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I am in the process of repainting my deck. I'd like to have a protective layer (like clearcoat on a car) that will allow easier cleanup, and would help to pretect the new paint. Is polyurethane appropriate for the job?

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Polyurethane will not hold up to sunlight. – uncle brad Sep 14 '11 at 13:35
That is nonsense. There are aliphatic polyurethanes which hold up to UV (for instance made from HDI: hexamethylene diisocyanate), and there are aromatic polyurethanes which don't, like those made with TDI (toluene diisocyanate). – Kaz Mar 1 '13 at 0:16
up vote 4 down vote accepted

What you're looking for is Spar Urethane. Polyurethane is not good for outdoor use. Spar urethane will hold up the UV rays better.

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isn't spar urethane even more slippery than polyurethane? – Mike Pennington Jan 15 '12 at 23:04

I don't ever like film finishes (whether paint or poly or varnishes) for horizontal exterior surfaces. Water and sun will win. Then you must remove chipped paint/finish before renewing

The use of penetrating transparent or semi-opaque exterior rated stains, will breath and last longer. Overcoats can be made after washing and drying the surface.

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There are additives you can add to a floor coating which reduce slipperiness, such as polypropylene beads.

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