Blue Star Plus Decking

Machine Coated | Ready to Install

Factory-Coated-DeckingBlue Star products have been the #1 choice in hardwood decking by East Coast builders for more than 25 years. Now, you can buy this same product with a factory coating of Messmer’s UV Plus, the #1 choice in oil finish among East Coast deck builders.  Introducing: Blue Star Plus

Each piece of Blue Star Plus has been uniformly coated, pressed, brushed and buffed on our custom-designed finishing line. Every piece is hand wiped and inspected, then carefully dried in a dust-free environment.

A Blue Star deck is a good investment. Get the most value from your investment by using Blue Star Plus.

The following recommendations and suggestions are intended to provide you information that we have learned and gathered during many years of building with Blue Star and other wood products. Our goal is to be realistic and forthright with our comments. We ask that you be realistic with your expectations. Remember, wood is a natural substance that reacts to weather and sunlight.

A good coating of high-quality penetrating oil looks great on any deck. But the greatest benefit from finishing is improved long-term performance. Oil-based deck finishes penetrate wood fibre to form a water-repellent coating. They do not “seal” wood against the intrusion of moisture, as many people believe. These finishes slow the absorption and expulsion of moisture. They help minimize surface checking (small, hairline cracks) and movement or distortion that can occur when wet lumber dries rapidly. They help your deck look, wear and perform better over its lifetime. Deck finishes are not one-time, permanent coatings. All oil-based deck finishes will dissipate over time. Performance and appearance longevity for finished decking will depend on a number of factors. The quality of the timber and the brand of finish used are critically important. The direction a deck faces, the local climate, and the characteristics of any particular building site all play a role in determining the performance of the deck boards and the coating. Proper coating application produces the best, longest lasting results. Machine coating, when done correctly, will outperform hand coating. All wood decks — even those that are intended to weather naturally — should be treated with an initial coating of water repellent finish. All boards should be coated on all surfaces, to uniformly retard the absorption and expulsion of moisture. Blue Star Plus provides you the all-important base coat of finish you need to achieve maximum performance and the best long-term appearance from our products.
The answer is simple: it’s better, easier, and more cost effective than manual coating. Manual application of any deck finish, whether by sprayer, brush or roller, is labor intensive, time consuming, and almost always messy. It can be difficult to manually apply a uniform coating with proper penetration, while avoiding drip and brush marks and areas of excess “puddling.” Manual application also requires fair weather and a spacious workspace that is clean and dry. Factory coated decking is: Better: Because our custom-engineered prefinishing machine coats 100% of each piece with a consistent finish, to the manufacturer’s specifications. Each piece is coated, pressed and brushed to proper penetration, then buffed to a uniform finish with our unique buffing brushes. After buffing, each piece is hand wiped and inspected by Blue Star graders, then immediately moved to our fan-air drying station. Drying takes place quickly, in a dust-free environment to assure that no particulate matter is embedded in the finished pieces. Easier: Because you don’t have to do it! No clean up. No storage or disposal of leftover materials to worry about. No drying. No delays. Blue Star Plus is ready to install! Cost effective: Compare the cost of buying Blue Star Plus to hiring skilled painters for on-the-job finishing. Or, consider your own time and energy, and expenses for finishes, brushes, rollers, cleaners and other materials. You’ll be amazed. It’s cost effective.
Sikkens Wood Finishes is a division of AkzoNobel, the world’s largest manufacturer of high-end paints and industrial coatings. With company roots dating to 1624, AkzoNobel is a diversified company that is also a recognized leader in specialty chemicals and adhesives for a variety of industrial uses. From marine to aerospace applications, from high-end automobile paints to wood finishes and adhesives, AkzoNobel and Sikkens are worldwide market leaders. AkzoNobel companies have led the global wood finishing industry since painter and decorator Wiert Willem Sikkens began making lacquers in the Dutch town of Groningen in 1792. Today, Sikkens is the industry leader in wood finishes that significantly reduce environmental impact without sacrificing beauty and protection. The world’s largest manufacturer of wood coatings, Sikkens makes products in 25 countries around the globe. Just as we spare no expense in the manufacture of our decking and accessory products, we won’t compromise on the finish we have selected for Blue Star Plus. From Sikkens, we get the right finish to compliment our lumber. For more information, please visit www.akzonobel.com or www.nam.sikkens.com.
Cetol SRD is a one-step, translucent penetrating oil finish. It is formulated to enhance the grain and natural characteristics of fine wood. When applied to Blue Star decking, Cetol SRD provides the protection you need, while preserving the original, natural look of our lumber. Cetol SRD dries quickly to a hard, clear finish. It provides excellent UV protection, without clouding the natural appearance of lumber. Unlike many competing products, it does not leave a heavy, oily surface coating that collects and embeds dirt. Cetol SRD cleans easily and thoroughly. Because it resists embedded dirt, it can be easily washed with common household cleaners or commercial deck cleaners. Try a simple cleaning with water and a brush. You’ll see what we mean. Cetol SRD can be refinished, time after time, without unnecessary clouding and build-up that destroy the natural look of wood. We have chosen #078-Natural finish for Blue Star Plus. Because it is a translucent finish, #078 preserves the natural variations in our wood. Should you wish to recoat with a darker, more uniform color of Cetol SRD, you may do so and still maintain the clarity of your finish. Through Sikkens’ advanced chemical technology, Cetol SRD meets, or exceeds all current environmental standards for volatile organic compounds (VOC). At Blue Star, we try to make the best products possible. We would not select anything but the best finish money can buy for our factory-coated decking.
Please download a copy of our Decking Installation Sheet for Blue Star decking. Follow these general guidelines when installing Blue Star Plus. Of course, you won’t need to worry about the “Finishing” section! You will receive additional information regarding the use of Blue Star Plus on our coated paper end caps that come with this product. Be sure to read one of the end caps. Since you are using a factory-coated product, avoid marring or scuffing the boards. All the boards have two faces, so it’s OK to flip them over and select the best face when you install your deck boards. For more information about finishing, maintenance, cleaning and refinishing, click the link below.
Touch-up finishing:

You may need to touch up some areas of your deck after it is first installed. Lightly sand the area(s) to be touched up, if necessary. If sanding is not necessary, clean the specific areas with a solution of 3 parts water, 1 part household bleach and a squirt of liquid dish soap. Use a medium-firm brush or push broom to brush/scrub the surface, as needed. Rinse thoroughly with water (using a hose and nozzle) and allow the area to dry completely. (Never apply a coating of finish to wet boards.) Once the boards are dry, apply a light coating of Sikkens Cetol SRD (#078-Natural) by brush, roller, or paint pad. (Do not over apply the finish.) Wipe any excess finish with a clean cloth. Allow the area to dry.

Regular maintenance:

After installing Blue Star Plus, you may wish to let your deck age naturally to a smooth, silver color. If this is your choice, you need not reapply additional coatings of Cetol SRD. Please note that a second coating will help your deck boards age better, and give you a better looking deck in the years ahead. Please remember that wood is wood! It will fade under sunlight, even if treated with a deck finish. Color can be restored or refreshed with maintenance. Over time, wood will fade to a silver color if left untreated. When weathering to its natural silver color, it may not weather uniformly all at once. You might need to give it time to achieve uniformity. If you choose to maintain a finished look, you will need to treat the deck with additional applications of finish, according to need. No matter which of these you choose, we recommend that you perform regular cleaning and maintenance on your deck, if you wish to achieve maximum performance and appearance.

