Ron says:

    I got my deck power sprayed and was ready to put this stuff down on my deck. I went to Lowes (I live in the Midwest) and was told that they discontinued stocking it in our region. She had no idea why. Anyone know why that might be?

    • Ethan says:

      Let me get in touch with my Rust-Oleum contact…

    • JustME says:

      Ron, have you tried HoDe? That’s where we got ours. Granted it was last year so you might want to call the store first. They do still have in via the web.

    • Roy,

      I am sorry to hear that. Unfortunately some Lowe’s stores are no longer carrying Rust-Oleum Deck & Concrete Restore. However, all Home Depot stores carry it.

      • Susan says:

        We’ve got it at both Lowes and Home Depot here in my city in NC. I’ve found it’s a bit cheaper at HD. I’ve been preparing my deck today and will apply the restore tomorrow. I’m excited about trying it.

      • Ed says:

        Rust-Oleum Steph:

        Are you directly associated with Rustoleum?

    • Joe says:

      Lowes has in-store displays for their version and they are looking to push that on patrons. Home Depot tried the same thing early this year, hoping to substitute their Behr product for it. Home Depot quickly realized there was a following to Restore and that people were walking out, going to ACE and other local distributors of the product, and restocked their stores.

      I am in the middle of doing my 500 square foot deck as I write this response. I searched for drying time because my first coat is still wet and I was looking to see what others have experienced.

      I am not disappointed in the product at all, in fact it delivers on the claims. My deck was installed in 1986 and was stained dark brown to match the house trim. It was mostly useless due to the heat on sunny days. Even after the sun went behind the house the air temperature on the deck was 20 or more degrees above the ambient temperature.

      So as the stain began to wear in patches we appreciated the lower temperature. I had for years planned to change to composite, but the cost took the project off the list time and time again. like most here, when I came across this concept I was excited. I did my obligatory 3 months of research, and after looking at all the offerings I went with Restore. I like the thicker coating, particularly for my VERY splintered deck.

      I too will be using the deck product on the rails for the same reason, heavy splintering, but I am going to back brush it to make it smoother.

      So far coverage seems to be right on the mark. I am covering 100 square feet per 4 gal. container with the first coat.

      • Joe says:

        So here we are on August 25th and I have finally cleaned my brushes for the last time!

        I have to say that above all, Rustoleum has stood behind their product, and Home Depot has accommodated each and every issue with a smile on their face.

        This has been a tremendous learning experience for me. I am no neophyte when it comes to painting. The most simple terms I can put this in is that it is not painting….nothing you have experienced before will help you here. That said, I am very happy with the final result. Unfortunately it was quite the journey to get here.

        I started by following the on line instructions, meticulously cleaning every surface with a power washer. I corrected raised boards, filled knot holes and sank protruding nails. After about a week of preparation I was satisfied I had done everything necessary to assure success.

        Rolling out the first coat was a work-out. It was in the mid 90’s, high humidity and my deck is in direct sun. As you remove the saturated roller from the bucket it probably weighs about 8 pounds. Remember, this is a coating, not a paint, so as you roll you need to apply as little pressure as possible to flow excess material ahead of the roller. Too much pressure will thin the coating and reduce the ability to cover splintering and long term resiliency.

        I was warned about the long dry time, but it’s different to experience it. Again, my mindset was based on decades of experience with paint, and I never had a paint that needed days to dry. Of course no paint ever went on with this volume, or to this depth. As I waited for it to dry so I could roll the second coat I thought about the material and the process. In effect, this is very similar to concrete.

        Concrete? Yes, concrete. Think about it, what is concrete? It’s a dry mixture of a fine aggregate (sand) a bonding agent (cement) and if you wish, a colorant. Concrete is brought to life by adding water, mixing well and settling it into a form where it cures over time. In fact concrete can take as long as 4 months to fully cure. It’s an amazing process where the cement molecules settle in between the aggregate like a jigsaw puzzle with a hundred billion pieces. The longer it stays damp, the stronger those bonds. That’s why you often see cement being sprayed with a fine mist on highway projects.

        In the case of Restore, the aggregate is a crystalline structure created for this product that maximizes the ability of the polymer based cement to bond with it, creating a true polymer based concrete with the colorant of your choice. Even a sand paint does not have the ability to bond at the molecular level.

        With the first coat hardened, I rolled the second coat. My original thought was to brush it out for the smoother finish, but given the effort it took, the requirement for rolling only in one direction, and the short time it took for this to get tacky in the heat, I went with the roller finish. The second coat rolled out in about half the time of the first since all the holes and cracks were now filled, and the new surface was easier to flow the coating over than the 25 year old weather beaten wood.

        In less than a week from the application of the first coat I started to notice spots appearing through the light colored coating (rattan). I contacted the Rustoleum people on their support line and pleasantly surprised that someone actually picked up the phone right away. I explained the spots, some black and some orange, and there was an immediate recognition of my problem. More than a recognition, they immediately assumed responsibility for it.

        I was told that the issue was the galvanize coating on the nails was no longer inhibiting rust and that being a water based product, as the coating cured, it was expelling moisture and causing the nails to rust. That rust was leeching through the still curing product and staining it. (see, I told you there was molecular activity in the curing process 😉 ) The representative told me this is a known problem, and that they have not done a very good job of getting this information out to the stores and the consumers using the product. They are in the process of modifying their instructions and demonstration videos so as to address the “old nail issue”.

        The new recommendation is to coat the nails with a zinc based rust inhibitor PRIOR to rolling the first coat. This renews the rust protection and creates a barrier to the Restore coating. Unfortunately, I now had about 1/4 inch of some very hard product covering my nails. I was told to use a good quality primer/sealer over the Restore, then use the Vertical Restore over the primer. (Vertical restore is their vertical stain for the rails, siding, etc)

        They made arrangements with my local Home depot and between them I was provided, at no charge, three gallons of Killz Complete and three gallons of Vertical Restore.

        This year has been quite wet in NJ, so I had many days lost to waiting for a window that allowed for the proper drying time. So over the next few weeks I rolled two coats of Killz, and two coats of Vertical Restore. Four days after the last coat was completed, we had another series of thunderstorms. When the storms cleared I was appalled to find the two coats of stain had, in several places, separated from the Killz primer. It was elastic as if it had never cured, but it was dried in several days of sun, and dry by any standard. Over the next few days another issue became apparent. The Vertical Restore was wearing off as you walked on it. Since the surface was textured, it was the high points that showed the wear, leaving white dots across the surface of the deck. As a note, the Killz sis not wear. It was that coating providing the white dots through the top coat.

        Back to the help line……

        Again, I was able to speak with a very helpful gentlemen who did not hesitate in apologizing that he could do nothing about my labor, but he would gladly arrange for me to pick up another 16 gallons of Deck Restore at no charge. I was not surprised at the need to coat the deck yet again, and pleased that Rustoleum continued to stand behind the product to assure a satisfactory outcome. A trip to Home Depot and four more pails of coating…..

        A favorable forecast for the next 4 days gives me the opportunity to roll my latest batch of product. Since I had ample undercoating, I was advised there was no need for a second coat. Having now spent months on this, I decided a few more hours and a few more Aleive would be worth the outcome of a smoothed surface. So rather than using the roller on the pole, I got down and rolled it on small sections, brushing the finish to a final smoothness and texture similar to a sidewalk.

        In the end I am very happy, and even lost a few pounds from the extra work. The Deck Restore has bonded to the Vertical Restore without issue and is now two weeks into curing. It is literally as hard as concrete and provides a wonderful surface. We are back to enjoying a deck that had aged into an instrument of pain. I couldn’t get to my grill without bringing part of the deck back in the house with me, one splinter at a time. Now the dog and the grandchildren are welcome to run across the deck without fear of minor surgery.

        As I am a glutton for punishment, I chose to go two tone, with the lighter color on the surface, but the original brown on the railings, balusters and fascia. That meant cutting in at each of the 140 balusters. As a note, the Vertical Restore worked well on the wood surfaces. It dried as expected, so there was clearly an issue placing it over the Killz. I had expressed concerns to that effect at Home Depot, and I should have went with my instinct by just using the Deck Restore over the Killz in the first place. But you can only disagree so long with people that are giving you free stuff…

        In closing, don’t hesitate to use Restore. It will extend the life of your deck well past traditional norms. However, do so with an abundance of caution when preparing the surface. Do not take any short cuts and mostly, no matter what your nails or screws look like, be sure to apply that zinc based rust inhibitor prior to the product. Doing so will assure you are enjoying the new deck after 2 coats, not the 7 I had to apply to resolve this issue.

        • Melinda says:

          WOW……We have a second home that we have been making our own for the last two years. Actually, IT the home, is what inspired me to start a blog. We have finally made it to the back of the house. Just painted the exterior of the sunroom and replaced trim. Now, the deck looks worse that ever….up against everything that is so Fresh. So, I had seen this product in Lowes and thought I would get online and see what I could find out about it……OMGOSH, If I had done all that work and got rusty spots and can’t even describe what a fit it would have sent me into! As, all my projects are scheduled around my visits, I can’t imagine redoing anything. So, what kind of Zinc based Inhibitor did you use? Thanks for your story.

        • Joe says:


          Because the inhibitor was not used, it was concluded that a sealer was the way to go for me. So we used Killz Complete before doing the final coat of Restore.

          As I understand it, any zinc based inhibitor will do.

    • Beth says:

      I think it may be because the product is a rip off!

  21. Ron says:


  22. Tom says:

    Finding the home depot web site has it as discontinuted. What is going on with it?

  23. Mary Jo Phillips says:

    My husband and I put this product on our deck last summer. We live on west side of an island by the water in the Pacific Northwest. It has done beautifully. I do a little touch up on spots this summer. But other than that it is wonderful.

  24. Mnblondee says:

    How do you think this product will hold up with 3 dogs that like to run across a deck? We have lots of current claw marks.

    • Ethan says:

      Hmm… I’m not sure. I think it’ll be fine because we can “drag” chairs over it without any problems, but without actually having dogs, I can’t say.

  25. jossr says:

    I used this product today and I am exhausted. The ads for the product sold me because I have a small 100 sq. ft. platform deck without rails that was wearing. Since this is a rental property, I thought I’d better protect it before any new tenants and 10 years seems ideal . I knew that this would be a 3 day project from prep, first coat, then second coat. I thought the two can kit would be enough for the entire job, wrong. That roller barely lasted the whole job, and the paint seemed to thicken as time went on and the texture became so sandy that I thought it would just blow away. However, I barely was able to complete the first coat with the kit. Since this is rental property, I had not planned to invest more than the cost of the kit $39.00 on sale at HD. It was dusk when I finished, so I can’t really tell how it looks beyond the color. Do I have to put on a second coat? I put it on thick (like I had a choice) and the thought of revisiting that goo is making me quite sad. I do like the color and it did fill in the cracks quite nicely. My plans of doing my 288 sq. ft. deck went out the window even if it looks like a million dollars. That’s too much work!

    • Ethan says:

      I think it’s worth the second coat because it’ll better fill in any deep cracks and ensure complete coverage with a consistent texture. I completely understand what you mean about the product getting thicker over time. Did you periodically remix it at all?

    • stacey says:

      Jossr, I just had my contractor use this product on my deck this past weekend. Its a small 8×8 deck and he went through 2 rollers and had to cut one in half because our home depot didnt sell the 4″. It was so labor intensive.. and the video does not show how to get around the posts on the deck. After 2.5 coats it looks okay. although it was too wet to separate the planks.. perhaps when the sun heats it I can do that.. but there is also a small roller streak that I doubt we can get out.. so we have to live with it.. the video makes it look so easy.. and well, its not.

  26. jossr says:

    Thanks, I’m on my way to buy another kit. I read that if you let it sit for several days it thickens and it needs to be remixed and that stirring isn’t enough. So, hopefully, it will go on a little easier to apply. However, I don’t know about that roller.

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Ethan, We’re getting ready to use Restore on our old weathered deck. I read somewhere that if the mixture seems to be drying out too fast, you can mist the deck with a spray bottle as you go to help it adhere better, or even add a tiny bit of water to the mix. Did you have any experience with this when you used the product? I think the problems I read about were due to very high temperatures, which we don’t have yet. I’m anxious to get started! Thanks for taking the time to share!

    • Ethan says:

      You’re right that Rust-Oleum recommends misting / adding a small amount of water to prevent Deck Restore from drying out too fast. We didn’t, and the temperature here in Maryland was fairly mild. Even so, we noticed the Deck Restore getting thicker so you might consider adding a small amount of water even if the temps in your area aren’t too high yet.

  28. supimeister says:

    I definitely just recommended my friend to check this article out – it seems like a lifesaver for anyone whose deck has aged…

  29. JIM says:


    • Ethan says:

      Check the label to see what it says about storing the product. My guess it it’ll store much like latex paint, and you shouldn’t let it freeze.

  30. Fandam says:

    Our deck was previously painted. Should all the paint be removed or just the loose paint before applying deck-restore?

    • Ethan says:

      The Restore FAQ is a good resource for questions like this. Per their instructions, you should remove all flaking or peeling paint, glossy surfaces must be sanded, and any water sealer must be removed to ensure good adhesion.

