Synta (Rust-Oleum) Deck Restore Stain Review

Synta Deck Restore

Rust-Oleum Deck Restore

Note: Rust-Oleum bought Synta Deck Restore in 2012. It is not called Rust-Oleum Restore.

Deck Restore™ is the smart alternative to deck replacement. It revives and protects wood surfaces such as wood and composite decking, stairs, docks and more.

Deck Restore™ is water based, low odor and fills up to 1/4” cracks.

Synta’s Deck Restore is designed to “mask” the wood. It will not show the wood grain. Promoted as a product for wood that is beyond conventional restoration.

Synta Rust-Oleum Restore Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 5

- Synta Restore is basically a very thick paint that is designed to mask the wood and fill any large cracks and voids. To us it looked very fake on the pressure treated deck. We also noticed that the finish (after full drying) is very hot to the touch when exposed to direct sunlight. To the point that you would not be able to walk on the surface with bare feet.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 10

- Being a solid non-translucent product, the (Rust-Oleum) Restore does not show any signs of UV fading. This is normal for solid stains and paints.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 7

- Synta (Rust-Oleum) Restore showed some wearing in the high traffic areas and between the decking boards. It seems that the (Rust-Oleum) Restore did not adhere between the boards as the finish curled up here.

Cost Per Square Foot: 1

- Horrible. We needed 10 of the (Rust-Oleum) Restore 2 gallon kits. That is $600 for a 600 sq. foot deck or $1 per foot.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 10

- Synta (Rust-Oleum) Restore should zero mold or algae on deck.

Ease of Application: 2

- Very difficult to apply. We used the supplied roller and a heavy duty brush for back wiping and to get between the floor boards. We followed all the supplied directions. The entire project for the two required coats took 12 hours to perform with 2 people. We had issues getting the stain to apply evenly and between the deck boards. Full curing for the Synta Restore can take up to 3 weeks.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 10

- Did not darken or attract dirt.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 5

- Heavy scraping to remove the peeling stain would be required prior to applying another coat. Conversations with the manufacturer on the product failure were difficult. Basically they blamed the peeling on poor prepping of the wood even though we followed their online instructions.

Overall Score Rust-Oleum Restore Solid Acrylic Stain at 2 Year Period: 6.25

- We are not a fan of this product. Basically a “thick” paint that performs about the same as any other solid color deck stain. Doing some research online and you will find there are more unhappy customers out there then satisfied customers. Appearance is poor, application is difficult, and cost per foot is horrible. To be fair, the Synta Restore did score extremely well in UV fading and preventing mold.

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Big Box Stores, Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, etc
Cost: $59.99 per 2 Gallon Kit
Stain Type: Acrylic Solid Stain – Water Based
Available Colors: 20 different colors
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 2 Coats.
Coverage Per Gallon: 100 sq. ft per 2 gallon kit for 1 coat. Need 2 coats for best performance.
Application Tools: Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 8-24 Hours
Cleanup: Water
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Synta

Test Deck Stats:

Location of Deck: North Carolina
When Tested: June 2009
Deck Wood Type: Pressure Treated Pine Dock
Deck Square Footage: 600 Square feet
UV Exposure: Southern exposure. Full sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used:
Cedar


*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.

133 Responses to “Synta (Rust-Oleum) Deck Restore Stain Review”

  1. Shelley says:

    My husband and I have been working our butts off on our deck with this product and it looks good but we have this goo coming up like sap all over our deck! We followed all the directions, applied in low humidity, my husband even took off of work to do so. But now we have this nasty, sticky goo that is clearly coming from the Deck Restore product and I am just heart broken over it! What a mess! Has anyone else had this happen and if so how long does this go on for?

    • Mital says:

      Shelley, we have the same thing happening with my parents' deck. It's been about two months since I applied the Restore. Were you able to get any answers on treating this? Thanks.

    • Doris says:

      I have 'Sap'-like goo coming out of my aging deck as well. I haven't used this product, but was hoping this product could cover it up. Doesn't sound like it can, so I think i'll skip trying. Researching on the internet, I believe the Sap-like stuff is actually called pitch, and I don't know much about what it actually is, but it doesn't come out until the boards are old. Everything I have read so far is that you have to replace those boards. Your sticky sap problem, may not have anything to do with the stain. Unless the stain contains sap – I don't see how it could be the result of applying the stain.

      You may have to replace those boards. Good luck!