Important facts about maintenance, deck cleaning, and refinishing:
  • Your best bet for a long lasting, good looking deck is to keep your deck clean. Regular sweeping and rinsing with a hose and nozzle will help keep surface dirt and debris from building up. An occasional light scrubbing with a medium or stiff brush does wonders. If your deck tends to build up dirt, grime or mildew, clean it occasionally with a mild cleaning solution. If you keep your deck clean and well maintained, the job of refinishing will be much easier, and produce better results.
  • There are dozens — if not hundreds — of commercial products available for cleaning, brightening and stripping decks. For every one of these products, there are an infinite number of opinions about how to use them. (If you don’t believe us, take a grip on Google!) If you are concerned or confused about which products to use, or how to use them, consult your local lumber dealer. Or, send us your questions by email.
  • Cleaners, brighteners, and strippers have different purposes. Which of these is appropriate for any specific job will depend on the condition of the deck. If you are unsure about which product you require, consult with your lumber dealer, or with a qualified deck builder/contractor. Or, email us your pictures and questions.
  • One common instruction for using cleaners and brighteners is to keep the wood wet with the cleaning solution for 10-20 minutes. This is a good tip. During this time you need to scrub the wood with a medium to stiff brush or push broom. This scrubbing will help dislodge dirt, debris, or worn finish from prior coatings.
  • Sanding a deck to bring it back to original condition is always an option. This is a more intensive process than cleaning or stripping. You can avoid the need to sand a deck if you perform regular cleaning and refinishing.
  • Never use a pressure washer as a “cleaning” tool on your deck. A pressure washer is a valuable tool in the deck cleaning process, but it should be used for rinsing – not for cleaning your deck.
  • A pressure washer can be your friend…or, it can be your enemy! When used at a high-pressure setting and held too close to wood, a pressure washer can rupture surface fibres and create a fuzzy or hairy surface. It can also etch the surface of boards when used improperly.If you choose to use a pressure washer in any deck cleaning process, begin with a pressure setting of 500 psi (or less), and a nozzle/fan setting of 40 to 60 degrees (about enough to wash two to three 6″ deck boards, or three to four 4″ deck boards, when held 1 foot from the surface). Use only enough pressure to clean your deck thoroughly. Do not exceed 500 psi.Wash/rinse the boards with a sweeping motion, keeping the tip of the nozzle about one foot from the boards (no closer). Test a small area to determine if cleaning is adequate and if no damage to the wood fibre has occurred. If this setting works, keep going. If cleaning is not adequate, use a stronger cleaning solution. Remember, it is best to let your cleaning solution and brush do as much of the work as possible. A pressure washer is for rinsing!
Is my deck ready for another coat of finish?
  • We believe the best time to refinish is “right before you think you need to refinish.” In other words, don’t go too soon…and don’t wait too long.
  • Most manufacturers of decking finish claim that their products will provide protection for 12-24 months. For every deck, there are a number of variables that will determine the performance longevity and the look of a finished deck. These manufacturers are careful not to overstate the performance of their products. At the same time, they need to state performance indicators that make their products sound great.
  • In our experience, the 12-24 month rule is reasonably accurate for performance. During this time, you will probably notice some color fade to the finish.
  • Most, if not all, manufacturers of deck finish will tell you that you need to wait for the previous coating to completely dissipate before refinishing. They know, from experience, that over-coating can lead to messy and unattractive buildup. Also, certain “oily” finishes may have difficulty adhering to existing layers of finish.
  • There are many schools of thought on this subject. The traditional “acid test” to determine if your deck is ready for another coating is: Does the old coating still shed water? To determine this, test your deck boards by pouring water on a small area. If the boards shed water, the finish is still working. If the boards absorb water, you are definitely ready to refinish.
  • If you wait for the original coating to totally dissipate, you may experience color fading in the lumber itself. This is to be expected. All wood fades under sunlight. Hence, don’t wait too long.