  31. Uh60pilot says:

    Can I dilute the material enough to use on vertical surfaces and avoid buying the product made for vertical surfaces (sounds like a marketing trap). My vertical surfaces were previously painted and I can’t (won’t) strip them enough to use the Restore Stain.

    • Ethan says:

      If you have product leftover from doing the horizontal surfaces, I’d try a small test. Rustoleum doesn’t recommend it though.

      • steph says:

        I just applied this over the weekend and I was able to use it on vertical surfaces. Just make sure you don’t have too much product in the roller as it may drip and work in smaller sections. Since I have a hanging deck and I was on the ladder below. I rolled down on the first pass and then stopped when I ran out of product. I will say that it turned out great!

  32. Karen says:

    After reading lots of reviews, good and bad, we’ve decided to use a product called Encore instead of Restore. It’s supposed to be easier to work with, smoother, cooler to walk on, and it’s guaranteed as long as you own your house. It might be worth checking into if Restore doesn’t check all your boxes.

    • Thomas says:

      I checked the Encore website, it said 4-5 years then has to be reapplied again? I applied Restore to my deck and although the application process was twice the effort as regular staining I love the end product. Our large dog has no effect on the surface and it is the perfect combination non-slip and appearance. We get several compliments, I only wish I would have used this stuff a long time ago. One thing to keep in mind if you decide to use Restore is work slowly, take your time prepping the deck and watch the video on application. Again highly recommend 🙂

      • Karen says:

        Hi Thomas, thanks for sharing your experience. The Encore website says it’s guaranteed for as long as you own your home, and for commercial properties its 10 years. It is possible that somewhere else on the website, or maybe on another review it says it will need to be reapplied. I’ll check it out further before we buy. Thanks again and I’m glad you’re enjoying your deck!

  33. Deb says:

    I live in Corpus Christi, Texas (humid, salty air) and have a saltwater pool, 4 bird dogs (German Shorthair), combination of concrete, stone and cool decking (around pool). I would like to use this product on the concrete and cool decking – does anyone have a suggestion on applying Restore to cool decking? It sounds as if being slippery when wet, is not an issue, nor dogs leaving scratch marks when running across, but what about being hot to walk on? Would Restore perform the same as stained concrete ( the darker colors being too hot to walk on)?

  34. Melissa says:

    I do not see anything about color of the product…

  35. Richard Leach says:

    On the railings, to smooth out the sandy feeling, can you use a smooth roller or do it by brushing

  36. Lee Walters says:

    I have a 400 sq ft with Futura Stone over Plywood. Hate the Futura Stone and was considering tearing it all up and tiling this year, but am wondering if the Restore would work well over Futura Stone. Would be a lot less work and much much cheaper than laying down 400 ft of backer board and tile.

  37. maxman says:

    You state that “Rust-Oleum kindly provided enough Deck Restore to cover the horizontal surfaces…” . What’s up with that? I would also give a positive review of the product. How long will it last? When that time is up, what is involved with re-doing it?

    • Ethan says:

      Lots of companies provide product for our testing, and it doesn’t equate to a positive review at all. In fact, I shared that information because we strive to be transparent with our readership.

      Rust-Oleum states that Deck Restore will last for 12 years (and I’m curious if it really does).

  38. Colleen says:

    Can this product be used to freshen a wooden fence? How about pressure steps and hand rails? Thank you…

    • Ethan says:

      They don’t recommend this product for vertical surfaces (like a fence). I’m not sure what pressure steps are, but we did use it on the top of our handrails too.

  39. bella says:

    hi, we just sold our hottub that isnt used anymore,, and have a large, never stained area, and the rest of the deck has been stained every few years,, just with a translucent stain…also have 2 large dogs with claw marks all over the deck,,,,

    do we need to strip the deck, and if so,, what does one use to remove that kind of stain

  40. Megan says:

    I’ve read plenty of reviews on this product and I’ve heard that after using it the deck feels like you’re walking on rocks because of the texture even after backbrushing. What has your experience been? I’ve watched the videos and so many people are saying to add water to make it go on easier, did you do this?

    Finally, if I try and pressure wash it the deck boards will shred since they are in bad shape (not rotten yet). Thoughts on if this will even be worth it?

  41. Jessica says:

    Another question from the random bin…did you consider the new DeckOver from Behr? It is not supposed to get as “hot” as the Deck Restore, but have you found your deck too “hot” or are you situated in the shade? Also if you did consider the other product why did you choose this product instead of the Behr one? Thx.

  42. Jack says:

    The label says that this product can be sprayed on….i’m thinking not.

  43. Beth says:

    Love it! I just finished an 800 sq. foot deck. It does everything it says it does. I did thin it down using 1 cup of water per gallon. You can not rush applying this product. It is a very slow application process. I turned each container upside down for about 15 minutes prior to opening. I also used a mixing tool in a drill to mix it. There is no way one could mix this with a paint stirrer. Spread it naturally by not putting pressure on your roller. Dries fairly fast. It does cover the amount of sq. foot quoted on the container if applied properly. It is textured and dries to a non slip surface. A little rough to bare feet but not unbearable. My deck surrounds a swimming pool. My deck looks GREAT! No more splinters or cracks in the boards. I hope it lasts as long as it claims it will. It is warranted for 12 years. So far it is well worth the money spent on it.

    • Diane Banks says:

      My deck is 800 sq ft too. How much did you use? How many “kits”? Does it get hot in the sun? We live in Northern MIchigan and have lots of snow. Any clue how it holds up?

      • jeannie Damron says:

        PEELING OFF HUGE WRAP AROUND PORCH ON HISTORIC HOME. $1000.00 DOLKARS WORTH IF RESTORE AND $800.00 LABOR – 6 months old. Don’t waste your time or money.

  44. Sandeep Sood says:

    My deck is fairly new (around 8 years old). I’m debating on between Behr’s DeckOver or this product (Rust-Oleum Deck Restore). Can somebody please comment on it?

  45. Uh60pilot says:

    I just completed my deck using the restore product. I used the thick gritty stuff for the horizontal surfaces and the stain for the vertical. I actually did some of my vertical areas with the deck restore even though it is not recommended and it turned out fine. The process is slow but if it lasts as long as they claim it will be worth it. if it doesn’t, And ends up lasting only as long as conventional paint or stain I will be furious. All indicators so far support the claim for durability over many years.
    I was most disappointed in the roller applicators. The material pulled apart and I found myself picking roller material out of my paint. I went through 4 or 5 rollers while doing a 600+ square foot deck.
    As for how the material feels on your bare feet, I kind of like it! It is all about expectation management. The real thing turned out much grittier feeling then the samples at Home Depot indicate but I am ok with that.
    I too put the deck restore on my railings which I wish I could undo. I like the texture on my feet but I don’t like the feeling for my hands or my forearms when I lean against the rail.

  46. Donna Landon says:

    Has any tried to do a design with the restore. ? I’am thinking of doing our walk way but not in a single color ( boring ) thinking of 2 or 3 color’s.

  47. Joel says:

    Has anyone applied Restore to a new deck? Installed last summer in the Midwest and ready to stain this summer. I obviously don’t have the cracks and splinters yet but it sounds like it might be easier to start with this product rather than a normal stain (was doing a solid stain from Sherwin Williams) that might have to be stripped off down the road to go to Restore or a similar product. Also, does this product fill the deck screws and seal them over? If so, anyone worried about replacing boards down the road with it much more difficult to locate all of the screws?

    Thanks for any feedback

    • Uh60pilot says:

      You can use a smooth roller for a smoother finish. It will still have a non slip texture but it will be as smooth as th roller you use. The product does cover up all the screw holes so relplacing boards in the future will be a very difficult job!

  48. Moe says:

    I really prefer a simi smooth surface, is it possible to brush it on to aviod extreme texturing? How about using a very thin roller. Any info is appreciated.

  49. I’ve read all the reviews on decks but has anyone out there used this on concrete? Our driveway is cracked and aging so we wondered if we could get a few more years out of it by using this product. If anyone has tried this on a driveway or walkway I’d sure like to hear about your experience.

    • Uh60pilot says:

      The product is somewhat misleading. One of the pictures in the brochure shows this product used n concrete but in the directions is states not for anything that a vehicle will drive on. I think it is primarily for sidewalks and concrete patios.

      • Jimbo37 says:

        “not for anything that a vehicle will drive on.

        The Rust-Oleum site at shows a picture of a driveway and says:

        An advanced coating formulated to beautify and protect unsightly driveways. This cutting edge formula features the latest polymer technology.”

        There appears to be some conflicting information between these two sources.

  50. Chris says:

    Ethan – thanks for sharing. I’m about to stain my deck, which has a solid stain on it now (except where it has peeled or been scraped Dow to bare pressure treated wood). I find myself needing to stain (really paint) the deck every couple of years. We are in upstate New York, and we have cold snowy winters, very hot summers and lists of rain. Plus it is on the south side of the house – gets lots of sun. Deck is over 400 square feet, so composite would be hugely expensive. I saw this product today at Home Depot and I’m intrigued. My main question is what it feels like to walk on it in bare feet. Our deck leads to a pool, so we are frequently on it without shoes. It looks like it might be very uncomfortable to walk on?

  51. steev says:

    I am getting ready to do my deck and a friend of mine has done his. This may help you next time but he said he used a 1/4″ nap roller for the second coat and it gave a mostly smooth surface with just enough texture for the grip with out the sand paper feel to it. Your deck looks great I hope mine looks just as good, now if the rain will only stop.

    • Steve says:

      Just put down the first coat and i like the way it looks so far. Rolling it on was easy; but it just took a few times to find the proper starting point and how much to load on the roller to make sure i did not have extra material rolling off the edge. the second coat wil have to wait because they are calling for rain this weekend.

  52. Bob m says:

    My deck is over my neibors. Did you have any/ much leak tru?

    • Uh60pilot says:

      It depends a lot on how your deck boards are spaced. I did a second floor balcony off the master bedroom and the product leaked through to the patio below because my boards were spaced far enough apart. If you use a smaller roller about the width of one plank you can probably control the amount off waste that drips through the crack. I did this in some areas by taking the standard 9 inch roller and cutting down to the width of a small roller.

  53. Kathleen says:

    Help! I painted my first coat of Restore yesterday and it rained last night. My deck is splotchy and VERY sandy! Will the second coat fix this?

  54. Nancy says:

    I used this on my concrete patio that was extremely yucky, chipping and accessorized with cracks.

    Didn’t roll to the edges as knew the 2, 5 gallons wouldn’t cover for a second coat. Not because a large patio but because in such bad shape.

    Finished this past Sunday by painting a border around the edges to compliment the ‘beach’ tint had The Rustoleum colored.

    Patio looks so great and so clean. No more concrete chips on feet when walking barefoot.l

  55. Linda says:

    Used this on our deck (which believe it or not was in worse shape than yours) two years ago. Works great. We live in the north east with -20 temps and lots of snow held up great so far. I read some post where people thinned it a little . I did this and it worked fine.

  56. Darla says:

    Hey Beth, I have a 800 square ft deck around my pool as well , but its concrete. How many Gallons did it take you to complete your deck ? and did you have to put a second coat as recommended. What color did you use? I am wanting to purchase this week, but worried about the costs and coverage.Based on the container I will need Approx.32 gallons .could that be right?

  57. Darla says:

    Ethan, What color did you use on your deck?

  58. elaine says:

    i’m wondering if this will go over chatahoochee? our chatahoochee is embedded in the cement, not laid on top.

  59. Judy says:

    I’ve really enjoyed reading all of the comments. I’m planning of using the Rustoleum Restore on my deck this summer. Thanks to everyone who shared their tips as it will make my experience so much better!

  60. Karen says:

    We had heard a lot of good things about Deck Restore and also some of the negatives. WHen we went to get it at Home Depot the sales guy there (very honest…have gone to him on many occasions for recommendations) said that their new product, DeckOver, is getting better results with happier customers saying it was much easier to apply and had great results. So we are going to try it.

  61. Tracy says:

    Your deck looks really nice. Last summer we used the Rustoleum Cabinet transformation product and redid our kitchen cabinets for a little less than $100. We were quite pleased with the final product and have highly recommended to friends and family. These products are realtively inexpensive if you are wiling to put in the manual labor required when compared to replacement options.

    • peggy says:

      I have wondered about the cabinet kit.I am no do it yourselfer.However I would try this.My cabinets are wood stained and I do not want to paint them.How hard was this to do and how much experience did you already have?Thank you.

  62. Leslie says:

    Does anyone know whether Deck Restore can be used in humid environments, such as Southern Illinois?

  63. Walter says:

    Lots of comments, but do we dare to compare “restore,” vs “deck over?”

  64. Tim says:


    I was thinking of using this product but my question/comment is: I have a deck where the railing spindles are connected to the deck unlike yours where you had a gap under the railing. How would you get the product close enough to the spindles with the roller without it pooling up the spindles.


  65. Mark says:

    I would be a little concerned using this product on a deck in very poor condition, though that is what it is obviously intended for.

    I have seen many painted exterior structures that were basically held together by the paint film. Damage was not evident until it was too late. This looks like a similar solution, but even worse.

    Does the product breath, or is it trapping moisture from the underside and promoting rot?