  2. Chris says:

    I applied Restore to my deck at the end of May (here in CO… dry and hot). Well here we are in the July and the Restore still has not hardened. I called tech support and they told me this happens sometimes and to apply the acrylic stain (which the provided at not cost to me) which will harden it. I did as they said and the Restore is still soft.
    Has anyone else had this problem and did the Restore ever harden?

  3. Dar says:

    just finished putting on restore on some stairs two coats, hate it ! if I sand it down ,i'm wondering if I can paint them with a good floor paint?

  4. Josh says:

    Horrible product!!! We had no trouble with drying time or application…but one week after application, we started to notice marks and stains that will not come off. Some food was spilled, that left a permanent stain that will not even come off with a pressure washer. Shouldn't "deck armor" be able to resist every day wear and tear? Very upset.

  5. Leslie says:

    This will be the third summer since I've had deck restore on my deck. Through 3 Wisconsin winters it has held up extremely well. I have not experienced any chipping, peeling, anything. Yes, it is a PAIN to put on…but in my experience, well worth the pain being it has been maintenance free since. The cost is high but again…paid for itself since I haven't had to reapply or restain since the initial application.

  6. Linda M. says:

    Just had Restore applied to my new deck a few days ago by the man that built the deck and suggested this product. I chose the Adobe color and had the Adobe stain used on the rails and posts. While he certainly knew how to apply it, and thinks it looks great, I hate it. It seems to look "Patch" in color in certain spots. Those patches look to be a bit darker than other areas, and almost look like dirty spots. I also didn't realize that the Adobe stain would come out looking like a flat paint in the exact same color as the deck floor. I have distinct areas on the deck that definitely have a more sand in the paint and it looks, to my eyes anyway, horrible. Not too happy with the end results, but can now do very little about it except to learn to live with it. I wouldn't have used it if I knew what it would end up looking like.

  7. marcia thom says:

    Our Behr deck stain is peeling off the whole deck and looks awful. Does Restore cover peeling paint? Please help, our deck looks horrible and we need to know what to do. We like what Restore advertises but it scares me when I read the reviews. Please advise.

  8. Larry says:

    I used this last August on a large deck that is made up of two sections, one old section done years ago with solid stain and a new section with bare boards. I followed all directions including power washing and letting it dry completely for several days. It came out looking fantastic! However in November with the first rain / freeze, the old section started bubbling up in big patches. It's now March and most of this section has peeled up. Today I powerwashed the remaining bits off. The new section with the bare wood still looks great with NO bubbling / peeling.
    I don't know if the problem was related to the original stain causing bad adhesion, but it looks that way. My plan is to wait until winter is over, use the powerwasher again to remove any loose material, then sand the stained area down to bare wood and try again with the Restore. Hope this time it works!

    • asween16 says:

      This is exactly the problem I am having. I am so aggravated. It was $$ and backbreaking work. Sucks to start over again.

  9. Cheryl says:

    Peeled within a year. We spend around 1000.00 in prep/product to cover our back deck. The product doesn't cover nearly what it says it does so the cost was at least twice what we expected. Applied it last summer, this Spring its peeling (Michigan). We followed the directions exactly, It took about a week with 2 of us working on it. I'm seriously considering contacting the company, although i doubt it will do me any good. Any Idea how to safely remove it? It hurts me just thinking about all the money wasted on this product.

  10. Aston says:

    Had a 612 sqft deck done. Read it was difficult to apply so I hired a professional contractor to do the job. Took near double suggested amount. Contractor fee was $1900, product and materials 1650. Looked great when finished the deck was less then a year and a half at the time and never been treated. Now after a long Missouri winter. The vertical stain is peeling like crazy on all the rails. The horizontal is cracked and bubbling up and can be peeled off with rubbing you shoe over it in some spots. Rustoleum refunds for product but no the labor to put on and then the labor to have it taken off. Will probably have to file a lawsuit and from what I have seen on facebook, amazon and now here a class action suit may be in order. People need to be protected from this defective product. If it's just a climate issue then they need to not sell it in locations that have such climates.

  11. Roger says:

    Our deck in Kentucky has peeled off in about 7 months since applying. We followed all directions to clean and prepare the deck for the Restore. It's not user error, it's a poor productm, period. Run away from this. We now have to figure out what to do for this summer so it doesn't look so bad. Probably a quarter of the deck is peeling.

