Home improvement stores have been stocking products in the paint section that appear to put a thick coating on the deck boards, giving them the appearance of synthetic decking. They claim to offer superior protection to the lumber, and eliminate splinters, nail-holes and minor cracks, and they claim a homeowner can apply them over the course of a weekend.
Do these deck coatings work as claimed? How durable are they? How difficult is it to apply them? Will they cause the wood to rot by sealing in moisture?
What makes one coating product more desirable than another? What dangers or pitfalls should we look out for?