OK, the deck is prepped. I mentioned that the next step was to saturate the mat but that is not right. I did do a seal coat of resin first to make the deck waterproof and ensure that I did not have too much resin soaked up by the wood when I did the mat layer.

Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of that layer (it is straight forward and unexciting) and now its time to saturate the mat. This can be a fast and furious step and so I only have the one ‘action’ shot.
Picture
(I’m having an issue with my cheap roller cage here – I should have gotten a new one from the shop – they are much better and it mattered!)

Instead I’ll talk a bit about the process and some ‘if I had to do it again advice’.

1st thing is that I did this deck ½ and half in the midday sun. I always tell people to avoid that but I thought I knew better…. Well the first batch that I used to brush on the can start to gel and I had to very quickly roll it out. Even then it was touch and go as to whether it would spread. I guess I JUST made it. I can’t describe the mess it would have been if it had kicked on me.

After that we toned down the catalyst (Dennis was mixing for me) and we were OK for the rest of the deck (including the areas in the sun). What it did do was cause me to have a rush rush mentality for most of the rest of the deck.
One thing that I noted is that our mat is made of 2 layers and you can get air bubbles either against the wood or in between the two layers. It also caused a bit of a resin trap where I did my honey pours (pouring the resin on the deck before spreading it around). If I had to do it again I’d try and rig something up to get a wider, thinner spread on the pours, it may help to pour it out right above the deck rather than from 2′ high. I’m still not sure what would be best.

Anyhow, on to the process:
First, remember to sweep the deck before you layout the cut and fit pieces of mat or any junk that has fallen down under the mat will make a bubble. I could have swept a little later (or again) and I might have saved about 4-5 bubbles.

Second, Layout the mat. Try not to step on the mat and the now tacky deck as you will pull up some fibers and move the mat around if you do.

Third, Mix a very weakly catalyzed batch of resin and do the cant strip and anywhere the roller will not reach.
Fourth, start rolling. Make sure your helper is keeping tracking of how far the resin is going. A quick rule is to divide the deck in half or quarters and make sure that ¼ of the resin is doing slightly more that ¼ of the deck. You should have extra the resin should go a bit further.

Bubbles. In theory you can roll out bubbles or cut a pin hole to get them out. In practice I found that with the long roller handle I tended to be too far away to do that. If I had to do it again I would definitely get a bubble buster roller to have handy. It would have saved me a ton of time and itchiness (more on that later).

Overall, you just have to keep moving. You do what you can to the bubbles, ridges and and crap underneath but at some point you have to give up on some of them and continue on and deal with it afterwards.

I sure did…. More on that next entry.
 


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