  66. Eaglescout68 says:

    Ethan, please let me (us) know what color you used on your great looking deck … looks like Taupe, Dune or Chocolate

    • NMLady says:

      In his description he says it is Saddle.
      When I purchased my kit, Home Depot was able to tint it to a Behr color I had picked for the exterior of my house.

      • Eaglescout68 says:

        Thanks, I guess I should read slower, I reread the article, and there it is Saddle, I am putting Taupe for the second coat, we first used Beach and its too light for us.

  67. mike says:

    what about on concrete steps

  68. Steffan says:

    I am thinking about using the deck restore product. After searching everywhere, I can find where it says anything about how it feels when the sun is shining on it all day. I’m in south Louisiana and it gets extremely hot….I am trying to figure out if this product traps the heat or what..

    Basically wanna know how hot to the touch on bare feet does it get???


  69. Joe says:

    It depends greatly on the color. I used Rattan which is a very light greyish color which appears almost white. It is completely comfortable on bare feet, even in the 90 degree full sunlight of the past few days.

  70. Emelie says:

    We have been very interested in trying this product on our old, weathered deck as we can not afford to replace it. I have been looking at reviews for the Behr deck restore product as well. I am not sure which is better? You stated that some friends of yours used Behr? I read that the Behr product made the deck very hot, too hot for dogs to walk on. Has the Rust-Oleum product made your deck overly hot to the touch? Do you have any idea which is better?

    Thank you!!

    • Joe says:

      I felt the Behr was too thin to cover the deep splintering I had. As far as heat, it’s the color that has the most influence, but the rougher texture is a bit cooler because the complete surface is not exposed to light. It sort of shadow’s itself.

  71. Terry Emerson says:

    I have a screened pourch that had indoor/outdoor carpet on it, and i can’t get all the glue off. Some of the glue hand turned to a power like substance that was around the outside.The other that was further up under the pourch still has some glue qualities. Will this Restore stick to the glue? If not do you have any suggestions

  72. Brian says:

    Love the color you choose. Could you please tell me what color you used on your deck? Thanks!

  73. Genny says:

    Thanks for this! And thanks for the person with the comment about the concrete patio. I’ve done a lot of research on behr and this rustoleum product to cover my not-so-pretty concrete patio and sidewalk area. And based on the description, rustoleum would be the perfect choice to fill in cracks etc. I’m so glad that it actually works like it says. I’m ordering today!

  74. Carol says:

    How does this product hold up to snow. And shoveling snow off. Does it scratch?

  75. Bob Cook says:

    We’ve been having a lot of rain—will a heavy unexpected rain destroy what you completed before it is absolutely dry?

    • Joe says:

      I had to redo my top rails because of rain. It took about an hour for me to get from one end to another, and it rained about 2 hours after I finished. So the side that was done 3 hours before heavy rain was good for a second coat. The last part I completed was a washout. Between those points it washed out, or held up, pretty much along the timeline.

      • Craig says:

        HELP!!! I finished my 2nd coat 24 hours ago, and we just got a light rain that is making the Restore mushy. AM I DOOMED??? Will I have to wait for it to completely dry, and then buy some more for a 3rd coat? WHAT TO DO???

        • Joe says:


          I’ve been there. Yes you should put a third coat on. Just like wet concrete, too much water before it is set and cured will wash out some of the cement and weaken the resulting product.

        • Craig says:

          Thanx, Joe…It’s looking more and more like you are right…I will need a 3rd coat once it dries.

        • DJ Everett says:

          Really Joe?? A third coat?? You must have some money that you want to throw away!!

        • Joe says:

          DJ- If you read the thread you will see that Rustoleum stood behind their product and in conjunction with Home Depot, provided me with the sealer, and Restore product needed at no additional charge. My only expense was the original purchase of the product needed to do the two original coats.

          At the end of the winter — the 3rd snowiest on record in my area, which including today puts us at about 70 inches, as well as single digit temps for days—- I have a few nicks in front of my back door and on the edge of one step. Both from shoveling and easily touched up.

          I have no peeling, no cracking. It is a wonderful product that saved me from replacing the surface of a 28 year old deck. By my count I am about $8500 ahead.

          There is no pretending tis is easy. It is an epoxy stucco and takes much care in preparation and application to get the proper result. Anything less will yield questionable results.

  76. Cynthia says:

    We used Restore on our deck 16 x32. It splattered awful. Covered well.. But after the second coat dried, I questioned if it was a mistake. This is very uncomfortable to walk on. We hoped for non slip but this is impossible to walk or knee on.

    How do I fix this or take it off. We didn’t see the extremely fine print on the can saying to brush over the second coat. I didn’t get eyeball level with the 4 gal bucket instructions. I watched the video at the store. We now have a new deck and hesitate to use it again. This deck will have hot tub…durability is the plus..bare feet…issue.

    I am anxious for recommendations..

  77. Susan says:

    I have a 10×20 deck that I will be doing. I was planning on buying the restore in the 4 gallon size because its a bit cheaper that way. But I have read in several reviews that it thickens up quickly , the sand in the mixture settles etc. making me wonder if buying the 4 gallon is the best choice. Has anyone bought their product in the 4 gallon size and if so have you had problems with this?

    • Joe says:

      I used six of the 4 gal pails.

      You need to mix it during use, about every gal. You can also add a bit of water as you get to the bottom. I read this in many reviews as well but I think the issue is the roller becoming matted and paint’ laden. Think about it, the roller has been in the air drying during the entire time. I think this is one of the reasons they recommend a new roller cover for each 4 gal. pail.

      • John says:

        We just put our first coat on our deck and our sidewalks. We had no issues at all. And for mixing I just used a real heavy duty paint stick with no problem. For the roller cover it cleaned up very easily with just warm water. It is now hanging up in the garage to dry so we can apply the second coat tomorrow.

  78. ROSE MERKEL says:

    I would like to know if it holds up by a swimming pool? chemicals from pool ?

  79. Eaglescout68 says:

    Just finished my 12×20 deck with a 12×2 wood walkway to the deck. The 10 hour job took me 17 days to complete? Rain in Cleveland, OH and much of the Midwest. I used 7 gallons of paint, 3 of beech (was too light for us) and the rest Taupe. At our HD I kept purchasing 2 gallon kits, was cheaper then the 3 gallon pail (Looks like a 5 gallon bucket. I purchased the Lowe’s Blue 5 gallon bucket and a nice long paint mixer that fits on my cordless. I put the first coat using the roller in the kit. When I switched colors I used a standard roller, since the first coat was dry and had texture there was no change in smoothness. I did learn to use a pair of disposable gloves to scoop out the paint from the gallon container for mixing in the larger pail. The colors were very consistent between purchasing from Lowe’s and Home Depot, Lowe’s ran out of $39 kits and I did not want to purchase the $25 single can. Besides many of the questions sent to Ethan can be answered if you get the kit and READ the instructions that are inside the case. I still have 2 kit rollers that I didn’t use.

    Bottom Line we love the results, I like to walk on the texture, does not bother our feet, and the hotness people are talking about I don’t get. Our deck is under a 250 year old Maple, love the shade. It does take some time to feel the proper roller application. Take it slow and let it roll. One Project Closer.. Thank you for this forum. Good luck to all, Keep Moving!

  80. Lorain says:

    We purchased our Restore (had it tinted) and started putting it on today with zero chance of rain. We didn’t get far and it started to storm. Now we get to start all over. But what I wanted to know is if you have it tinted (we went with their beach color) and it is way lighter than I wanted. Is there anyway to take back the other 4- 3 gallon things and have it made darker? I am not sure if that is even possible. Thanks for any info you can give me.

  81. Jane says:

    Love this forum- thank you all for sharing your experiences! My 15 yo daughter and I are heading to HD to pick our colors out now. Uncovered deck of 13x 26 and covered of 16×21. It’s going to be a lot of work- but I think worth it!

  82. Jimbo37 says:

    I asked our contractor if he had any experience with this product, and he hadn’t. However, he said he had some feedback on a similar product.

    He raised questions as to how well this product will hold up as a rigid surface over a flexing wooden floor and how well it would hold up to expansion and contraction with extreme temperatures, He said he would be concerned about cracking or chipping, and how well it could be patched without being too noticeable..

    Anybody have any experience with those possibilities?

  83. Stacy says:

    We used this on our concrete covered patio and a tongue and groove covered porch. It has only been about a month, but we love the results. BUT, we used it on our concrete steps and it is starting to chip. We blocked off the steps for a week to give it extra time to cure, but there are now small areas where it is chipping off after just one week. Anyone else have this experience or know of anything we can to do stop it?

  84. Vikki says:

    We have just used both the deck restore and the deck over. We used the deck restore on the flat surface and the deck over on the vertical railings and step risers. We are now moving onto the back deck. I am wondering if I can use up both products (they are tinted the same grey color) by painting a base coat of the deck over and then putting down only one coat of the restore on top. This could provide some texture, but not be overwhelming. It could also use up the remaining product. Any thoughts?

    • Joe says:

      I would use the Restore as the base. It will cover the imperfections better. The Deck Over will then fill in some of the texture, softening it.

  85. lyn says:

    Just applied deck restore. Was a big job but I’m happy with how it turned out. My only question if after it drys and you put furniture on it will it chip. Out patio furniture is quit heavy and I’m concerned about sliding the chairs back and forth. Will with leave marks/cracks???

  86. Loretta Morres says:

    I have completed one section of a very large deck with the restore product. I do like the look of the product, but I am disappointed in the color. My husband and I chose the cedar color and it is so light it seems to look somewhat pink. We bought 5 of the 3 gallon buckets of the product so I have to keep going.

  87. Joe says:

    We also have a large deck and went through 6 of the 4 gal. buckets.

    Yes, there seems to be some issue with the way the color looks once applied. If you lie the swatch down on the deck, it matches, but in bright light the colors seem to wash out. My original color was rattan. We want a lighter color so as to not have the heat (deck used to be a dark brown). But it appeared to be blinding white in sunlight. It also had a pink cast to it.

    We spoke to customer support and we are coating it with the vertical stain in a slightly darker color, slate. I don’t want to go any darker or I will be back to dealing with a 140 degree surface.

  88. debbiedoos says:

    WOW,that looks super! I would love to try it and think we will!

  89. Brenda says:

    in regards to patio furniture being on it and a chair gets “scooted” does it knock the ruggedness off? how does it stand up in regards to that?

    • DJ Everett says:

      It doesn’t stand up to anything!! Ours came off just from sweeping it. Don’t waste your money!

  90. June Ann Martin says:

    I have been looking at this all summer and have yet to buy because I am afraid to go for it. We have a small cement patio between our house and garage that is old and years ago someone painted it. Now it has all worn off but there is a green cast here and there and it has some cracks in it also. Someone told us that it won’t stick to a semi smooth surface.That it had to be a broom brush surface. Is this true. Or would it be OK to use this product on it?

  91. Mark T. says:

    We applied the horizontal deck restore and followed all of the directions regarding preperation nd application. Every time it rains, we have bubbles everywhere. Is this part of the curing process?

  92. jerry says:

    i have a wrap around porch and deck 2000 sq. feet to cover. is there any discount for quanitys thanks for any in put

    • DJ Everett says:

      You can but it in 4 gallon buckets but don’t waste your money and your time!! It chips and peels and the company will not return your money! They want you to remove the paint and use it again!!

  93. Kathie Spahr says:

    I see lots of comments on wood deck, but read somewhere this is not for Smooth concrete or anything other then Broom finished. Our cool deck is not very rough and wonder if it too would chip off or if finish would be too rough to kneel on as stated above. Most of the questions on concrete were not answered is that why?

    • DJ Everett says:

      This paint is rough and a huge waste of money!!

      • Emelie says:


        Sorry you are so upset. We used this product last summer and so far it has worked well on our deck and on concrete. We used 3 coats and waited 1 day in between to be certain it was dry enough to take the other coats. I hope you find a solution that will make you feel better.

