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Walk tall

From BlackWhite magazine - issue 04, product feature

When it comes to trafficable surfaces, these Resene products will have your project covered.

Trafficable surface coatings

Originally white, these paving bricks have been transformed with Resene Concrete Stain. The pairs, from left to right, have been stained in Resene Autumn Leaves, Resene Red Terracotta and Resene Sandy. The back three bricks have two coats of product applied – which is the standard recommended number of coats – whereas the front three bricks have three coats of product applied, giving them a slightly darker appearance. Resene Concrete Stain is also available in four additional neutral hues: Resene Bleached Sand, Resene Bleached Grey, Resene Deep Grey and Resene Black. Background in Resene Savour and Resene Salted Caramel. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

While the vertical surfaces on your projects are often the ones that get fanned with the most praise, it's your horizontal surfaces that get traversed by feet, paws and wheels – which means they're likely the hardest working element in your entire design.

Resene Technical Director Colin Gooch says one of the primary considerations when he and his team are developing new products for trafficable surfaces is that the finishes need to be really, really tough. "These products get walked on, played on and have things dragged over them; they get furniture, gumboots and pot plants stood on them, have water ponding on them, dirt and leaves accumulating on them, animal droppings landing on them – the list goes on. And by toughness, we don't just mean hardness, but rather resilience – which is a difficult thing to build into coatings."

But over the past 76 years, the technical team at Resene have made significant technological strides in creating a wide range of fit-for-purpose paints, stains and clear coats for customising and protecting these hardwearing surfaces. We look at the most popular options on offer and where you can put them to work on your next project.

Stain gains

Stained timber floors and decks are among the most popular trafficable flooring choices for domestic buildings – and with good reason. They inject a project with incomparable warmth, increase its tie to nature and add texture thanks to the inherent beauty of the wood's grain.

Indoors, Resene Colorwood natural wood stains overcoated with Resene Aquaclear, Resene Qristal ClearFloor (1K / 2K), Resene Qristal Polyurethanes or Resene Polythane are an excellent selection to help protect timber floors from UV light and maximise their longevity. But even among the most robust coatings around, fine scratching is almost ubiquitous as trafficable surfaces age. Colin encourages specifiers to consider a satin finish for interior floor coatings where possible, which can help mask scratches and make them less obvious.

For most outdoor timber decks, look to Resene Woodsman Decking Oil Stain – a hybrid waterborne alkyd stain developed especially for both new and weathered decking. Not only is it useful for enhancing or changing the look of your deck's timber, it will help keep water out and mould and fungus at bay. But for decking made of Kwila – a popular hardwood choice known for its durability and gold to reddy-brown colour – Resene Kwila Timber Stain is recommended.

While it can be a popular notion to keep timber looking 'natural', exterior timber should never be left unstained or unpainted – and a clear coat alone won't offer enough protection. "Our relentless UV light causes timber to lose its colour and grey," explains Colin. "With cedar, for instance, 3-5 months down the road, parts of that beautiful orange will go grey. If you put a clear finish on, it will add a certain amount of protection, but it won't be enough to stop UV from passing through on to the timber, degrading the surface causing the timber to start breaking down. It needs at least some amount of pigment in order to block our UV light."

Instead, choose a colour that's most similar to your timber's inherent hue to get the most natural look. Or, opt for a lighter or darker colour if you want to change the colour of the timber. And if you choose a deeper coloured wood stain, be sure to ask for it in a Resene CoolColour formula to help reduce the incidence of cupping and warping.

The tricky yet beautiful thing about timber stains are that they're semi-transparent; therefore, the final finish colour will depend on the nature of the timber being stained and how many coats are applied. Stains applied to light woods will appear much stronger and brighter in colour than stains applied to darker woods, so be sure to always test a stain on a representative piece of timber first to ensure it gives the desired result on the actual timber being coating.

top tips

  • New timber should always be treated before assembly, paying special attention to end grains and the underside of decks, as they will be difficult to coat after the deck has been assembled.
  • Resene Colorwood Enhance is designed to add more depth to your timber stain colours indoors. Choose from five Resene Colorwood Enhance shades, which can be added to your choice of Resene Aquaclear or Resene Qristal ClearFloor 1K.

