We get lots of similar questions from our customers, so we’ve taken a minute to address a few of the most common ones. This FAQ page focuses on the Encore for Wood coating. For FAQs on Cool or Encore for Hard Surfaces, please visit this FAQ page.
NOTE: It’s summertime and that means faster dry times for Encore. Encore relies on water to spread the solids across your deck. If the water evaporates too fast, then it become difficult to spread the product. As the temperature rises, you will notice changes in the spread and cure time of Encore. This is due to changes in the evaporation rate. Here are a few quick tips to get the perfect results on hot summer days:
1. Start early. In the early morning, your deck is cooler from the night before, the air temperature is cool, and the sun is not as big of a factor. Working in the morning produces great results.
2. For first coat only. Keep a garden hose (and spray attachment) handy. If you notice that your material is curing too fast, lightly mist the surface by holding a spray attachment overhead and lightly misting the air, allowing the water to dampen the surface. Water misting reduces the ambient air temperature, cools the deck, and puts a little more water down. Do not allow water to pond or pool on the surface. This technique is delicate and you should not “over-hydrate” the surface. Do not use this technique on the second coat.
3. Don’t be afraid to stop the job and start again as daytime temperatures decline. Doing so will not affect Encore.
4. Keep the Encore kit cool and covered. Placing the Encore bucket in the shade while you’re working and keeping a lid on it will significantly extend the working time of the Encore material.
How much could I expect to save by using Encore?
In several cost comparisons, we have determined that Encore will save you between 64% and 86% over the cost of replacement. For example, if you have a $10,000 bid to replace your deck, you can resurface it for about $2,200. Add in the fact that your deck is only out of service for a morning compared to several days and realize additional savings and benefits.
Where deck stains and sealers are designed to penetrate wood, Encore for Wood is designed to “resurface” it. The Encore formula is designed to migrate deeply into checks and splits in the wood, completely sealing them and protecting the wood from inclement weather. Encore will also lock down splinters – something stains and sealers can’t do. Finally, Encore leaves behind a safe, skid-resistant surface. All in all, Encore is in a different class than sealers and stains because Encore is a high-build resurfacing agent.
Over fifty years of experience backs the Encore formulas. You may find knock-offs of Encore because of its remarkable industry potential, but you won’t find the depth of technical expertise and support that you’ll find backing the Encore brand. We encourage you to survey potential suppliers in regard to their specific experience in the area of coating development. It’s how we emerge as the clear choice.
Simply pick up a gallon of semi-gloss acrylic/latex paint in your color choice and mix it into the Encore kit. It’s that easy! Your deck will dry to that color.
Can I apply Encore to a newly installed wood?
Immediately applying Encore to newly installed treated lumber is not recommended because of the unusually high moisture content in newly treated lumber. New pressure treated lumber must be given time to allow moisture (caused in the wood treating process) to escape, allowing the lumber to shrink to it’s final dimension. Only then should you apply a stain, sealer, or product like Encore. We recommend that you wait a minimum of 60 days before attempting to apply Encore on new pressure treated lumber. Other types of lumber, such as cedar and redwood are not pressure treated and have better dimensional stability, allowing application of a coating to occur within the first 30 days.
Replace structurally unfit fasteners and reseat loose ones. If you have rusted nails or fasteners on the deck, do not coat over them until you have neutralized the rust using a rust neutralizer. Rust neutralizers can be found at most paint and hardware stores. We recommend that you use a neutralizer that is sold in aerosol form. Neutralizers that are in liquid form take longer to dry and can have an adverse effect if they are still wet when Encore is applied. Aerosol products will dry quick, and dryness will be obvious. Apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Also, keep in mind that if you have sanded or abraded the deck surface, you may have removed valuable galvanization or coating that was protecting the fasteners. If this is the case, treat those fasteners as well in order to prevent them from rusting.
Test your deck to see if it’s ready for Encore by pouring small amounts of water in various areas of the deck. If the water beads or sits on the surface, then you should use a deck cleaner and a product like oxalic acid to break the sealer down. If water is absorbed by the wood, then the efficacy of the sealer is nil and you’re ready to go to the next step.
The deck surface must be clean and free from any loose material like old paint or stain. In most cases, a good pressure wash accomplishes the task. Allow to dry. (Allow 48 hours of dry weather prior to application and never apply within 8 hours of expected rainfall.) If the surface is currently painted, make sure glossy surfaces are dull, abraded, and clean. We also recommend that you use Encore Pretreat, a specially designed micronized polymer primer that’s easy to apply. Pretreat penetrates into the wood and increases its dimensional stability. Pretreat greatly enhances the adhesion properties of the Encore coating, insuring that you get maximum life from your investment.