  94. Bob Goudie says:

    I live in the Seattle area and it is typically rainy and damp in this area. I’m not quite a novice when it comes to doing this sort of thing. When I saw this product I was quite excited about it since I have a deck that although structurally sound was looking a little shabby (lot of checking on the upper surface). I started by pressure washing the deck and spraying it with bleach and vinegar to take care of any mildew and other stains. I let it dry for a couple of weeks and a couple days before I started on this I hose it down again to get anything that had accumulated on it in the two weeks between cleaning and actually starting work on this. I bought two of the 4+ gal. buckets to do my deck (a little less that 200 sq ft.). I let the sales person at HD talk me into buying a miss mixed bucket for the first coat. That saved about $50. I’m not sure I would do that again, at least not if the color is significantly different than the final coat. In my case the first coat was a yellow (sand) color with the final coat being gray. The problem with that is you have to cover all of the first coat or you’ll see a lot of the first coat on the edges and it won’t look good. I didn’t finish the first coat until late afternoon and thought it would be dry by morning. Wrong, fog had set in ( as it often does in September) and the temp. dropped a couple degrees below 60. It wasn’t even close to dry the next morning. Even though the sun (we have sun breaks in Seattle) had come out and it reach into the 60s it still wasn’t dry that day. The next day there was a light rain so it didn’t dry that day either. During this time the temp was dipping below 60 at night which didn’t help. It was finally dry enough to walk on four days later and the weather looked good for the second coat. At that point I took a very stiff scrub brush and went over the deck to make sure there were no loose or flaking material on the deck from the first coat not drying properly. That removed some of the first coat. I then proceeded with the second coat starting earlier in the day so it would have a better chance to dry. It was dry to the touch in about 4 hours after I finished but I stayed off of it until late the next day. Then I had to proceed to cover up all the yellow from the first coat. All of that was on the edges of the boards and around the outside. When I finished the deck looked much better than when I started. As far as I’m concerned though the jury is still out on this. So far I’m noticing that the original checking seems to be coming back through and it’s chipping off in a lot places. I’m not sure if that’s because the first coat didn’t cure/dry properly or what. I can patch up the spots that are chipping but at some point it may be easier to remove it and start again.
    If you decide to use this product I have these suggestions.
    Do it in the summer when temps will stay above 60 degrees until it’s well cured. If there’s any chance of rain in the forecast for several days after your expected completion, wait. Give it plenty of time to dry.
    Don’t be temped to buy a miss mixed bucket unless it’s very close to the color you want. When the sales person mentioned doing this I had ask if more pigment could be added to get it closer to what I want. She said she would not recommend it because it won’t dry right with too much pigment in it. That may (emphisis on may) have contributed to my drying problem of the first coat since I’m not sure why it was in their miss mixed bin.
    I’m not sure what to think about the checking coming through on this at this point but if that continues and the chipping keeps happening the deck will be back to looking shabby and this will have been a waste. I’m wondering if this stuff isn’t a little too hard. Wood will typically expand and contract and along with drying out more which causes the checking to begin with. If the wood expands and contracts and this produce because of it’s hardness doesn’t I would think it’s not going to last. Time will tell.

    • Katie says:

      Hi, we’re geographical neighbors. It’s not the weather nor our applications. It’s the product. The chipping, bubbling and peeling are pretty consistent for hundreds if not thousands of people who have purchased this product. So I am confused why Ethan is still apparently in favor and encouraging people to use it. Buyer beware.

  95. pamela says:

    this stuff is crap! my son last september applied this deck and concrete restore on our deck. he replaced new boards that needed to be replaced. he applied two coats so we had to invest into more buckets. in october the restore already started to chip on edges and on the steps. now it’s december and it’s really BAD! my son is a perfectionist and is really disappointed. alot of labor went into it. also the roller that came with it was not good. had to invest in a new one.he had also pressure washed the deck prior to application.

  96. Julie says:

    This is the worst product I have ever used it was peeling within the first rain storm. Do not buy!!!

  97. Brian says:

    I have heard that using a smaller brush results in a larger yield for the product as a good percentage goes in between the boards and is wasted. An earlier poster recommends staining the “between boards” first and this sounds like a good idea.

    Rust-Oleum sell a 6″ roller for this? It was seem like a no-brainer to have for deck boards.

  98. Chris LeBlanc says:

    after hearing out Restore, we purchased 2 5 gallon buckets to do our large deck, I cleaned the deck with bleach water and a stiff brush, then pressure washed it and let it dry. had to get a 3rd bucket, so we could finish the second coat. Now 5 months later it is peeling off in long strips and the deck look terrible. I sent an e-mail to customer service over a month ago and have heard nothing back from the company, for the time and money put into this project, I AM VERY DISAPPOINTED– suppose to last 10 years–thats a joke!!

    • Al says:

      To Chris LeBlanc from Al in Northern Michigan
      I would not use bleach to clean anything that I was going to re coat. Bleach leaves a slippery residue which is super hard to remove. I found out the hard way. Cleaned my cabin with bleach before painting and it started peeling within months of doing the job. Previous times I used TSP to clean off dirt and mildew with no problems of peeling or chipping afterward. You have to be careful in the cleaning products that that you use. For the record I have never used Restore, but was reading comments because I was considering buying it.

  99. Jeff says:

    I have over 3,500 square ft. of wood decking. We used around 60 gallons of Restore Beach color. Love, love , love this stuff! I have been sanding and staining this deck for the last 12 years. I can not tell you how happy I am not to have to deal with it for years to come! It is extremely durable and looks beautiful! If your having issues with it you did something wrong. I only review a product if I feel strongly about it. Restore is well worth the money.

  100. DJ Everett says:

    My husband worked for hours prepping our deck and applying this paint. The deck looked beautiful for about 6 months, now it looks like crap!! The paint is chipping and peeling. We contacted the company and their answer is to remove all the paint,( like that’s an easy job!!) Then they want us to use it again! Not happening, this was the biggest rip off I’ve ever seen!!

    • Tom says:

      DJ, we get it. You are not happy. Mine looks great still, been on since July, winter has done it no harm and waiting to see what this summer does. But for now ours is good. Sorry for your experience, but you don’t need to reply to every individual on here. My email box is filled with your complaints. Please feel free to complain elsewhere.

  101. mike rinaldi says:

    Hey guys, I bought this stuff last year and had it put on professionally. The guys came and first sanded the whole deck and then applied 2 coats. I did both my front deck and back deck with it. I have to say, when it first was done last spring, I absolutely loved it. It really brought such a new look to the deck and I really loved the feel of it as well. I had so many compliments about it last summer from friends. Well, then winter came and here in NY, we got blasted with a harsh winter this year .. lots of snow and ice. The deck restore didn’t do so well under those conditions. My back deck I have lots of peeling. My front deck is only peeling near the stairs but the rest of the front deck has a roof so no snow or ice accumulated on there .. that part stayed in tact. What can I say, Mother nature has its way of destroying things. What I want to do is buy a couple of more gallons and just go over all the parts on the back deck that peeled up … there are long strips that peeled up .. but I can say about 50% of the deck also stayed in tacked. Only thing is I see some cracks in the texture in those areas as well …. so I was thinking of just getting a paint brush and applying a coat on all those areas that need it … the peeled up parts as well as the parts that have cracks in it. Do you think I will be fine doing this? I really did like the deck restore and how it came out … and if I can get away with doing those touch ups and it be good for this summer season, I will be happy … Please let me know how I should proceed .. Thanks

  102. David Heagle says:

    Ethan – now that spring gas arrived, just wondering how things have held up? I have a 10×24 deck that I’m considering using this product on.

    Thank you,

    • ed says:

      We haven’t heard much from Ethan lately.
      Why is that?
      When most of us were doing our research about solutions for painting our decks, this web site kept popping up.
      In the spirit of exchanging information to DIYers like us who wanted to improve our home, wouldn’t you think the author of this article would give is some help here?
      After all he has the insiders at Rustoleum available to answer his questions.

  103. Tom says:

    To all these people saying that it is peeling up, I live in Wisconsin, we had a very harsh winter, sub zero temps, tons of snow. I have one spot on one tread of one step on our deck that is peeling. Our deck was treated lumber but was 10 years old. Very dried out. Used pressure washer and prep solution from Rustoleum. Surface was rough, you don’t want it smooth. Let it dry out a ton (a couple days) then applied the stuff to the deck. Did it over two or three days application. One small spot on the step is peeling. We did NOT prep the steps like we did the deck surface. Barely did anything on the steps. Not surprised that we have a little peeling there. Otherwise worked great so far, applied in July 2013, and as of April 2014 after a harsh winter, very little issue. I will keep you posted on here, but so far so good. Our deck looks amazing. Thanks.

    • RobinM61 says:

      Tom, thanks for the info! I was on this site last summer and considering this product for our old deck, and looking for information today on how it would weather a Central New York winter, so I was happy to see your post from Wisconsin! I think you and many of the other posters are correct, using the right prep steps and products is key. In fact, you seem to be the only poster that has used the prep solution from Rustoleum, and I plan on using it as well. I like what Joe has to say about using a zinc based rust inhibitor on the nails as well. I don’t think this is going to be easy, but why does anyone think something like this would be easy? And the term “easy” is relative, isn’t it? How “easy” is it to completely replace a deck? How easy is it to paint your house? I hope the weather here in CNY this spring/summer will cooperate and give me a week of nice, warm and dry weather to complete this and get it off my to-do list! Thanks again to you and to everyone else who took the time to explain what they did, what worked, and what didn’t work. You rock!

    • Steven Meadows says:

      My wife and I used the Rustoleum cleaner & did all the prep work as directed . In response to Tom’s comments, Im glad the product worked for him. Since my last email we have found more peeling & cracking. I really do not look forward to doing the deck again, but there is no other choice

  104. Joy says:

    My father (God Bless him) at 85 years old, retired chief custodial engineer, electrician, carpenter and all around handyman, used Deck Restore and meticulously painted last summer (2013) his extremely splintered deck that he built, some 25 years ago in NE Pennsylvania. He did it over several weeks as there is a lot of deck and due to weather conditions, he would stop and let the deck dry again.

    After this winter, and as I’ve heard with many in the northern states complain about with this product, IT IS PEELING UP EVERYWHERE! Little spots in some areas and large patches in others. You can just pick up sheets of it. He is planning to get his money back, but worse is the painstaking time it took only to have to do something else.

    Now my husband and I were convinced that this was the answer to our deck, too. We had a sub-par contractor do our porch 5 years ago and had to have new composite railings put on (instead of the horrible wood ones we had) but thought we would save money by using Deck Restore on the planking. After hearing the horrible reviews from those in the colder regions, and witnessing what has happened to my father’s deck, we are now planning to use Benjamin Moore solid stain.

    1. Does anyone have another long lasting suggestion?
    2. Has anyone used any of theproducts mentioned below on wood?:

    Would really appreciate some good advice. Thanks.

  105. mike rinaldi says:

    Sorry I didn’t say this in my post before … I DID put the Deck Restore Cleaner on AFTER sanding the entire deck. I followed the directions exactly stated in the website video and on the product. Again, I was very happy with the results but I don’t know how well it stands up to the weather since mine and many others had the same problem of peeling. The stuff held on real good and was hard as a rock through the entire fall season .. but when winter rolled around with the ice and snow .. it didn’t do as well. I went to my local home depot and spoke to one of the workers in the paint section. He also told me that he has got numerous complaints locally about Deck Restore after this winter. I guess give it a shot and see what happens. Maybe you should consider putting on like 4 coats of this stuff .. but that can be pretty expensive because it doesn’t spread so much since its very thick. Iam in a position where my whole deck is peeling and cracking and didn’t even last 1 winter. Spent over $500 dollars for product and now have to start from scratch again. Not happy.

  106. Stacy says:

    We used this On a concrete covered patio, a tongue and groove porch and concrete steps. The covered patio did great over the winter as did the covered porch. The concrete steps are an absolute mess. They peeled and bubbled. I would never buy the product again. And the worst part is that after using it at home and being pleased with how it looked, we encouraged our pastor to use it at our church. It did the same thing at the church – bubbled and peeled off in large pieces. So, not only did we waste hundreds of our own dollars, we also feel responsible for the mess it made of the porch of our church office. It is a ton of work and a huge mess. It is not worth the time and expense. VERY DISAPPOINTING!

  107. Connie says:

    We used this a couple of years ago on our worn out deck and we live in hot and humid area. It is literally washing off like red mud. NOT HAPPY!

  108. JustME says:

    I’m planning on putting this on our front porch this Spring, I bought it a couple years ago, but something has always kept me from getting it done. This year, if all goes as planned, I’ll do it. Reading all the negative comments has given me pause so I did some research and came up with this link that might help others thinking of using this product.

    • Katie says:

      We did all the proper prep. Followed directions to the letter. It lasted less than six months. You can see my Restore Horror Story on YouTube. Just search for that and you’ll find more than.. just mine. I hope you didn’t follow-through, although a porch may not cost you as much as an entire deck does/did to “fix” later.

  109. Mark says:

    Hello all, I’ve been a decking contractor for about 40 years.

    Early on, I posted that I thought this product could be a mistake. I’m sorry for you folks that put your sweat and tears into installing this product and having it fail.

    Any finish that is used outside needs to breath. Unless you seal all 6 sides of your wood and keep it sealed, your finish is going to get moisture under it and fail. What’s worse is sometimes that finish hides the structural damage until it is too late and someone steps through a board. Do not use products like this. All the comments above should be enough to convince you.

    There is no magic product that will renew a crummy deck. sorry.

  110. Breezy says:

    I see all kinds of Q&A regarding decks, but has anyone tried to use this on cement? I live in the NorthEast (Western NEW YORK STATE) and would like to try this on my cement pad but fear that the harsh winters and cold we have the cement will continue to crack even with this product on it. We had a company come in and do the pad once, but it cracked in places, what a waster of money. But, if I could see some reviews on going over what the other company did and use this product and it would “flex” with the winters, maybe I could cover the existing cracks and would be good. I am afraid of what winters will do to this on concrete. Any suggestions/reviews for concrete?

  111. Bill says:

    Can you use this product over painted deck ?

  112. Bill says:

    Can use this product over a painted deck ?

  113. mike rinaldi says:

    UPDATE: For people who purchased this from home depot or anywhere else and your deck is peeling everywhere .. you are entitled for a refund on product only. They will send you a form, fill it out , send pics of your deck peeling and send receipts. I received my check yesterday. You can get home depot to backtrack your receipts if you bought with a CC.

