From 30+ years as a painter, I recommend buying the very best deck paint on the market, which will save you time and money. If you get a few more years out of the paint job, it was worth it.
The quick list: my favorite deck paint choices, all available online:
Benjamin Moore’s INSL-X Tough Shield Floor and Patio
5 colors, water-based, int/ext. Once-in-a-lifetime deck preservative
Best non-slip floor paint
Benjamin Moore’s Anti-Slip INSL-X Sure Step Floor Paint
Water-based, 6 colors, best exterior floor paint
I use and recommend what I have found to be the top deck paint Benjamin Moore’s INSL-X Floor and Patio: (Check for online price) not just for the floor. It goes on thick, but not too thick. I do often spray this product, but when I do, I hold a 3 or 4-inch brush in one hand and mechanically push the paint into the grooves of the wood. This is key for both the primer if you need one and for the first coat. For the second coat, I just spray without brushing. On this site, just search for articles about spraying, masking for spray, etc.
I have found that it holds up and resists fading from the sun. It comes in the same 5 colors as the non-slip deck paint (shown below).
Five colors are a lot for a deck paint: usually, it’s usually either gray or a different gray. It can be used indoors (it’s a very bad idea to use exterior-only paint indoors) and works with concrete and brick too. See the spec sheet on this excellent paint: Ben Moore website).
Why spend this much? Go low-budget paint and your painted deck will look great…but after a while… you know what happens. If you skimp on quality, you’ll be out there every few years!
It costs less to use very good paint primer and high-quality deck paint. And you need to prep well (read our post on that). Spending more upfront costs less in the end.
When you need a primer, use the best: Cover Stain.
For the topcoat, get a quality non-slip deck paint, again Ben Moore is the go-to man. This excellent deck paint is discussed further below.
I do spray deck paint and if you do spray, please wear a respirator. People seem to prefer the big dog of full-face respirators. Awesome. I wear the half-mask with filters that are interchangeable for toxins and/or dust. Read my post on this: I recommend the basic half-mask (the 6100, 6200, and 6300 which is small, med, and large) along with the kit that has the inner and outer filters with the retaining clip. The paper makes the cartridge last a very long time. Then later, you just replace what you need. Not expensive at all.
I chose reasonably priced deck supplies: they are all gathered here.
Deck paint? Ok, but before you decide, please check out this stain:
Ok, if you have already decided what you want a painted deck, skip to how to paint your deck just below, but let this painter try to talk you into a once-in-a-lifetime stain.
Do you like scraping off paint and repainting? No? No kidding. Nobody does.
I stopped taking deck re-painting jobs because of it!
All decks move and deck paint might flex, but not as much as decks do. So this is why you really should consider stain instead of paint.
Read about the best deck stain and staining a deck.
We’ll get back to paint in a second. But what do I, a professional painter of 35+ years, do with my deck?
Step right up and kick the tires on a once-in-a-lifetime deck stain and sealer, easy to apply and low-cost. I took a chance with it and I love it. This is what Parks Canada uses on many structures and my paint store manager highly recommended it.
I understand that you may be dead set on painting all your exterior wood, but once again, I strongly suggest you have a look at this or any semi-transparent stain. We have an entire post all about the best deck stains and yet another post on how to stain your deck.
How to paint a deck
First Step: a quality wood primer
Primers fill the small grooves and seal the wood from absorbing your topcoat paint. They also provide the bonding that is necessary for the deck paint to last. I’ve learned the difference between brushing and just spraying. You have to push the primer into the wood grain to protect it. That way it lasts a lot longer.
I contacted Benjamin Moore, and while they agree with me about painting decks, they recommend Aqua Lock Plus, a water-based sealer, and primer which is unbelievably low-priced on Amazon…how do that? But in any case, this is an interior and exterior primer sealer used in many situations.
Another great primer is oil-based Cover Stain primer is the best by far the best deck primer. It costs a bit more now, but in the long run, you pay less and work less. Bonding is key.
Key point of priming
Wood ‘knots’, can bleed through your primer and your topcoats. So use a shellac-based primer just for spots that might bleed through the main primer. If you do not do this step, you will see the knot bleed through every coat of finish paint you apply. In some rare cases, two coats of ‘spot-priming’ may be necessary, but you can use a regular primer, such as BIN is available online. (Have some rubbing alcohol handy as that is your solvent for this.)