  • We have elected to use Sikkens Cetol SRD for many reasons. Among those is the ability of this finish to take additional coatings before the previous coatings totally dissipate. From experience, we have learned that applying a second coating after 7-8 months will give you a solid coating foundation that will improve the long-term appearance and performance of your deck. The second coating should give you 18-24 months of service. Subsequent coating, when properly applied, should do the same.
  • If you carefully follow our recommendations for cleaning and refinishing, you will achieve the best performance by refinishing on the following schedule(s):
    • If you build your deck in the Spring, apply the second coating the following Autumn.
    • If you build your deck in the Autumn, apply the second coating the following Spring, or early Summer.
    • If you build your deck in the Summer, apply the second coating the following Spring.
  • After the second coating, continue to refinish as needed.
Cleaning your deck before refinishing:
  • When the time comes to prepare your deck for a maintenance coat of finish, the first — and most important — step is to give the deck a good, thorough cleaning.
  • When using any commercial products to clean or prepare your deck, always pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Most commercial deck cleaners contain TSP (tri-sodium phosphate). This powerful detergent has demonstrated an ability to deep clean deck boards and help dislodge dirt and broken down particles of old coatings. It is a time-tested product that has shown good results when used properly, and when used in combination with other cleaning substances. Used alone in a strong solution, it can bleach the color of your decking. (TSP is available for purchase at most lumber yards.)
  • We recommend that any deck cleaning project begin with a mild cleaning solution, to check results. You can always ramp up the intensity of the cleaning solution if you aren’t achieving a thorough cleaning.
  • We have experienced excellent results using a cleaning solution of: 3 parts water, 1 part household bleach, and a healthy squirt of liquid dish soap. Using this solution, follow these steps:
    1. Sweep or blow your deck clean of all loose debris.
    2. Rinse the deck clean using a garden hose and nozzle.
    3. While the deck is still wet, apply a liberal amount of the cleaning solution to the deck boards (the best application is achieved using a garden sprayer).
    4. Let the solution sit on the wood for 10-20 minutes. During this time, scrub the surface with a hard or medium bristle brush or push broom. Keep the boards wet during this process.
    5. Power wash the cleaning solution from the wood. Do not exceed 500 psi. Maintain a nozzle/fan setting of 40 to 60 degrees. Keep the nozzle about one foot from the surface of the wood, and wash with a sweeping motion. Rinse thoroughly.
    6. Allow the deck to dry for a minimum of 48 hours before applying the next coat of finish. (Be sure the deck is thoroughly dry before refinishing.)
  • If the cleaning solution recommended above is not powerful enough to clean your deck, try the following solution: 2 ounces of 100% powdered tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) dissolved in 3 quarts of water and 1 quart of liquid bleach.
  • Using this more powerful solution, follow the same cleaning procedures outlined above.
  • If these solutions and procedures will not clean your deck adequately, you may need to use a deck brightener or a deck stripper. Consult your local lumberyard to find products that are available in your area.
  • Once your deck is clean, allow the deck boards to dry completely. This is important! Finish does not adhere well to wet surfaces. You are now ready to apply a new coat of finish.
Refinishing your deck:
  • As soon as your deck boards are dry, you should apply the next coat of finish.
  • We recommend you test finish a small area to become familiar with the finish, to be sure the finish adheres properly, and to be certain that you are satisfied with your choice of colors. When you are ready to go:
  • Sweep or blow all dirt, dust, and debris from the deck surface. The cleaner your surface, the better your coat of finish will perform.
  • When applying your next coat of finish, follow the rule: LESS is MORE. Do not over apply the coating. A thin, even layer of finish is all that is required. A heavy coating may have difficulty bonding to the wood, and is a waste of material. (Depending on the condition of your deck, one gallon of Cetol SRD can cover as much as 350 sq. ft., using manual application.)
  • For a good coating and an efficient job, apply the finish with a roller or a paint pad, attached to a long handle. Spread evenly, using some pressure, and wipe any excess away with a clean cloth. (Be sure to follow customary care and disposal procedures for rags that contain any trace of finish.)
  • Allow the finish to dry. Always give the boards a little extra drying time.

Messmer’s Finishes

The #1 choice in hardwood decking by East Coast builders for more than 25 years is now available factory coated with Messmer’s UV PLUS for Hardwoods.

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