    • mike rinaldi says:

      Email the company .. they will send you the form!

      • Steven Meadows says:

        Thanks ,Mike, we are planning to do that very thing.

        • mike rinaldi says:

          No problem steve! Have another bit of advice, if you want to take off all the left over deck restore in one shot .. use a landscaping blower .. the ones you see guys using to blow leaves … I borrowed my friends that you wear like a backpack .. things is powerful .. I basically blew the entire crap right off the deck! Now Iam in the process of trying to find a good stain that will last 😉

  114. Ed says:

    No need for me to repeat what others are experiencing after one winter with this defective product called Rust-Oleum Restore.
    $500 and 30 hours of labor wasted.
    If you look at any of the online reviews from Home Depot, Lowe’s, Amazon, Ace etc, you’ll find that everyone gave this product 4 or 5 stars until the winter of 2014.
    Now any review dated 2014 is 1 star.
    Don’t become a member of the “Restore 1 Star Club”.
    Avoid this garbage product.
    I’ve applied for a refund.
    Anyone have any idea how long that process takes?

  115. Rodney Cottet says:

    My deck peeled to. Whats their e-mail address so I can apply for a refund.

  116. Dolly Hoffman says:

    How do we go about getting a refund for this inferior product? You should not be
    allowed to continue to sell this product. Waste of time and MONEY.

  117. Joe Fiero says:

    I posted at length above about the issues I ran into applying this product. Primarily, I had rust bleed through a light color product. The company stood behind the issue and stated they needed to do a better job about getting the info out about a sealer on old decks with rusty nails.

    They gave me sealer and all the product I needed to do two additional coats at no charge. Yes I had to do the work over, and it was a lengthy process due to this.

    My deck is 30 years old. It was splintered terribly. Footwear was not an option. This product gave me my deck back. I am in Central NJ, so we were hit very hard this winter. The deck was under snow for many weeks and temperatures were near zero a number of days.

    With the exception of the edge of the steps wearing from people sliding their feet from one step to the next, I have not had a single issue with adherence. The only other issue was the edge of a few deck boards that I hit head on with the snow shovel to get out the back door. Once I was out I went with the length of the boards and no further chipping occurred.

    Seeing all these people posting their product separated made me go out the other day and take a very careful look. Even so far as to “sound” the surface with a rubber backed screwdriver.

    It’s a fairly large deck. I covered about 600 square feet, as well as the top of the railings. Again, not a single spot showing any peeling, chipping or lifting. I am so sorry for those of you that did all this work and ended up with a bad experience, but I have to wonder what makes my deck different from the others.

    I have photos that I will share if anyone is interested.

    • Ed says:

      What part of the Country is your deck located?
      Go check the Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s Ace hardware websites and look at the reviews of this product.
      99% of all reviews posted in 2014 are a 1 star.
      What does that tell you?
      Do not take my word for it, go check it out yourself.

      This product did not survive the winter of 2014 for most installation. Period!!
      You say you have no issues…Good for you!
      How to you explain the mass dissatisfaction whit this product in all of the reviews mentions above?
      Poor prep?
      Bad Karma?
      Phase of the Moon?

      This product was never tested for harsh winters.
      It failed.
      And people are getting hurt financially when they buy it.

    • Ed says:

      I’m sorry that i didn’t see in your post that you said you where in Central NJ.
      My installation is in new Hampshire

      • Joe Fiero says:

        Hi Ed,

        I added my update to be informative as well as question the differences myself. I am also certainly concerned with so many reporting issues. I also offered my concern and sympathy to those that went through all this only to have it peel off.

        I don’t doubt the poor results being reported, but at this time I have had a good experience and whatever damages I do have, I can account for.

        Again, I had a terrible time getting it down, due to the rusted nails, but ultimately I am overwhelmed with what I have now. Until I found this I was left with no choice but replacing all deck boards.

        I hope Rustoleum figures this out.

        • Ed says:

          Thanks Joe:
          I wish you all the luck with your installation.
          Unfortunately for the rest of us, we have to deal with this problem.
          I spoke with the local store manager at Home Depot and he is aware of the problems with this product.
          I asked him why they are still selling it and I didn’t get a straight forward answer.
          I really didn’t expect one.
          I put him in a very difficult position with my questions.
          But he could not deny the following:

          BIG DISAPPOINTMENT!! March 30, 2014 1 star
          wasted money – March 30, 2014 1 star
          Do not purchase January 14, 2014 1 star
          Poor Product for Cold Climates April 9, 2014 1 star
          DON’T BUY THIS PRUDUCT, EXPESIVE, May 9, 2014 1 star
          PEELS GREAT!!
          Total waste of time and money March 9, 2014 1 star
          Don’t buy this product !!!!!!!! May 4, 2014 1 star
          DO NOT BUY!!! May 11, 2014 1 star
          Does not last February 15, 2014 1 star
          Looks great before it fails January 17, 2014 1 star
          and ruins your deck
          Big Waste April 14, 2014 1 star
          Won’t use again January 14, 2014 1 star
          Totally disappointed April 6, 2014 1 star
          Does not do as advertised! April 6, 2014 1 star
          Looked great while it lasted April 5, 2014 1 star
          NEVER EVER USE ON CONCRETE!!!! April 23, 2014 1 star
          This stuff is junk May 6, 2014 1 star
          DO NOT USE (unless you like to April 29, 2014
          flush money down the toilet!)
          disappointed May 13, 2014 1 star
          Do not waste your money or your time! May 12, 2014 1 star
          coverage and appearance
          Don’t buy this JUNK May 13, 2014 1 star
          Warning, not snow resistant May 2, 2014 1 star
          Worst deck coating product ever made! April 26, 2014 1 star
          worst product May 6, 2014 1 star
          a big mistake May 11, 2014 1 star
          don’t bother May 5, 2014 1 star
          Cold Weather Product????? April 28, 2014 1 star
          Total JUNK! April 28, 2014 1 star
          save your money January 6, 2014 1 star
          Huge waste of money April 30, 2014 1 star
          TOTAL GARBAGE May 2, 2014 1 star
          Waste of many hours and many dollars! May 1, 2014 1 star
          Extremely Disappointed April 19, 2014 1 star
          Don’t Waste Time and Money April 5, 2014 1 star
          Do not use in cold climates April 6, 2014 1 star
          Works, but not a great buy. February 27, 2014 1 star
          Worst Idea yet for my decks February 16, 2014 1 star
          Love product BUT !! January 11, 2014 3 star

  118. Ed says:

    Bad Things Happen To Good Intentions

    I believe this site was setup with all the best intentions.
    To provide information to homeowners who are looking for a solution when it come to staining/painting their decks.
    There was a lot of positive commentary and quick reply to subscribers eager to get more information about Rustoleum Restore earlier in this thread.
    I do not know what the relationship is between this site, its author and Home Depot or RPM International (the manufacturer of Rustoleum Products). Quite frankly I don’t care. It’s beyond the scope of this post.
    Like many of you, when I was trying to do my due diligence and researching available options for staining my deck, this site always appeared in my top 10 Google searches. And like many of you, I used the information presented by the author of this article as bases for deciding to use the Rustoleum Restore product.
    Now like many of you, I am looking at a ruined deck, 100s of dollars and many man hours wasted.
    In the spirit that I believe this article was intended, I am asking the author to respond:
    1. How did your project survive the winter?
    2. You indicated that you have contacts at Rustoleum. What are they saying about all of the unhappy customers that are appearing all over the web?

    Please do not respond with “It must be improper preparation”.
    I’ve painted more than my fair share of decks and know the importance of proper surface preparation.

    You say that you provide honest and impartial reviews of the products you use.
    Here’s an opportunity to do just that

    • Fred says:

      Hi Ed,

      We don’t have an ongoing relationship with Rustoleum. We do have some contacts there but Ethan hasn’t been working on this site full time since August, 2013 and I don’t think has talked to anyone there since before this article ran. That’s one of the reasons you aren’t seeing a lot of comment responses from him.

      The project survived the winter quite well – deck still looks great. (Ethan is my neighbor so I see the deck regularly).

      I had a very negative experience with Behr deck stain a few years back (if you search our site for behr deck stain you’ll see that review). So far, this product has worked well for Ethan. His deck was unique is that it was very old and not well taken care of by the prior owners. The deck really needed to be completely resurfaced, but the expense was very high for that. This product provided a good middle ground. I think Ethan was hoping to get an extra 5 years out of the deck.

      We talked at the time he applied it that he wondered how it would hold up. So far, so good. We generally update articles like this either once per year or when something fails…

      As far as responding “improper preparation” – we’ve had enough bad experiences with properly installed products to know that it very well could be Rustoleum’s problem. What is likely going on here is that some types of situations – whether they be a certain type of prior stain on the deck, a certain type of pressure treatment, certain climate, etc., wreaks havoc on the installation.

      • Katie says:

        Thanks for the clarification, Fred. I addressed a question to Ethan earlier and now understand. The fact is they market and sell the product for use on “old” decks and you know, “Restore” is the name 🙂 It fails so miserably that merely refunding the product cost isn’t nearly enough to make us all “whole” in the eyes of the legal system. Maybe they had a bad batch of product that got to market. But they won’t even consider that possibility. They just leave us with thousands in repairs, and possibly ruined decking.

        • Katie says:

          PS: We did all our prep and application when it was hot and sunny and dry, let it cure between coats and after. They can’t have it both ways — “only good for new wood” and “will restore old decks”, you know?

  119. teressa patton says:

    my husband and i got several buckets of the deck restore used 4, i think. i loved the look of my deck after i put it on. got a majir problem tho’,, it did not weather well thru the winter. several small to medium areas chipped loose, i believe there was a guarantee of quality and endurance,.. how does a person get that honored???

    • Ed says:

      Sorry to hear you have become another member of the Rust_oleum Restore substandard product group.
      Here is an email address to send your complaint.
      They will send you a form.
      You will need pictures of your deck, receipt of your purchase, age of your deck.
      Please keep us posted as to your progress. Good Luck.
      Best Regards

  120. Ed says:

    If anyone wants to see the scope of the massive product failure, please take a look at Rust-Oleum’s Facebook page.
    Here’s the link.

    You will need a facebook account to view the hundreds and hundreds of angry homeowners who used this product on their decks.
    Lots of pictures, videos and anger expressed.
    I find it interesting that the replies from the Company are all computer generated and sound sooooooooo sincere.

  121. Ed says:

    Beware of the possible health problems if you attempt to remove this product from your deck.
    I have found the mode of failure that the Restore Product exhibits falls into two categories.
    1. It will peel up in large pieces. (best scenario for removal)
    2. It will crumble under your feet. (second best scenario for removal)
    However, in areas where it didn’t peel or crumble, the only way to remove it is to sand it off with 4o – 60 grit sandpaper and a power sander.
    Beware that this product appears to be made up of mostly silica (sand) and when sanding it off (even using a collection system such as a shop vac) you run the risk of getting this stuff on your shin, in your eyes and (worst yet) into you nose/ respiratory system.
    I tried to remove it from my deck yesterday and after removing about ten square feet of material, I had to stop.
    Even wearing safety glasses, respirator mask, hat and long sleeve, I started to develop an allergic reaction to the air born materials.
    Today I have a skin rash and my eyes are all swollen.
    I have reacted very badly to the very fine sand particle.
    Bottom line:
    I do not believe that removal of Restore is a DIYer project.
    Given the possible heath issues when sanding this stuff off your deck, it should be done by a professional company trained in dealing with this type of situation.

  122. mike rinaldi says:

    I used both a landscaping blower which took about 60% off the deck. The other 40% I used a pressure washer and it took the rest off with ease. Now in the process of restaining the deck. When I was at Home Depot I saw Rustouliem now has an “Ultimate Wood Stain” … Can you believe I almost went for it LOL … Had to smack myself to wake up LOL

  123. Ed says:

    Thanks for the update Mike:
    I had about 20% that would come up with the leaf blower (back pack type).
    I tried a rented pressure washer and got another 10% off.
    The rest requires aggressive sanding.
    Let us know what you decide on for the stain.
    I’ve used Cabot (solid) before and have been very happy with it.
    I should have stayed with it for this project.
    I think we have to resolve ourselves to the fact that we just have to re stain our decks
    every 3-5 years. There is no magic product out there.

    • mike rinaldi says:

      No problem Ed,

      Actually did some research and Iam going to use TWP Stain and preserver .. has ALOT of good reviews. They don’t have any dealers here in NY so I have to order it from their online store. They have a 5 gallon bucket with free shipping, so I will go with that. Yes, I agree with you .. the whole reason why I went with this deck restore was because of the 10 yr claim they had with it. You are right, might as well swallow the truth that we will be doing this job every 3-5 yrs. Take a look into the TWP though, it seems top class.

  124. Emily says:

    How is your deck? I have mine ready to do something, and would really like to know how yours held up? Please, answer!

  125. Ed says:

    Let’s all be very clear what happened here on this website.
    Ethan got some free Rust-Oleum Restore in exchange for humping the product until the cows came home.
    Now him and his “This Old House Wannabees” have run for the hills.
    Watch for them to surface and try to sell some more snake oil.
    You have to love the internet.
    Anyone who knows which side of the hammer to use is the next Bob Vila.

