Choosing the Right Finish for your Deck

By Bill Christou, 01/10/18

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Outdoor living has become increasingly popular as more and more people strive to make their decks and gardens an extension of their home's interior.

With this trend, wood decks have become an increasingly important part of residential construction. A beautiful deck design complimented by well thought out landscaping adds versatile living space to a home and, with minimal maintenance, provides decades of use and enjoyment.

In order to be durable for the long-term, all decks (whether wood, plastic or composite) need to be properly installed and maintained as they are constantly exposed to severe weather conditions. With wooden decks the exposure to severe weather naturally causes the boards to shrink and swell the wood and subjects the deck boards to high levels of stress.

Without proper maintenance, even the most well built wood decks utilizing only the most hearty of wood species can potentially develop problems such as checks and cracks, raised grain, and mildew, thus increasing the risk of decay and insect attack as the natural process of weathering occurs.

Because of these risks, lumber used in decks is usually pressure treated with a preservative, or is a naturally durable wood such as Ipe, Batu, Cumaru, Redwood or Western Red Cedar.

Regularly applying an additional finish to wood decks has been proven to be the most cost-effective way to prolong the life of your deck and minimize the problems of cracking, raised grain, and mildew growth.

A penetrating oil-based finish applied to wood decks provides better overall performance and is easier to reapply than a film-forming finish (e.g., paint, solid-color stain).

In addition to the continuous shrinking and swelling of the wood caused by changes in the moisture content, film-forming finishes are subjected to excessive wear, especially in high-traffic areas. For these reasons, penetrating finishes, not film-forming finishes, should be used on wood decks.

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We at Nova USA Wood recommend the use of ExoShield on your wood deck. ExoShield offers superior protection for exterior wood applications such as decking, siding and outdoor furniture. The secret ExoShield formula protects your project while allowing the natural beauty of the wood to remain the focus.

Using a proprietary blend of Tung Oil, Fungicide, and Trans-oxide pigments, the exclusive ExoShield formula provides long-lasting penetrative protection for exterior wood applications while using only the finest components. Our own installation guides for exterior hardwood require that you use an oil-based protective finish, which is why we are proud to offer the very best exterior wood finish on the market.

For more information on ExoShield or to find out how to purchase a gallon for your deck, please visit us at

By Bill Christou, 01/10/18

"Great blog I enjoy reading about new decking. Post more blogs like these."

By ABS Wood on 07/19/22

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