Even for a large deck, you probably only need a quart of BIN to spot-prime. You just have to do the ‘knots’ and any other stains. Buy a budget brush, cut off the handle and leave it in the can for next time. Yes, I know: gunky, but a primer brush does not have to have straight bristles: you just need a brush that doesn’t shed bristles.
Best Deck Paint for Wood
I don’t use the same paint for walking surfaces as I do on railings etc. The floor takes a much harder beating.
Save money by getting quality deck paint. It lasts so much longer than the low-end stuff that you save money in the long run. You need 2 types.
Paint for railings etc.
Sometimes these are limited in even the top quality deck paints. My go-to paint is Tough Shield.
They come in, and I am generally asked to apply a low-luster (satin) or semi-gloss. Flat finishes will become dirty faster in my experience. In addition to Ben Moore Tough Shield linked at the top, Kilz has a good selection.
Paint for walking surfaces
Wet walking decks can be dangerous. Even deck paint formulated for walking surfaces can be slippery when wet, which is especially dangerous on stairs. So the remedy for this is to use textured paint made for walking surfaces of decks. It comes in most of the same 5 colors as the Ben Moore Tough Shield shown at the top of this page. So this for the walking surfaces and that for railings, etc. would be an excellent solution.
Also, you can simply add silica, not beach sand (it’s too rough), to your paint as you apply it and you brush it in. The biggest name in DIY online says to use beach sand, but sorry Bob, that results in tearing from normal use. The large grains stick up. Let’s do this right.
How to make fine sand for texturing:
What you can do is use a window screen/strainer and filter out the big grains of beach sand: fine. Silica really works and it does not shorten the life of the paint job and you feel safe on it. Here is my video showing you how. Look Ma, I’m on the internets!
We also have installed anti-slip tread tape for stairs. Let the paint cure, then clean very well and it will not come off.
A lady in a bar asked me: “What’s your sign, man?” I said, “Slippery When Wet”. We ended it there.
Oil or latex for my deck?
If your old deck paint now has oil-based paint, I’m sorry to say that you have to sand it (well) prior to painting either latex or oil-based paint. There are some primers that will bond to non-sanded (non-porous) surfaces, but I would never trust any advertising or product statement to such an important decision. What if it peels in one year?
UV rays from the sun are not well blocked by oil-based paints and this means you need to keep re-coating: not so good!
What we do: Acrylic latex paint with careful preparation is what we recommend.
How long does deck paint last?
Maybe 5 years in a moderate climate. I always recommend annual deck upkeep:
Simply select a warm dry day and have your scrapers and sanders together. We’ve listed these tools here. Go around all the areas of your deck and every crack that you see, just pry it open with your scraper, feather sand the edges (we use a very rough grit followed by a finer grit). Keep your scraper sharp:
My video on how to sharpen a scraper is at the bottom.
A variety of sandpaper (this page has different choices). If you’re doing a lot, you’ll love having your palm sander (shown). Very decent price. I’m buying one for my brother this Xmas… Hope you don’t read this bro. The unit does not require specialty paper. Who thought up sanders that need special paper? Daft.
This sander uses any “hook and loop” circular paper. This box is a decent deal with 100 pieces and almost perfect reviews.
Spot prime bare wood (including new wood) with a quality primer. I really prefer Prime Lock linked above. When the primer is dry, hit it with maybe one coat, but usually, two coats of your good quality finish paint and you’re done ’till maintenance time…maybe 3-4 years.
Future touch-ups will be a brighter spot for a while.
The drawback here is that the color of older paints will have faded a little each year, even with good quality paints for decks. So at some point, you’ll be re-painting totally, but you won’t have the horror of scraping the entire thing. These good porch paints discussed above should hold up for many years more than the others you can get: this is the main reason to only use the best deck paint. They hold color longer too even in the sun.
Use electricity. Thank me later.