    • Fred says:


      I can understand your frustration, but I’m not sure you’re seeing things clearly. Ethan described exactly the situation he faced in the article:

      1) Rustoleum invited him to a marketing event.
      2) Ethan had a really beat-up deck and couldn’t afford composite.
      3) He used the Rustoleum product on the deck in 2013 and he was pleased with the results.

      What you might not know is that Ethan hasn’t been writing full time on OPC since August, 2013. (Some of our regular readers knew that). However, as we are neighbors, I see his deck pretty regularly. The product has held up well – much better than my Behr Deck Stain job.

      We allow comments on articles like these to give other users a voice.

      Ethan is very clear in this article that he is applying this product to his own deck and it worked out for him. He isn’t carrying any water for Rustoleum. If he (or we) were, we would delete negative comments. We’re under no obligation to allow any comments, and our site has reasonably clear Terms of Service that explain our operating model.

      This is an article that describes Ethan’s personal experience with a product that was provided to him for free. He was not following a pro-remodeler for this job.

      One more thing that I think is important to note. If Rustoleum ReStore is as bad of a product as you say it is, then Ethan is getting his just rewards by simply installing it on his deck in the first place. Remember, this isn’t another person’s house, this is *his* house.


  126. Ed says:

    First off, I want to thank you for responding to my comments/concerns/criticisms.
    I think that you guys took the “high road” here and posted your update right at the beginning (up front) of this article with a link to the Rust-Oleum Facebook page with the appropriate “WARNING” to other potential victims about using this defective / untested product.
    If someone thinking about using Rust-Oleum Restore reads that article update, goes to the Facebook page, sees the hundreds of horror stories from people who used this product and still decides to go ahead and use it anyway. Then so be it. They’ve been more than adequately warned. Caveat Emptor
    The only comment I would make about the update is that a lot of people came to this site seeking information about this product “before” they applied it to their decks , not after they became victims of Rust-Oleum Restore and were looking for a place to vent.
    Lastly, I want to thank you for not overly moderating this site as has been the case in many other “How To DIY” websites that have given this product glowing reviews and are now not allowing posts to their sites from unhappy Restore victims like me.



    • Fred says:


      We aim to please readers, not necessarily product vendors (although when we can do both that’s great). With regards to your comment:

      “The only comment I would make about the update is that a lot of people came to this site seeking information about this product “before” they applied it to their decks , not after they became victims of Rust-Oleum Restore and were looking for a place to vent.”

      The update doesn’t say that people don’t come here for that purpose. The update says that people who write comment reviews of products on sites like ours tend to write negative reviews. This is because people who are pleased with a product rarely go online researching the product after it’s installed. So we tend to get two types of readers to articles like this: Those considering a product, and those if who have had a bad experience with the product.

      As you note, it is impossible to know what percentage of users are unhappy with the product… But comment-reviews almost always skew negative because of the phenomenon I describe above.

      Anyhow, feel free to respond to people on this site with your thoughts. As I said, we’re not carrying water for Rustoleum. Our site is designed to enable everyone to add their views, so long as they are delivered reasonably respectfully, as you have.

  127. Joe Fiero says:

    If I may interject one more time, and in the hopes I don’t get my head bitten off 😉


    As I said earlier,I feel for you. I know first hand the work involved. Moreso probably due to the fact that I ended up having to do 6 coats.

    ( I did over a week of prep including patching, leveling, and setting nails, then power washing and dry time. I then put on two coats, was pleased until I started getting orange and black blooms all over that turned out to be rust from the nails. Consulted with the manufacturer and was informed there should have been a zinc based primer used. Not in the lit, not on the website at the time. Ended up doing a coat of Killz and then a coat of the vertical product – not the restore. In less than 3 weeks the color stain was bubbling up in places after rain. I again consulted with the manufacturer and they agreed to give me material for 2 more coats of Restore. Between teh weather and the discussions, I had no use of my deck from when I started in June till the end of August.)

    Of course that’s time I will never get back, but for now I am not unhappy with the net result. Like the author of this article, my deck was well beyond it’s useful life, inflicting pain and drawing blood from anyone who dared challenge it. I couldn’t let my dog on the deck any longer. Right now I have a fully serviceable deck and I am happy for that, despite the setbacks.

    Am I fearful that I will see seperation and lifting? You bet! From the very moment I considered using the product. But it was the ONLY choice I could find beyond complete surface replacement, which was to cost many thousands of dollars. I was well beyond sealers and stain.

    I’m a very analytical person. It’s a skill that serves me well in diagnostics. I often aid manufacturers of telecommunications equipment discover the reason for failures, and they are often a differential between design and application.

    When I read of these adhesion issues I immediately look at the problem and begin to consider causes. My question is what did I do the same as the others, or what did I do differently. Which of these steps that are the same, or different, could account for the resulting differential? Are we looking at an ultimate failure, delayed by technique, or do we have a percentage of failure that is expected inany product?

    I agree, there are many people complaining about Restore. But my experience tells me that there is a much greater number of people out ther that are not “checking in” with the Internet. I would also say that given teh volume of this product that was sold so far by Lowes, Home Depot, Sears and many many local paint and hardware affiliates (think TruValue) that if there was a mass failure the product would have been pulled.

    I am with you 100%, there is cause for concern. But, let’s remember that the manufacturer seems to be doing an excellent job of standing behind the product. Labor? We know there is no compensation for that, and the disappointment factor is tremendous. But if they are honoring their warranty, theya re doing the right thing.

    Like Fred brought up, ther ehas to be a reason some work and some don’t. The treatment process is my guess. My deck was close to 30 years old and was treated with chromated copper arsenate. That process was ended in December of 2003 and since then other, more environmentally and human friendly methoods are being used.

    So anyone looking to use this product should certainly do so with caution, and I would suggest confirming all procedures with the help line, but ultimately I believe there is a benefit to the product, just not for all. It is that equation that needs to be resolved by Rustoleum .

    Thanks for listening.

  128. Ed says:

    Nobody is going to bite anyone’s head of here.
    I want to stay completely with the facts.
    There are many, many, many people who are having problems with this product.
    What is the percentage of total volume sold?
    I have no idea. Only Rust-Oleum knows that.
    What percentage of the total volume will fail within the warranty period?
    Again, I have no idea, but I suspect the number of dissatisfied customers will increase exponentially as time goes on.
    In regards to your statement ” But, let’s remember that the manufacturer seems to be doing an excellent job of standing behind the product.”
    I curious, where are you getting that information. My experience is just the opposite.
    Let me tell you what I know to be fact so far.
    1. The only warranty remedy that has been offered so far to anyone (according to the Facebook page) has been replacement product.
    Now let me ask you a question. If I sold you defective motor oil and as a result your engine blows up, would you except a free oil change as a warranty payment?
    I don’t think so.
    2.) The Company is not replying to any inquires at all. Period. I live next to a wetland/ aquifer and have been told by my Town’s building inspector that I may need to apply for a permit before I can attempt to remove this stuff from my deck.
    That would depend on factors like environmental impact and other health issues that might arise when removing this stuff with sanding or chemical solvents or strippers.
    I have made several requests from Rustoleum’s Technical Support to provide me any technical information about Restore and its removal so I can present that to the Town’s official’s before I can proceed. I made that request 3 weeks ago.
    To date I have heard absolutely nothing.
    3). After hundreds and hundreds of customer complaints, they still continue to sell this stuff. Not only that, but this weekend Home Depot, Lowe’s and my local Ace hardware stores are offering a Memorial Day Special on the product at $58 / 4) gallon bucket. Now what does that tell you about this Company?
    What is tells me is: They have a product with a major defect, they know it and now they are trying to entice more people to use this crap by lowering the price. This special sale is authorized by Rustoleum because the “Special Sale” tag on the store displays are all the same and where produced by Rustoleum. You will most likely see the same promotion in your area as well.
    In my opinion, that falls into the category of “fraud” and last time I looked, that is criminal.
    5). My anger over lost money, wasted time and the prospects of maybe having to replace my deck pales when compared to the fact that my belief in trying to buy American made products when ever I can has been called into question.
    Deep down inside, that’s what bothers me the most.

  129. Tom says:

    As stated before, my deck was 9 year weathered treated lumber. NOTHING was done to it in years past. No stain, no oils, no nuttin. Did all the prep work last summer (July when it was very hot). I put in the website line the address to a current photo of my deck, I am not sure if it will come through, but if Fred would like to post it I am fine with it. It made it through a Wisconsin winter, and quite a nasty one. Ed says that 40 percent came up in sheets and 60 required sanding. I would try to figure out what is different between the 60 and the 40, because if it requires a sander to come off, it is adhered fairly well. I do have a few treads on the steps that came up, the last few we did where we were stretching the material. But I can say that 11 months in, including one of the harshest winters and springs we have had in years, my deck looks great. The small spot or two you see on the deck is actually some paint we spilled when building our dog house on it last year. The cat is graciously posing on the deck in front of it. Go Bears!

  130. Ed says:

    Thank you for your input.
    I find all of that very interesting.
    Let me see if I have this correct.
    You built a deck with PT and you did absolutely nothing to it for 9 years.
    I do not think that is “best practice” for deck building.
    I understand the importance of letting PT dry out for awhile before treatment, but 9 years seems a bit extreme to me.
    But what do I know. I’ve only been in the business for 30 years.
    Let’s refer this to the resident expert on this web site..Fred.
    Fred, would you recommend to your readers / followers the practice of building a deck with PT and just letting weather without any sealer, stain or paint for nine (9) years? In the summer sun, rain, snow…….really?
    I would really like to know “your” answer to that question.
    Thanks In Advance

    • Joy says:

      Ed, you appear to be a jerk, does it really matter that how Tom maintained his deck before he used the product didn’t meet your idea of “best practices” for deck building? I was going to return the product I bought last summer and never got around to using but now I am going to use it because my deck is over 20 years old with no stain, and paint on the rails that has completely worn off and you have pissed me off.

      • Tom Becker says:


        You are really doing exactly the opposite of what you want to do. You sound like somebody who has an axe to grind, more than an unhappy customer.

        And Thanks Joy. I would recommend pressure washing, I went over it pretty hard, even splintered the wood in a few spots when I got too close with the sprayer. I would also recommend you taking the product back to have it mixed in the pro mixers, as the sand really does settle pretty quick.

        Good luck Joy.

        Get a life Ed.

  131. Joe Fiero says:

    Hey Ed,

    Just read your reply. What is the maintenance histroy of your deck prior to using the Restore product?


  132. Ed says:

    Before I answer that Joe, I want to hear Fred’s reply to my question.

  133. Tom Becker says:

    Jesus Ed, whatever. I did what I did. So it is not recommended, why do you think I turned to a product like deck restore? I have never painted or stained for just the reason you complain about, it is a PITA and you have to do it every year or two. So I let it go natural. It was beat up by last year, which is why I was desperate to do something. What is your problem? I wanted to show you a photo so you could see that I was not lying, and you jump all over me. So what I let it go 9 years. What is your problem?

  134. Tom Becker says:

    Hey ED. It is called deck RESTORE. Not deck paint on new treated lumber.

  135. Joe Fiero says:

    Ed, the reason I asked is because I am MUCH worse than Tom. When I bought this house 23 years ago the deck was stained with a paint style stain and they chose to match the trim of the tudor style, so the deck was dark brown. Bare feet didn’t last long due to the very high temperature, and I could not leave my kitchen slider open because the air coming in was so hot.

    So, I let the stain break down and wear off, exposing much of the raw decking. It looked like hell, but over the years it became more comfortable to use. I never used any sealer, or repainted due to the stain still being on it. I had two options, restain dark brown, or sand it and use Thompson.

    Well, the weather did it’s job and exposed about 80% of the original wood, but at the same time the grain splintered terribly. So I thought Restore would give me back the use of my deck. More accurately, the first real use since buying the house. And it did.

    I mentione earlier that there is always an underlying reason for differential results. The post from Tom indicates that he had a 9 year old deck that he did not maintain. Since my deck is near 30 and his is post 2003 when they changed the preservation process, I can discount the methood of preservation being the cause.

    I would now hypothesize that the commonality is the fact there were no recent applications of any other products. The decking was beat to death and extremely weathered. Whatever preservatives or sealants that were applied are long gone. And perhaps that failure to perform proper maintenance is exactly what Restore needs to do it’s job.

  136. Ed says:

    Tom, Joe & Joy

    It looks like I ruffled some feathers here. That was not my intention.
    Please try to follow my logic for asking these questions. I hope Fred will chime in to this discussion,
    I am not calling into question Tom’s judgment / craftsmanship about his deck that hadn’t seen stain, sealer or paint since it was newly constructed 9 years ago. My point is that it is not the “correct way” a deck should be constricted / finished. I would contend that his untreated deck is the vast expectation to all of the other decks ever constructed in America.
    Virtually 100% of decks constructed with pressure treated lumber or any other wood for that fact) will eventually receive at least 1 coat of wood sealer, stain or paint. That is the point that I was trying to make.
    If you agree with that statement, then let me proceed.
    Yesterday the Rust-Oleum Facebook page (referenced at the beginning of this article) had the first real statement (that wasn’t a computer generated message of concern)to an inquiry about why this product seems to be failing for so many people who have used it.
    This is the statement in its entirety. I do not want to be accused of paraphrasing for the sake of making my point.

