This one is a few weeks late, but worth mentioning.
Last fall, my father and I built a 12'x12' deck in the backyard. We had to let it dry before we could stain it, but by the time it was "dry," the cold had set in and we wouldn't be able to finish it until spring.
Even in spring, we were so busy, we didn't get around to painting until July. Finally, we got to painting one Sunday morning. I don't know why we waited so long; it only took about 30 minutes to get the work done. In the summer heat, the deck set in less than 2 hours or so.
We went for "Cape Cod Gray" by Behr. It was around $40 a gallon, but we only used one, despite buying two. It was also the ultra or ultimate or whatever Behr's premium stain is called. It's supposed to be guaranteed for five years, I think. The house is dark blue, light blue, and white. The gray was about as good as it was going to get without blinding people.
The chickens promptly blessed it by pooping all over it. I have to wash it about once a week now because they thoroughly enjoy it.
I think it may be time to pen them in someplace in the yard. We plan on adding a cascading stair... thing. Pretty much a uniform step-down all around the deck since we feel putting up railings may inhibit our appreciation of the small yard.
Enjoy some photos of the event! (Please forgive my scantily-clad husband!)