If you like, let electricity do your deck scraping. Stripping paint from metal and wood is straightforward with a drill attachment or what I use: a variable speed grinder (shown) with the awesome 3M Sandblaster pads (also shown). Here is a video of how it’s done. The pads for 4½ to 5-inch grinders are easy to find, and most grinders come with assorted washers for a tight fit.
Key point: don’t get high speed! That melts paint. Get variable speed (linked just above).
Depending on the fittings of your grinder, you may need an adapter to connect the pad.
Be sure to have all the painter tools that you could ever need
I have a page with all the deck products including prep and so on.
How to Stain a Deck Quickly, the Right Way
How to Paint a Deck With One Big Timesaving Tip
Best Deck Stain and Sealer: Complications Simplified
Paint or Stain Deck? (bonus: Deck Restore Products That Don’t Work)
The Best Deck Treatment: Part Two–What a Professional Painter Uses on His Deck: Spray Wood Stain – Zero-Maintenance Deck Stain Treatment
A post just about sprayers: cool.
One last try to talk you out of painting your deck: The elements will break down even the best deck paint and stains with solids and you’ll have to do it over and over. So what to do?
102 thoughts on “Best Deck Paint: If You Must Paint It, Go All Out (Thank Me Later)”
Really appreciate to hear your view on Sherwin Williams SuperDeck Deck and Dock stain, which is really more like an elastomeric paint. My deck is appx 25 years old – was left without protection during appx 5 of those years because were were told it was cedar and didn’t need protection but started covering it with this elastomeric paint apprx. 7-8 years ago. We want to extend the deck’s life as long as possible as it’s +600ft2 plus stairs and expensive to replace. We have filled the cracks with 3M Wood Bondo but still continues to peel in high traffic spots and cracks are showing through come spring. Sherwin Williams says this paint will always peel because of the extreme temps here in MN but believes this is the best protection to extend the deck’s life as long as possible, even if it means redoing each year. So far no rot but some boards are showing more widened cracks. I wash and sand every year and wondering how much extra benefit I’m getting from the extensive work done sanding. I am thinking this year I try their 3-step clean/stain removal/revive and then just paint over that. It’s 3 steps but at least it’s not sanding. Your recommendation?
Same as my deck but I just left it alone until I did the Eco Wood stain you see on this site.
SW is right it will crack but not just in the north. It’s not permanent at all.
Sanding and scraping… Yes it’s needed. But just the bad areas.
My philosophy is to get it up to speed one very difficult summer and then do annual repairs and that way it’s small every year until it just cannot be fixed.
Anyway 25 years, … we are both in for new decks soon. I’m going plastic with steel frame. Look into new plastic decking. Very long lasting and it’s from recyled palstic.
Looking for the best way to approach my situation. I have a 12×40 deck built 2 years ago. I’ve been waiting on the builder to fix some boards…another story, but now just want to protect the deck and deal with that later. My question concerns some areas that have weathered more than others due to outdoor rugs/deck mat for the grill. I also will need to sand around all of the deck screws to get rid of splintering. Should I sand, then pressure wash, and then apply the Eco Wood treatment? What should I expect from those areas that have less weathering? I’m not sure how much the pressure washing would even that issue out. I’m wanting to use a tinted color, probably brown or possibly black…not the gray patina. Have you had any experience with this situation? Thank you!
Yes sand then wash. The areas that have a different appearance need to weather a bit and they will fade in…in my experience.
You could wait to spray the eco or not. Those areas will change slowly. The stain is anti-mold and insect. it’s not a coating so the sun etc will change the color of the wood. If you spray a color additive in the eco, it will not be as noticeable… in any case TEST a spot of three.
But definitely pressure wash. I used straight silver, never a color but I did test colors. Over time the colors do fade, but functionally, you don’t have to re-apply..only for looks.
Hi Brad, Great article. After doing all the prep work and priming, can you use the Tough Shield on the deck and then top coat it with the Sure Step?
Yes I think so. But the one way to be certain without any guesswork is to write to Ben Moore. https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/contact-us
I dare not tell you I’m 100% sure. If I’m wrong, please write to me?
I am replacing the decking boards on my deck with yellawood. They are treated. I have tried the Olympic maximum then after 3 years put some Cabot Australia timber oil stain on it because my local store didn’t carry the Olympic anymore
What is the best primer and paint to put down.