    “Thank you for reaching out. When applied correctly, following the temperature guidelines, Restore is extremely durable. We have updated our instructions in response to the failures homeowners are experiencing. It’s important to ensure that the surface was not previously sealed, stained or painted and that the surface temperature is above 50 degrees for 3 days and nights with no rain in the forecast. When applied correctly, Restore will last up to 10 years.”

    1. “We have updated our instructions”…The questions is..When did they update their instructions? They are admitting that at some point in time their application instructions were not correct

    2. “It’s important to ensure that the surface was not previously sealed, stained or painted.”
    This gets to the heart of my early comments. They explicitly state that the surface could not have been previously treated with any stain, sealer or paint.

    Since Rust-Oleum markets this product to restore “old” decks and since virtually every “old” deck ever constructed has been treated with some kind of paint/stain/sealer and now Rust-Oleum is saying that their product can only be applied to untreated surfaces, then the only conclusion is that Rust-Oleum Restore is not suitable for virtually 100% of the wooden decks ever constructed on America.

    Now Joe, they do not say it’s “OK” to have had treated the surface and now have the treatment removed (either by weathering or some other method such as pressure washing).
    They are very clear, “the surface was not previously sealed, stained or painted.”
    Looks like the layers are now involved.

  137. Ed says:

    Please excuse my typos in my previous post, I am still working on my first cup of coffee for the day.

    Constriction should be construction

    expectation should be exception

    sometimes spell checker is not your friend

  138. Joe Fiero says:

    Hi Ed,
    Just a personal observation, and a guess, but I owuld bet there are many more like Tom and I out there who year after year considered doing something, but never did.
    With respect to the updated instructions, no doubt it’s a concern. But as I said, I had ot do several extra coats because at the time I did mine the concerns over old rusty nails had not made it into the instructions. Imagine my disappointment to have completed the project, only to have dozens of orange and blacck blotches appear.

    They gave me all subsequent product, including the Killz, at no cost. Yes, it took extra weeks to do. But it got done and I lost a few more pounds that will not be missed.
    While I am not a contractor by trade, I grew up in a family where if someone needed a house, we built it. My dad and several of his brothers, as well as cousins are/were all carpenters by trade, House painting roofing, siding, decks, we do it all, so I know my way around a project. Again, knowing all that could go wrong as I did it, concerned me greatly. Perhaps many others would feel under ‘ignorance is bliss’.

    that is until it flakes off….

    And that is something the manufacturer needs to work through for sure.

  139. Ed says:

    Hi Joe:
    Same here, my dad was a Jack of all trades and I learned from him.
    Plumping, name it.
    when you say, “something the manufacture needs to work the through” ..what does that mean?
    The vast majority of the people who use this product (IMHO) are going to have problems with it and Rust-Oleum is doing “NOTHING” to help them.
    Their latest “revised” instructions is not about help out victims of the product, but to give them some legal wiggle room.
    I kept the container of my Restore Product and when I read the post of the Companies web page, I decided to go take a look at what the instructions say on my containers. Here it is :
    “Where to use: Deck & Concrete Restore is a problem solving coating formulated to repair, beautify and protest old previously coated wood, bare wood, broom swept concrete and most synthetic decking with proper surface preparation.”
    They clearly stated it is for “previously coated surfaces:
    That 180 degrees from what the are stating now.
    Does that look like they are trying to help the consumer?

  140. Debbie Gardner says:

    This product is peel off my deck in huge pieces. On hold … dialing 800# for several minutes. Home Depot gave me local rep name. NO ANSWER. We’ve all been scammed. Shame on you Rustoleum…We trusted your PAST good name and products.

    Please contact me.

  141. Ed says:

    If you have a Facebook account, come over to my page and stop being a victim

  142. Joe Fiero says:

    Olympic makes a similar product which they call Rescue It. Same coverage and they bill it as an acrylic product that can cover anything including previously treated decks ( 2 years or more). Introduced to the market in 2013 qnd verysimilar to Restore.

    If you go to their website you will see similar issues, and similar raves.

    • Ed says:

      Hi Joe:
      Yes, I’ve seen the reviews on the Olympic product and the horror stories look very similar to that of Restore.
      As I have said earlier, there is no magic product out there.
      If you have a wooden deck, you just have to resign yourself that it has to be cleaned and treated periodically.
      Here in New England that’s every 3-6 years.
      There’s just no getting away from that fact.
      I think the Industry (as a whole) has shot itself in the foot because if and when a product is finally developed that does indeed deliver on the promise of a 10 year maintenance free deck, nobody is going to believe them.
      Trust is a hard thing to earn in the first place and almost impossible to earn back when its lost.

  143. Ed says:

    Hi Joe:
    Just as a followup to my previous post.
    This article started out comparing Rust-Oleum Restore to Behr Premium Transparent Weatherproofing.
    These are two completely different products that approach the problem of maintaining decks from two completely different directions.
    Restore is a product that “encapsulates” the wood with a sand/glue mixture where the Behr product take the more traditional approach of penetrating and preserving the wood.
    Despite Fred’s claims, no matter how you look at it, the Behr product is by far the better product. Hands down!!!
    1. The reviews are far better. Look at Home Depot reviews
    2. The Behr product will not ruin your deck.
    It may not be the best stain-like product you can use, but it is certainly head and shoulders above Restore.

    • Fred says:

      One of the major reasons I don’t recommend Behr is because I was unable to powerwash it from the deck after it failed to maintain it’s look. It ended up costing more than $1,000 in materials and labor to remove that product from our 1,000 sq. ft. deck. Some people swear by the stuff, but I won’t use it again. I prefer traditional penetrating oils now. They have to be applied more often, but I very much prefer them.

  144. Fred says:


    A few things:

    1) You need to be careful about how you come across. Your comment to Tom came across as a personal attack on how he maintains his deck. Joy and Tom rightly point this out. I realize that you were trying to make a point, but that point was lost in the way that you made it.

    2) This article did not start out comparing Rustoleum Restore to Behr’s product. Ethan simply mentions that after watching our experience with Behr’s product, he was convinced that composite decking was the way to go.

    3) Behr’s Weatherproofing product is not a penetrating oil, at least to the best of my knowledge. And the major problem with Behr’s product is that it claimed (I think) a 5 year life and barely survived one year before it showed major wear., became dingy, etc. Stripping the product required serious chemical solvents as it couldn’t simply be powerwashed (which works with many penetrating oils, such as X-100 deck sealer. I had a very negative personal experience with Behr and I do not recommend it.

    4) I did not “claim” that the Behr product was better or worse than the Restore porduct. Be careful in what you claim/insinuate.

    5) Finally, Ed, it is clear you have a serious and reasonable beef with the folks at Rustoleum. This forum isn’t going to be able to help you get the justice you’re seeking. It’s fine if you want to weigh in here, but please realize that we aren’t going to solve your problem. Other people are going to have different experiences with a product. Ethan is still very happy with this product’s performance. That’s going to happen in differing installations. You need to realize and accept that other’s opinions are their own and that’s OK. I don’t want to read too far between the lines, but I think you’re still reeling over the bad experience (I don’t blame you!) and I’m not sure we’re going to be able to fix that for you. I’m pretty sure the folks at Rustoleum aren’t even reading these comments.

  145. Ed says:

    All of your points are respectfully noted.
    As I had stated, my intent was not to “ruffle any feathers”.
    If the post to Tom appeared to be a personal attack, I apologize.
    However, I do not appreciate being called a “jerk” either

    Just one other point.
    At least you had the option of power washing the Behr product off your deck because you didn’t like its “appearance”. It didn’t ruin your deck.
    I (like many other victims of Rust-Oleum Restore) do not have the pressure washing option and its going to cost me much more than $1000 and many man hour to either remove this stuff from my deck or completely replace the decking.

    Now, could you be so kind as to answer the question I originally asked of you in that post.

    Would you recommend to your readers / followers the practice of building a deck with PT (pressure treated) and just letting weather without any sealer, stain or paint for nine (9) years?

    Now that you know the reason for that question, I can’t imagine any reason why you wouldn’t provide your “opinion”. I can assure you that I am not attacking anyone here.
    I look forward to your reply.

    Thanks In Advance

    • Fred says:


      Again, I’m not sure you’re getting it. For example, this statement: “At least you had the option of power washing the Behr product off your deck because you didn’t like its “appearance”. It didn’t ruin your deck.”

      The Behr product won’t simply powerwash off. It had to be removed with a chemical stripper (and quite a lot of it). The cost to remove was in excess of $1,000. The process involved painting on stripper and powerwashing areas. It was a hassle and I think Berh’s method of treating decks is substandard compared to traditional penetrating oils.

      But you’re really missing the point. I think everyone here sympathizes with your plight. The ReStore product didn’t work for you. It’s going to cost you a lot of money. Perhaps the problem lies with some feature of the deck (like previous sealing) that the instructions didn’t cover.

      Fair enough.

      We’re not Rustoleum. We’re an independent blog run by two homeowners. We applied this product to one deck and reported our satisfaction with the product. We have since updated this article with both Ethan’s personal experience with the product as well as a warning based on the feedback in this thread and Rustoleum’s Facebook page.

      As far as what constitutes proper deck maintenance, I think it depends on the type of pressure treatment used on the wood. For standard builders-grade pressure treated lumber I think 9 years with no treatment is a long time. But it happens to a lot of homeowners, unfortunately.

      What is interesting to me is that Ethan’s deck had been previously treated, and the ReStore adhered fine. So it probably isn’t that all sealants create the same problem. Perhaps only some do, or perhaps it also depends on how weathered the boards were. Ethan’s boards on his deck were extremely weathered/split/splintering prior to application. I would imagine this gave a great surface area onto which the ReStore could adhere.

      Other than moderating further comments, I don’t plan to continue in this discussion further.


  146. Joe Fiero says:

    Ed, I am going to jump in here again……
    We all know it’s not “recommended”, but the fact is there are millions of us that do just that. That’s why there is a need for something like Restore.
    I understand your frustration, but you are not the only one with a deck. Yes, you tell people how to properly maintain theirs, and you did yours, but in the absence of deck police, I let mine go for over 20 years…. I know, sounds stupid, especially with my family of carpenters and builders. But I did just that.
    And Restore did what it said it would. It gave me back the use of my deck. For how long? I don’t know, but I made it through weeks of snow cover, the 4th highest snow accumulation on record for the reason, near zero temperatures and torrential rains this spring.
    But that’s just me. Your experience was vastly different..
    I agree that there should be a better determination as to who can use this product successfully. Perhaps we need to bring a sample of the surface wood, a small splintered off piece, to the place of purchase for analysis before purchase.
    In the end, many of us embraced this product at face value to not treat, protect or seal our decks, but to ‘restore’ them from a level of deterioration that made them functional once again.

    Enjoy your weekend, and THANK YOU TO ALL THAT SERVED!

  147. Ed says:

    Hi Joe:
    You bring up all good points in your post.
    I think between You, Tom and Me, we may have found the secret of why so many people are having problems with their Restore deck projects.
    It is my opinion that only decks that have never ever been treated with any stain, sealer or paint during their entire existence are suitable candidates for Rust-Oleum Restore. This is pretty well stated in Rust-Oleum’s “newly” revised customer application directions that I have posted earlier from the Rust-Oleum Facebook page.
    Almost any other deck that has had any treatment applied will most likely experience failure of this Restore product. Yours included. The likely-hood of you seeing this stuff sticking to your deck for any amount of time even remotely close to its stated warranty is virtually zero.But, it will be interesting to see how many winters you get out of it.
    You described your winters as: “weeks of snow cover, the 4th highest snow accumulation on record for the reason, near zero temperatures and torrential rains this spring”
    That describes our Spring.
    The winters in New England consist of months of temps well below zero. This winter we had 7 straight days of temps of -20 F and a snow fall of 3 feet in a 24 hour period. We consider a 6 inch snow fall as a “dusting”
    Have a good weekend and ditto on you “all that serve” statement.

  148. phil says:

    bought restore deck cover in aug.2013 worse choice i ever made. now in may of 2014 product is peeling and blistering bad NOT VERY HAPPY WITH THIS PRODUCT OR CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  149. Ed says:

    You are not alone.
    There’s a Facebook page that was set up to try and help victims of the defective product.

    also check out some YouTube videos that show the horrors of using this product.
    “Deck Disaster”

    Rust-Oleum Restore Horror Story”

    Don’t hold yor breath waithing for

  150. Larry Reed says:

    After 10 months, the restore coating is peeling in a major way. Part of our deck is 15 years and part is new. We don’t feel like this is all weather related as we live in north Alabama. We didn’t want to have to do this on a yearly basis. Any suggestions? We would most definitely NOT recommend this product.