Pigment your paving

As global shipping complications are primed to get worse, with building products becoming even harder to come by, Resene Concrete Stain can be a smart place to turn when your preferred colour of paver is on back order. "Just like with timber stains, Resene Concrete Stain needs to penetrate so it requires absorbent substrates on which to work," explains Colin.

Create a motif on paving with Resene Concrete Stain

Resene Concrete Stain in Resene Black was used to create the sharply contrasting swirling motif on this paving in Resene Concrete Stain Red Terracotta.

Resene Concrete Stain comes in a range of colours that can subtly or dramatically transform the look of run-of-the-mill pavers or poured concrete.

"For non-absorbent surfaces, stain-like appearances can also be achieved through 'faux' finishes using Resene FX Paint Effects Medium followed by a wearable clear," he adds.

Opt for opaque

For general purposes inside and out where you want to apply opaque colour to flooring or paving with a satin finish, Resene Walk-on is among Resene's most popular options. The product is available in more than 1,000 different Resene colours, making it the obvious choice for projects where the finished hue is important to the overall effect. It's available in a single pack, but you can also consider Resene Uracryl for applications where a high performance two pack system is preferable, such as in commercial showroom settings.

A painted basketball court in Resene colours

Resene Walk-on in Resene Dell and Resene Padua was used to colour the surface of this basketball court in the yard of a Brisbane residential home. Design by Duncan Gibbs and Cloud Dwellers, Build by D Pearce Constructions, Image by Andy Macpherson,

If you'll be using Resene Walk-on outside – especially if tinted in dark colours – it's strongly recommended that you opt for a Resene CoolColour formula, which will reflect more heat away from the surface and substrate than the standard version of the same colour (learn more about how Resene CoolColours work and why they're a smart choice).

"Horizontal surfaces, along with angled surfaces like roofs, get an enhanced level of radiation falling on them so it's important to be mindful of the colours you choose for exterior use. There are typically few restrictions on interior colours, but when it comes to exteriors, one should be aware of the heat absorption of the colour chosen – as this affects both the finish itself and the substrate. Some dark coloured decks, for example, can get you hopping! And some pigments are more durable under UV radiation than others," says Colin.

top tip

To reduce the appearance of dust or marking, choose mid-range Resene Walk-on colours for flooring and paving as colours that are very light or very dark can show more debris than medium tones.

In the clear

If you want to keep polished concrete floors protected without changing their colour, Resene Concrete Wax clear waterborne satin is the way to go. It can also be used as a protective finish over interior flooring painted in Resene Walk-on.

Resene Walk-on is also available in two clear finishes: Resene Walk-on Concrete Clear, a waterborne satin finish that's suitable for residential, commercial or light industrial foot traffic, and Resene Walk-on Concrete Clear Wet Look, a solventborne gloss finish that emulates the look of wet surfaces which are subject to pedestrian or light vehicular traffic. The latter can be a particularly striking choice for concrete aggregate driveways, which catch more light than flat paved surfaces, but it also works a treat for brick, cobblestones, concrete, light industrial floors, paths, patios, steps, swimming pool surrounds and unglazed tiles.

top tip

Specifying Resene Walk-on Concrete Clear Wet Look on driveways can provide an extra layer of protection from dripping vehicle fluids to prevent the risk of staining and help keep your project looking it's best.

Get a grip

Remember that even if a Resene coating is appropriate for use outdoors, not every product is appropriate for using on a trafficable surface – and specifying or applying the wrong formula can create a dangerous hazard for your project's users.

"Slip resistance is important and not too difficult to build into a paint – until that paint gets wet," says Colin. "Once a film of water forms, it then becomes the water that dominates the slip resistance."