  12. Russ says:

    In 2012 I built a deck around my above ground pool and closed in all sides. It looks terrific. In 2013, one year later, I decided to stain the entire deck with restore. It looked great upon completion. However, the deck is almost impossible to walk on when the temperatures reach the upper 80's or low 90's. So here we are April 2014 and the sides of my pool enclosure look as good as the day I stained; however the deck is another story. In all traffic areas of the deck it is peeling. Not sure what I'll do yet, but very disappointing. It's not like it was a cheap project.

  13. Larry says:

    This is the worst product I have used of the 5 different products I've used on our deck in the 16 years I've lived here. We used Restore last summer over 500 square feet of our deck, did everything EXACTLY as recommended. This spring, less than one year later, we have to either get outdoor carpeting to cover the mess, or replace our cedar boards. About 50% of the Restore has peeled from the wood, while the other 50% didn't. And that's even on the same boards! DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT … IT IS A RIP-OFF for the cost and time for prep and then application. And don't let people tell you it works if you do everything correctly. Bull—-! Even the cheapest product I applied over the last 16 years lasted two years. Live, pay and learn.

  14. Burt says:

    I followed the instructions to the letter including sanding the deck and applying with the supplied rollers. The results were abominable. The cost in time, product and rental of a drum sander was excessive and now, less than 8 months later, I'm going to have to sand the entire deck to remove this awful product. I strongly recommend not buying Restore.

  15. John says:

    Also spent a lot of time prepping to do job right last summer only to see it peeling everywhere this summer already. Very poor product. Even uprights i used stain on like they recommend look like they are starting to peel. Maybe can't be used on older decks? Don't know if it can be spot redone with same stuff or not. Have not contacted company yet.

  16. Paul says:

    I installed this decking product on about 200 sf of old redwood deck along the front of or home. The deck was almost 40 years old and was cracked and dry and even rotted along the top quarter to half inch to many of the planks. This was a perfect example of salvage vs replacement. Since the decking boards run under a portion of the building, cost would be over $6-10,000 to replace. I applied the product to the horizontal planks after using the cleaner (i let the cans sit in the sun for several hours to warm up before application and it will apply just fine). There was an area that I had to fill in a half inch in about a 2 sf area. I was aware not to walk on it for some time. Talk about night and day. Our deck that needed to thrown away looks fantastic. Forget about color selection as this is always subjective. We just chose a very conservative brown to match the color of the cabin. The cabin is at 6400 ft in sierra ca and it has survived a winter freeze at 17 below zero. It still looks great. For sure this product was designed for my application. I cannot attest to the concrete application.

  17. Guest says:

    Put this product on my deck August 2013.
    Fast forward to Feb 2014 and my deck looks horrible.
    It didn't survive 1 New England winter.
    It's peeling up everywhere.
    $500 and 30 hours labor wasted

  18. Bud says:

    Like other complaints, I prepped and applied Restore exactly as the directions and video described – pressure washed, waited until completely dry and no threat of rain for at least 3 days after application. I also used more than the manufacturer said coverage should be. I had bought 5 – 4 gallon pails as well as the prescribed rollers. I finished the application in September of last year and by Christmas, saw the first signs of peeling. By April of this year, at least 1/4 of the deck has peeled, so I filed a warranty claim with Rustoleum. It has now been over a month since that claim and the only response that I have received so far was an acknowledgement that they had received my email attachments (Home Depot receipt and pictures of the peeling deck and stairs). This is by far, the worst stain/paint product that I have ever used and would advise everyone to save their money and TIME. Am now considering legal action and will definitely post more negative reviews and complaints online. Can't understand how a reputable company like Rustoleum can continue to sell this junk.

  19. Beth says:

    My husband and I just spent the Memorial Day weekend using a rented sander to take Deck Restore off of our large wooden deck. I had followed the instructions to the letter when prepping the deck prior to application and went slowly while applying to ensure even coating, etc. Left all furniture off deck for several days to let the product dry well. Within a few weeks, it had already begun to peel off in spots, and if I used the hose to rinse dirt away, the product peeled up as though I was using a pressure washer. Unfortunately, we had also used it on our front concrete porch so are having to sand that as well since it peeled right up from that, too. Very disappointing and a LOT of work to remove as well as to apply. I would not recommend this product at all.

  20. Jean says:

    So very disappointing…we applied this product to our deck last summer. It looked great, at first! After a rather harsh winter, it has bubbled and peeled. I contacted the company 6 weeks ago and have heard nothing from them. Truly a waste of time and money.

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