    • Ed says:

      You are not alone.
      Look at the links I’ve posted to see the army of people infected with Restore disease.
      To file a complaint with Rust-Oleum, send an email to:
      Forget calling the 800 number unless you have hours to kill and a unlimited calling plan on your phone.
      Submit any photos of the peeled areas
      Include copies of your purchase receipts. (make an effort to get them from the store where you bought this crap if you don’t have them)
      They will reply with a form than needs to be filled out. It’s called the “Project Resolution Form”.
      Do not give them any information that will help them deny your claim.
      Go to the Rust-Oleum website and find the instructions on applying the Restore product. Make that match the information requested in the form.
      They most likely will attempt to deny your claim on the basis that you didn’t follow the instructions. Typical Rust-Oleum tactic.
      They will then issue a case number to you and then you wait

      Good Luck

      • Tom says:

        I used to look forward to getting the notice about a new message in this thread. I wanted to get an honest opinion about what it was like. I was worried when I heard about the bad ones, and this spring my deck would be terrible. Well, it STILL looks great, I did the cleaning, drying, scrubbing with their prewash, etc (you know, the right way like the instructions said) and my deck is still wonderful.

        NOW I see these and cringe because all it will be is another bitch session from you about this product. I am going to unsubscribe from this post that you have hijacked into your own bitch page, because it is getting old. You got screwed. Whatever. If I were rustoleum, I would fight your case tooth and nail to the supreme court. You are the kind of person that Karma gets every once in a while. I hope you have to replace your deck. I don’t think you followed the instructions and are now forcing everyone else to pay for your stupidity. I am quite pleased with my deck, regardless of how I left it untreated for 9 full seasons. Perhaps that IS the way to do it, so the stuff sticks. It is called DECK RESTORE. RESTORE as in fix beat up old decks, which is exactly what it did for me. I get compliments on it all the time. SO ha ha ha, just your luck. I think you deserve what you got. You are an unhappy person and lash out at folks over the way THEY took care of THEIR decks saying it was stupid. HAHAHA. KARMA BIT YA.

        Hope your next project goes even worse,


  151. Katie says:

    Tom, Ed’s not the only one. We applied it absolutely correctly, two coats. You are immature and insulting. I’m hoping there is a moderator to point that out to you. There’s a class-action lawsuit in motion, so, that’s hardly “just Ed” or a few people with a complaint. That’s THOUSANDS of people, Tom.

  152. Katie says:

    …and having to endure comments such as yours is totally worth it, if it saves one more family the labor, the money, the cost, of having used a bad product. That’s why we are commenting on Restore reviews.

  153. Katie says:

    I read through the entire thread. I think I deserve a medal, Fred! Okay, now I understand Tom’s animosity — Ed did, even if he didn’t really intend to, throw the first punch, so to speak. That still doesn’t justify Tom’s latest post in poor taste. Fred, I also understand what you are saying about the forum, and the website, and that we will not find redress for our issues here. What we want to do is SAVE OTHER PEOPLE from losing significant money, as we have. We have tried reaching out to Rust-Oleum, who are being frankly dishonest and contradicting themselves. I used to love their products, by the way! Let’s put this in perspective… the economy was even worse at the time people like myself, and Ed, chose to use this product to maintain our decks, part of our home investment. Along comes a product that seemingly promises miracles, guaranteed for years. I don’t know about Ed, but my husband and I were laboring under medical bills and had to do “something” for our deck to maintain value, but had very little money. We couldn’t hire a professional. So it almost seems to me, looking back, that the company heavily advertised this product at the time most middle-class homeowners were still suffering the effects of the Great Recession (and we still are), and so it was a slam-dunk in our opinion, to buy and use. We TRUSTED THE BRAND. Rustoleum never made anything in a spray-can that I haven’t loved. This is an exception, and a huge one. If the company were honest about it, if the company even made an effort to admit fault and help us now…. none of this discussion would be taking place. Fred, I believe as a website that serves information to consumers, it’s not unimportant that we post these experiences. I realize you may feel Ed has belabored it, but that’s only because all the thousands of the rest of us don’t know about this forum. I don’t think you want us to direct people here and make this thread even longer, either (I say that with good humor.) Ed got information on using stripping agents to remove the failed material from a product specialist. I had someone from Rust-Oleum write me that their website says it’s fine to sand it off. Well, there’s a problem there. Health and safety. As DIY folks, most of us don’t own the full bodysuit, respirator, protection equipment that someone who dealt with, for example, asbestos does. You don’t DIY asbestos, right? Part of what Ed’s been trying to point out to consumers is that the product contains a known carcinogen — that sandy stuff is crystalline silica ( please see ). There are already class-action lawsuits regarding silica and how toxic it is to your lungs. So, should Rust-Oleum be telling a consumer to sand it off? That seems really reckless to me. We’re not only trying to keep people from using a seriously bad product and lose much more money than they paid for it (in some cases decks are ruined and can only be replaced entirely), but to let people know who have experienced the failure how NOT to try and remove it for their own health, and that of their loved ones. Fred, I thank you for allowing us to continue posting on this thread. I can see your point of view. I hope you can see mine, though. How else do we reach all end-user consumers, to warn them? Back to the cost factor, that really stings, too. We put hard labor into our DIY, we followed their instructions (which changed, and still do, depending on what you ask, in such a way they’re never at fault), we put the very little bit of money we’d been able to save during the Recession toward a product that promised to make things better…. not much, much, worse, not cost us thousands of dollars more the very next year. If you join the Facebook page “Rust-Oleum Restore Users” you can read more horror stories, and see all the conflicting things Rust-Oleum has told us in reply. For them, this is going to wind-up being a PR disaster and because of people like Ed, they can’t ever say they didn’t see it coming. Thank you for your time reading this, and I hope it helps put our collective anger into some perspective, and why we don’t appreciate remarks such as yours. Although, again, reading the whole thread, I see how you got off on a bad footing with Ed. Just remember, it’s not “just Ed.” It’s me. It’s thousands of other people with experiences utterly identical to Ed’s. Which is why a class-action lawsuit makes sense to try and recoup our damages. Heck, situations like this is what they made class-actions for. It’s important though that you understand just how badly Rust-Oleum has handled this, and WHY we are so very upset. Peace.

  154. Tom says:

    Katie, for you I have nothing but sympathy. But for Ed, I wouldn’t shed a tear. The thought of him stewing at home every night brings a smile to my face. I am sorry you and others have problems. My problem was my email box filling up with complaint after complaint from the SAME PERSON OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Hopefully most people that visit the site can read, and can read what was said earlier without CONSTANT whining by Ed. It was my only point. I hope you have much success in getting your money back from Rustoleum. Perhaps I am a lucky one. Ed, I hope they sue him for defamation. See the difference?

    Thanks and enjoy your evening, and your deck once you figure out a solution.


    • Katie says:

      Tom, you can unsubscribe from more comments to this thread, right? That might help you out in regard to a very personal dispute between yourself, and Ed. You guys got off on the wrong foot, and stayed there. But what Ed’s done has helped find other affected class members, like me, and bring us together, which in my view is a much greater good in exchange for the annoyance you may find him to be. It got personal between you two, and it shouldn’t have. It’s just difficult when the company keeps telling us we’re at fault, to then have other consumers seemingly side with them and also not fully listen and understand our stories. Ed has found some very good information on behalf of all of us affected. For one thing, regarding the differences in some experiences — many of us seem to have done our DIY project in 2012/2013. Well, Ed researched and found out that:

      RPM International Inc. acquired Synta Inc. (originator of Restore) in Sept. 2012.

      RPM rolled Restore into its Rust-Oleum division.

      “Building on a strong product performance foundation, Synta has opportunities for further rapid growth ahead as it benefits from Rust-Oleum’s extensive marketing and distribution capabilities,” said Frank C. Sullivan, RPM chairman

      That distribution started in late 2012 and expanded in 2013 to all Big Box stores as well as ACE hardware stores nation wide.

      So did Rust-Oleum do anything different in manufacturing Restore?

      Only they can answer that and they are claiming that there is nothing wrong with the product except how users are applying it to their decks.

  155. Katie says:

    I hope I wasn’t reposting something shared earlier in this long thread, I can’t keep it all in my memory 😀

  156. Katie says:

    Everybody, please have a great day. Even if you can’t enjoy your decks. Even Ed has a good sense of humor about it, since he found and shared the video – which gives us some perspective, and humor. So let’s not argue about anything, and I’ll try not to over-post here either! But it’s sunny, upper 70s in Seattle right now…. and I can’t enjoy my deck. LOL. Kinda 🙂

  157. Roy Walsh says:

    Put this product on 2 decks, 1covered, 1 not. Product began to peel before the snow melted on both decks! The first month or 2 we were excited. The decks looked great! We do not recommend this at all, especially for the price. Going back to regular stain.

  158. Ed says:

    Roy, Go over to the Rust-Oleum Facebook page (see link below) and go to the “Reviews” section. Make sure to vote with “1” star. Heaven knows they deserve it.

    • Ed says:

      Thanks Doug:
      I’ve contact the Malone Firm in your “class action” link. I hope to hear more from them today and will keep you posted. Thanks for the link and hope anyone on this site who has been scammed / burned/ ripped off by Rust-Oleum Restore joins in.

  159. elly says:

    oh my god. this is the funniest thing i have ever read on a housing blog. if i were the blog owners i wouldn’t respond either.

    i think i’m going to paint my whole house with restore just because.

    i can’t afford to redo my deck and i want to make it look nice for a little while, and this is cheaper than a rug.

    done. please everyone, go sit outside on our ugly splintery decks and listen to the birds for a few

    best of luck to everyone on their home projects.

  160. Terry says:

    very hard reads. lots of frustrated people.

    I have a 25 year old 450 sq/ft deck\dog toilet I seriously neglected for 12+ years by doing absolutely nothing to it except pressure washing a lot (see dog toilet comment 🙂 )

    After fully inspecting the framing structure and determining it is solid and safe. I was satisfied that I would have to replace the decking. I found that I just didn’t have enough cash to pay someone to do it

    I was interested to hear about these class of products. Perhaps I could make it a few more years.

    Ok plan B is forming
    the plan is to stabilize it by replacing some dry rotted or weak boards, tighten down loose nails\boards, use the stripper and then coat it with this to make it last few more years. Sounds just like the marketing. Now to read all the reviews. I like to read all the negatives because I often can see a trend of how to make a product successful. (Pitfalls emerge always )

    I see a few trends here BTW:
    1) Requires a deck that no longer has any effective protective coating of any sort (or it must be stripped) which makes sense +1 pt for my neglect

    2) Coarse surface (any paint needs something to bond to especially thick paint).

    3) This is not a two part product so a too thick of an application could result in failure. I don’t care what they tell you its my POV If water cant dissipate it will be trapped. Anytime I put a one part coating on thick it peals off.

    4) Free of moisture – sounds to me like moisture trapped under the coating will prevent a good bond and freeze breaking the remaining bonds. (hummm wonder if wick effect water from the end of the planks do the same? Oh wait I think someone also said that.) isn’t this water based? I also read it dries out fast leaving an uneven moisture content during its application (possible failure trend)

    5) No new PT wood – (see number 4) it will not dry for two years unless you have kiln dried stuff (well that sinks me, I have to replace planks)

    Even if all of the above is done the reviews read as it can be a hit or miss for people. (It is expensive in time and cash to a roll of the dice. If I had the cash to risk I would have just replaced the decking)

    I have always known when problems are ambiguous the failure lies in the part of the system you cant diagnose. It is more than just application (as written) and preparation. There must be an inherent flaw in the design as well.

    If I was not mixing in some new planking I might have rolled the dice I guess ill just leave it exposed and put a basic protectant on it

    If I did, I think I would do all of the above but use a thin first coat (as light as I could)

    • Ed says:

      Do the math…to replace the decking on your 450 sq ft deck would be approx $750 in material. (Home Depot Weathershield PT Decking).

      To cover it with restore would be approx 6-7 (4 gallon buckets at $85 each = $600

      I would be willing to bet you would use more that 7 buckets because that has been one of the most common complaints is that the stated coverage (100 sq ft per bucket) is understated.

      So you have $750 to replace your decking versus $600 (maybe $685) to use Restore

      Is the risk of having the same results as hundreds of other Restore victims worth the $65 you would be saving??

      • Terry says:

        Very Very Good point. I wish it would be so cheap for just decking however

        It would be about $1100 for the decking here. Plus the building inspector stated I would need to make a few changes to bring it up to the current code. It brings me closer to $2000 in materials. I also figure if im going that far I should do railings etc. Soo If really did all the decking I would want to go all out and rebuild.

        Due to all the things I have to do this year I cant do it myself. Labor costs would kill me since I really DONT want to do that type of work. I can sand and paint over the summer a little each night.

        You gave me an idea however. Looking at all the info. I think Im just going to replace a LOT of the decking (not enough to warrant the permit ) and stain it. In thee years ill just tear it off and redu the whole thing. I rather throw away $600 in decking that I know will last for three years.


  161. diane anderson says:


    • Ed says:

      RO-1034848 looks like a warranty claim from our friends @ Rust-Oleum.
      Just a suggestion…They’ll pay some of the cost to remove this crap from your deck. You’ll need to supply at least three quotes from contractors and they will pay some small portion of the removal cost plus the refund for the Restore product.
      Or…you can join the class action lawsuit against Rust-Oleum
      There are several that have started. Here’s one of them:

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