I can’t see it so I can’t be sure. Primer? So you are going to paint?
Cabot timber oil. Sounds clear or light stain….so no primer. That would ruin your idea.
If you paint, and I would not recommend it…follow the entire sequence on this page above.
Bonding primer is key here. If it is what it sounds like, pressure-treated wood, then Stix would be my choice.
But you need a pro to come look. In fact get 3 estimates and pick their brains before you do anything.
Also, definitely test in spots and give it time before you decide.
We have a brand new deck that was built used fabricated flooring on the floor but wood on the steps and handrails which we are about to have painted. It is new pressure treated wood.
Do we use a primer first ? What is your best recommendation if so for primer and for paint. We have heard a painter who is recommending Behr but I am just not confident with that choice.
You are smart. I don’t like Behr as I don’t trust the maker. Certainly, folks at HD try hard, but have you ever asked a serious question at the paint desk? They don’t know much, or they guess.
First, pressure-treated wood must age they say 6 months some say longer before stain. Personally, I’d be very careful with paint here, even with STIX primer, which is the go-to in this case, if you go to. I have seen paint peel off pressure-treated wood because of bad primer or just the fact that it’s got all the coating it needs pushed into it.
If you really want a color, can you consider stain? Just thinking this way because paint peels. Ick. Big, big ick.
No matter what you do, do a test spot and let it age a bit. Maybe go for the project next year when you see your testing results. I would do it this way.
So I hope that helps.
I’m about to re-paint my deck using your recommended Tough Shield for top coat and cover stain for primer. However, on reading the cover stain instructions, it says it’s not recommended for decks. Should I still use it since you vouch for it being the best deck primer, or use something else? I also have the BM Fresh Start High Hiding primer (046), which I’ve been using for exterior walls, but thought of using oil based primer on the deck for better water protection. I’m in the Northeast and the deck is exposed to winter conditions. Thanks for all your pro tips, they’re priceless.
The rep at Ben Moore says to use Insl-X Aqua Lock Plus Primer, but also says that exterior decks require maintenance. This re-affirms my remarks at the top of the post… best to stain. But if you want to go ahead, just plan on annual touchups of cracks to keep on top of it.
I am a little confused on the progression to use when painting over my already stained deck.
Should I sand the deck and then apply the cover stain primer and shellac primer sealer over the knots and then finally my oil based paint or latex paint? You mentioned the oil based will not have uv protection and would therefore need to be repainted in about 5 years? What would be the top coat to ensure the “once in a lifetime” job?
Thank you for this!
Ray New Orleans
Hi. Well, first of all, there is no lifetime paint job no matter what you do. I guess if you encased it in plastic! Actually, that is what paint is, but it still cracks eventually.
You have it all correct, but when it comes to the topcoat, study your UV protection options carefully. The way to do this is to look at what paint might be good, then research the company: go to the website and try to get the PDF or page that is the “technical data sheet”. If that does not give UV info, just do what I do and write the company.
I have found that Ben Moore Aura for exteriors is best. SW Superpaint is also very very good. These 2 makers are the Ferrari of paints. The others are all ok, except maybe Home Depot paints… ick.
In your case, especially if it is pressure-treated wood, which I suspect it is, your key step is the first primer. I’d not look at stain blocker primer as you are ready to use a shellac based primer on knots that bleed through. THat may take years so you can spot prime and paint as the years go by too to sell the knots.
So many people don’t do it right and don’t spend enough on a good product and deck paint peels. It’s the primer stupid!!! Read the next part carefully.
Get the best you can afford. I would probably say STIX from Ben Moore. But there are other exterior only primers. Stix is also for indoors, so maybe it’s not best here. I have not seen your deck so you need a pro to tell you better than me. but the key phrase you want in your primer is “High bonding”. That plus the sanding, washing and perhaps a brightener, tho I rarely use deck brighteners. Hope this helps.
Hey Brad – We have a 100-year old house and are trying to rehab the lead painted (and pealing) porch railings. Additionally, our porch is north-facing so mold/mildew growth is a constant challenge. We want to go with a white finish and thought about replacing with a composite like Treks but liked the look and size of the older wood rails and spindles.