Resene Non-Skid Deck & Path is designed for both interior and exterior walking surfaces, which can be tinted to an array of colours – including some hues that were uniquely developed especially for the range. Combinations of contrasting colours can be used in courtyards or pathed areas to create decorative designs or effects, and lighter colours can be applied to the edges of steps to help reduce the likelihood of accidents. Resene SRG Grit can also be added to improve slip resistance and traction on coloured surfaces painted in Resene Walk-on, which some may choose for its expanded range of colours.

Showroom floor in Resene Paris Daisy

Showroom floor in Resene Blanched Pink

Resene Uracryl in Resene Paris Daisy (yellow bathroom) and Resene Blanched Pink (pink bathroom) was used to colour the floors of the displays at Plumbing World's Mount Wellington showroom in Auckland. It extends the same colours used on the walls, which are painted in Resene Lustacryl, but with an even more durable and walkable finish. Design by Outline Design, Build by Cubicon Interiors, Painting by South Pacific Wallcoverings, Images by Mark Scowen,

"The technology behind these products is relatively simple: we embedded within the paint matrix a relatively large, hard, sharply facetted particle that protrudes above the binder surface. The finish becomes not unlike sandpaper, but is applied by a brush or a roller," Colin says.

These products are handy options for steps and stairwells where pooling water is a potential risk. Remember, even if your steps aren't located outside or near a swimming pool, there can still be scenarios where these surfaces get wet. Restaurants and kitchens can be notorious for spills, and steps in commercial offices and retail settings are frequently mopped as part of regularly scheduled cleaning.

Make maintenance a habit

While great effort has been put into increasing the longevity of Resene coatings, it's important to make sure your clients are aware of the maintenance that's required to keep their trafficable surfaces looking good and performing well. Check the data sheets for the products you specify or ask your Resene representative for maintenance advice so that recommendations for how to care for these coatings and when to recoat can be added to your client's maintenance schedule.

For wood stained decking, most finishes will typically require maintenance after two summers. Their performance is related to the depth of colour applied, so light applications and dressed surfaces may require maintenance sooner while projects with more coats of stain can last longer.

Surfaces coated in Resene Non-Skid Deck & Path and Resene Walk-on with Resene SRG Grit added must be kept clean so that the gripping particles remain effective. Overcoating the surface with a further topcoat of Resene Walk-on can improve the cleanability of the surface, however, its slip-resistance properties will be reduced.

"Remember that horizontal surfaces are gravity's final receptacle and everything ends up there," says Colin. "Perfect cleaning of porous surfaces such as weathered concrete, plaster and timber is a significant challenge and requires lots of energy, helpful Resene cleaning products and plenty of rinsing – which should not end up down the drainage system."

did you know?

Resene has a number of products that can be used to colour and protect public recreational areas and industrial settings, including Resene Tennis Court Coating, Resene Squash Court Coating, Resene Blacktop, Resene Swimming Pool Paint, Resene Aquapoxy and Resene Cemseal.


Resene Salted Caramel

Resene Savour

BlackWhite magazine

This is a magazine created for the industry, by the industry and with the industry – and a publication like this is only possible because of New Zealand and Australia's remarkably talented and loyal Resene specifiers and users.

If you have a project finished in Resene paints, wood stains or coatings, whether it is strikingly colourful, beautifully tonal, a haven of natural stained and clear finishes, wonderfully unique or anything in between, we'd love to see it and have the opportunity to showcase it. Submit your projects online or email You're welcome to share as many projects as you would like, whenever it suits. We look forward to seeing what you've been busy creating.

Earn CPD reading this magazine – If you're a specifier, earn ADNZ or NZRAB CPD points by reading BlackWhite magazine. Once you've read an issue request your CPD points via the CPD portal for ADNZ (for NZ architectural designers) or NZRAB (for NZ architects).

Return to BlackWhite, issue 04


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