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Deck Finishes - Cetol DEK vs SANSIN Dec

rwegner's picture


I am building a deck for a client this summer and have been researching some of the new water-based finishes. We have used Cetol 1 +23 on the siding of our home for many years and are very happy with it, but do not have any experience with the Cetol DEK product.

I like the fact that SANSIN Dec is water-based thus being more environmentally friendly and easier to work with.

Does anyone have any experience with decks that have been finished with SANSIN Dec and are now about 3-4 years old?

I would be interested in hearing about opinions or experiences with either product as I am trying to decide which one to go with for this deck.


(post #72627, reply #1 of 17)

What part of the planet will the deck be in?  What's the decking material?

In California, where all the really good (& nasty!) finishes are illegal I've used Superdeck Exotic Hardwood Finish & Sealer:

It's water-based and I'm aware of at least one pro who uses it in commercial applications (e.g. Starbucks decks).  2-coat, easy application, easy cleanup, fast dry - what's not to like!

I haven't seen the two products you mentioned around here (doesn't mean they're not here, just that I haven't seen them).

(post #72627, reply #2 of 17)


Yes, I should have provided more information. The deck will be built in Eastern Canada near Ottawa, Ontario and will be built out of Western Red Cedar. The deck faces southwest so does get a lot of sun in the summer and then there is the Canadian winter to deal with as well. :-)

Here are the URLs for the two deck finishes I was talking about.

Sikkens Cetol



(post #72627, reply #3 of 17)

Sorry, can't help you out there.  All my research and (limited) experience is with hardwood decks.  Cedar's a whole 'nother animal - especially when it's burried in snow half the year :-)

(post #72627, reply #4 of 17)

Alright.. here's my opinion of the Cetol finish on a flat surface.. it sucks! I don't know anything about the second one that you listed but any of the Sikkens finishes on decks are a trainwreck waiting to happen. Yes, it does look nice for a couple of years but the problem with any finish that leaves a varnish like coating on the surface is that in time it gets small pinholes (maybe even smaller than what you can see with the naked eye)  from the dirt and sand on peoples feet. After this happens it's just a matter of time before the finish fails and it's horrible to deal with.. like stripping it all back down to bare wood (although I really don't mind because I do a lot of this and it pays well). If you look at the literature for Sikkens they recommend a maintenance coat every year, which I would imagine would prevent this problem... but who is willing to pay someone all that labor (not to mention the price of the product)... not very many people. On a verticle surface it's not that bad and it will last for quite a few years, although I also have stripped a few houses that someone let go a little too long as well. I would recommend a product like Cabot Clear Solution or Devoe Natural Cedar.. or anything that is linseeed oil based and designed to penetrate into the wood.. no it doesn't last as long (2-4 years) but it only requires a powerwashing and recoating to maintain it.. and it costs half what Sikkens does (not that it really matters.. the big advantage is that it doesn't require stripper to deal with it.. it just wears and doesn't peel)... Good luck with whatever finish you choose.

Cetol DEK..dont do it (post #72627, reply #5 of 17)

I Live near ottawa (West of, in Haliburton, where we have heavy snow in winters and hot sun in summers) in Ontario.

I used Cetol Dek on a very large Cedar deck, it looked great the 1st year, then it began to peel and peel (and peel), until it looked awful.

I contacted Sikkens and they send me 10 gals of their Cetol Dek. We stripped the deck the best we could and reapplied the coating (remember, it is a coating not a penetrating stain). two years later it peeled again and the deck looked terrible (for appearances sake we have had a $8000 deck look terrible for many tears now).

I am now going to replace the entire deck top, this time with 5/4 PT.

I am researching deck stains (not coatings like the Sikkens products) and am considering Penofin and Sansin Deck.

I also have heard that Home Depots Behr products are good, but have to look into them further

Originally I was not going to stain/coat the declk, but wood needs some protection from the sun.


Hope this helps

Sansin or Penofin? (post #72627, reply #6 of 17)

Good afternoon Richard - and hopefully Tom3641.

I've read your posts from 4 years ago - I'm wondering what was done and how it worked out for you?  I'm debating between Sansin or Penofin, for a new 'brown' pressure treated deck.  Any comments would be helpful, thanks!  I'm in Ontario, just west of Toronto, so similar weather to Ottawa.



Hi There Todd,   I'm (post #72627, reply #17 of 17)

Hi There Todd,


I'm actually in the Wood Restoration business up your way, based out of Bancroft. Bottom line is if you want the look of stained wood deck you need to be prepared to do semi-annual maintanence--clean and re-coat. Sansin DEC is a good product, but nothing but maintance can stand up to the elements on a horizontal surface. As mentioned in previous posts stay away from Cetol---Best finish short term, but when it fails, and it always fails, it means you probably have to pay someone like me to strip it off for you! If you go the route of brown PT, clean and recoat every few years with the PT treatment and you deck will last a long will never have quite the look that a beauty semi-trans stain will give, but it will never look like something you need to be embarassed about!


Best of Luck with Your Project!