Once you’ve decided on the color and you have your paint, you’re ready to start. You’ll need a drill and mixing attachment to properly mix. When you open the pail, you will find instructions, a 1-gallon black pail, and a bag of organic dry mix. Remove them and set them aside. Empty the wet resin (contained in the black 1-gallon pail) into the 5-gallon pail. Add your paint and mix. Then add the dry organics that are contained in the poly bag. Mix aggressively for several minutes, insuring that the dry organics are completely separated and thoroughly mixed in the container. You’re ready to start applying! If you have any questions, a QR code on the printed instructions will take you to more information on our website.
Encore is applied with ordinary paint tools. For best results, we recommend the use of a 3/8″ to 1/2″ nap paint roller.
Note: The proper application of two sufficient coats is extremely important to the success of your coating! Follow these instructions carefully.
We highly recommend the use of Encore Pretreat prior to the application of the Encore coating. We have found that the expense of Pretreat is offset by additional coverage of Encore attained by using Pretreat. Follow the instructions and apply Pretreat. While Pretreat is still damp on the surface, it’s time to apply the first coat of Encore.
The cut-in process: Apply Pretreat to the cut-in area (along home siding, vertical railing, etc.) and apply a heavy one coat of Encore while Pretreat is still damp. Feather the leading edge of the cut in to avoid lap marks.
“Applying between the boards”: In order to produce a favorably aesthetic result, you may consider using a brush to cut-in between the deck boards. Depending on the spacing between the boards, you may be able to use the leading edge of a paint roller to obtain the same result as a brush. Allow to dry and you’re ready to proceed to the application of the first coat.
First coat (the repair coat): This should be a particularly heavy coat. Work the coating into cracks, completely filling them. Applying the coating, rolling it perpendicular to the wood grain, has been found to be the most effective way to apply the repair coat. Allow the coating to dry.
Second coat (the finish coat): The finish coat should be applied in the direction of the wood grain. When applying the second coat, avoid overlapping, which would create lines in the finish coat. Since Encore begins curing the moment it’s applied, don’t roll back over the coating too often once it’s down. Doing so could cause the “skin coat” to tear and effect the final texture. The finish coat should be applied as soon as the repair coat is dry. The finish coat should be about 80-90% as heavy as the repair coat.
What are the ideal weather conditions in which to apply Encore?
Encore can be applied in temperatures between 38-90 degrees F. Do not apply Encore on damp wood. Decks that have been pressure washed or rained on should be given at least 48 hours to dry before applying Encore. Do not apply Encore with rainfall in the 8 hour local forecast.
Drying time will depend on weather conditions. Encore dries faster in warm, dry weather. Here are two examples of drying time: (1) Sunny day, 85-90 degrees F with 30% humidity will yield a dry time of approximately 8 minutes. (2) Overcast day, 65 degrees F, with 70% humidity will yield a dry time of approximately 18 minutes.
If you have material left over, we suggest that you apply a third coat to high traffic areas, especially steps. Otherwise, tightly reseal the container and store it in a dry cool area. Encore’s advertised shelf life of an activated kit is 14 days. However, depending on your area’s climate and how you’ve stored it, the contents could remain stable much longer. In some cases, we’ve seen material remain stable for one year – and counting.
Use your best judgement. You can begin walking (light use) on the deck within 8 hours of it being completely dry. You can move furniture back onto the deck and put it back in service 24 hours of it being completely dry.
You can clean an Encore deck with green-friendly cleaners. Most of these cleaners only require that you spray it on and allow it to work. Dirt and grime will rinse off.
Encore affords benefits that are not normally found with other deck maintenance products. Here are a few important ones:
- Encore is a permanent solution to deck maintenance. Apply Encore and start enjoying your deck again!
- Encore is fire resistant. We have had accounts of coals and embers landing on an Encore deck and smoldering until they went out, never affecting the coating, much less burning down the deck.
- Encore encapsulates harmful preservatives that are used to treat lumber. This is important to those who have pets that lay on the deck or those who enjoy lounging on their deck with bare feet.
- Encore is a VOC-friendly, water-based formula which makes it one of the most environmentally-friendly products ever made for wood and concrete.