Proper Clear Coat Application
Although most Flexstone applications have no issues, the final step of the process, applying a clear coat over our acrylic flakes, can be a source of frustration. We want to clarify this process and provide our applicators with all the tools and information required to get an even glossy finish.
Okay, let’s break down the processes so we’re on the same page...
You have already applied our Flexstone Base Coat. It was applied with a trowel, self-leveled and you were left with a smooth, white, rubbery finish.
The next day you applied a layer of AR Colour coat and broadcast one of our custom blends of chips into the sticky surface.
The day after the chips were applied, you swept up the excess and sanded the surface to your desired coarseness. You vacuumed up the dust and are primed and ready to go with your roller, tray, and pail of Flexstone Clear coat.
Should be simple, right? The one part urethane is simply rolled over the chips to seal the system into place and provide that lovely glossy finish you saw on all our samples. But it’s very important not to rush this step.
Start by using a mini-roller or brush, evenly distribute clear coat around the perimeter and up the walls where required. Each section you do, take a few steps back and look at your finished perimeter sections from several different angles. If the clear coat looks glossier in some areas, it means it’s been applied thicker. Even these inconsistencies as much as possible before proceeding with rolling out the main areas.
Using a paint-tray, dip your roller into the clear coat and proceed to roll out in sections only as large as you can reach with your roller cage and pole. Do so using a ‘W’ pattern (as if you are painting a wall). By moving the roller in all different directions, you are assuring that every millimeter of the deck has clear coat on it. This technique also mitigates any streaking or roller lines from the coating process.
Once you have finished your first section, take another few steps back and look at the finish from several different angles (get down on your hands and knees if needed). You are looking for any inconsistencies.
Where you see any overly-glossy or dry looking areas, touch them up as needed until you are satisfied with the overall appearance from all angles.
Repeat this process, working your way towards an exit so you aren’t walking over it with dirty shoes (great way to seal in stains!).
It is crucial to take your time when applying clear coat, remembering to step back and observe your progress in different lights to ensure the product is being applied as evenly as possible.
Now for a few final pointers!
Using a thicker nap roller (15mm – 20mm as opposed to the standard 10mm) will add a little weight to the roller so less pressure is required to coat hard-to-reach areas. Also, a thicker nap will hold more product and distribute it faster, saving time and energy.
Apply the clear coat when the sun is shining or with the assistance of bright lights. Determining how even the clear coat is can be a challenge in overcast weather or when dusk is fast approaching. Ensure you have quality light sources so that you can monitor your progress.
Rolling clear coat towards your house can cause a mess. If there are a few loose chips remaining on your deck when you start to roll out your clear coat, your roller may shoot these sticky devils onto railings or siding if you aren’t aware or careful. Protect your property with tape or poly before starting and slow your pace when you’re near the perimeter.
Don’t panic. The clear coat will not cure rapidly the way our base coat does. It’s more important to work carefully then quickly.
Don’t panic...again. Once you’re finished and are in the process of moving your furniture and barbecue back out, you may notice a few spots that look shinier than others. This is not uncommon and not anything to worry about. The product cures glossy but over time fades to a matte finish with a few months.
Finally, if you have any questions, it’s always recommended to call us here at Flexstone. Our trained staff is more than capable of working you through any difficulties you may have regarding the application.