Currently, we’ve disassembled a section of railing then scraped, sanded, and re-painted each piece with Ecobond Lead Defender Pro (since all the old paint was lead-based). What would be the best paint to use next to provide the best weatherization and longevity?
Also, we have two smaller sections of railing left to do so would you recommend any changes to our current approach? Thanks!!!
Well, I would say another, or more, lead encapsulating paint. If you don’t strip it, you need to keep it from the water that goes over it (when it cracks) from going into the aquifer. So on this page, you’ll see Ben Moore’s Lead Block (Insl-X is Ben).
If not, then any outdoor paint you like. But I’d really hit it with the safe stuff. Also, you should consult a company that deals in lead paint removal to be sure what you choose is right.
Just had new boards replaced in my deck. Handyman told wife to preprint the boards. She grabs the can of Zinsser, Cover Stain, Oil Base, interior & Exterior, Primer Stain Blocker and Bond Coat. The paint on the rest of the deck is oil base. I am getting ready to paint the entire thing using your recommended Benjamin Moore products. And the paint shop points out that the primer my wife grabbed is not recommended for decks. How do I recover and not end up with issues?
If you can, strip it. If not, just photograph what boards and paint as the rest… Then watch them over time. You may need to strip them later.
This is just my best guess not knowing all the details. I hope the boards were aged. I think it’s usually about 90 days you must wait.
Hi Brad, I have a tongue and grooved [semi ok shape] exterior covered porch floor. It was previously painted by other owner and it looks worn out. Not a ton of peeling to be honest so would it be ok to hit the peeled spots with a sander then just put a couple of coats of a good high traffic porch paint over it? What finish? [satin/semi-gloss/flat?] Also any recommendations for this type of application? There will be a couple of new boards being replaced which i will prime first as well.
Yes, but prime the spots first. Then 2 coats as directed by the paint you choose.
Floor paints don’t give you many options and sheen is totally up to you.
Read the floor paint post. I use a roller, same as for walls, but then ‘tip it out’ with a brush and really work in the first coat.
Sounds like you have the beat.
I could really use a recommendation. I manage an Irish dance performance company. All of our dancers have a 3′ x 3′ piece of plywood that is painted black with foam on the bottom. They take that to dance on with the Jig shoes. (think tap shoes with fiberglass tips and heels instead of metal) Needless to say, the paint does not last very long. Well, with the pandemic, we dance outside exclusively right now or they are using them in their house for virtual dance classes. I’ve just had some new boards made and need to paint them.
1. What primer and paint would you use on the new boards?
2. What would you recommend for the boards that were painted previously with some type of porch and patio paint. A dad made them originally and I’m taking over the maintenance and making of new ones.
Any guidance would be appreciated!!
Hi. I don’t think such a paint exists. I’m thinking hard plastic flooring.
You want the clicky sound right? Why not get plastic garage flooring? Link here. Maybe vinyl tile? Read that whole post… it has a lot of ideas. Some of these flooring companies will send you samples, or just take a chance and return if you don’t like.
Paint is fine, but you’ll be repainting and repainting
and repainting and repainting and …
I’d use the Tough Shield shown above, and the primer would be any that provides bonding such as Stix also from Ben Moore (Inslx is BM).
Good luck! One word: plastics.
Thanks Brad! Rolling up sleeves now!
Loving all your great advice! I have stripped, powerwashed, and sanded till I’m sore but can’t quite get down to bare wood (sending photos separately). Can I prime and paint over what’s left of the previous paint? If so, will it truly cover (such that I could pick a new color) or should I stick with red? Lastly, if it rains before I can get it primed and painted, what should I do? Wash and let dry again?
If the old paint is bonded, fine, don’t try to rip it off. Someday it will give. You certainly can go with any color after your primer.
Check the forecast and don’t tempt fate. The 5-day is as accurate today as the 1 day forecast was in the 80s. They don’t miss much. Computer modelling.
Main thing new painters need to know is to feather sand the edges of the paint. Give all your wood a sanding with about 80-100 grit sandpaper and then pressure wash one last time for the dust, then let dry and have at it.
Hi Brad, I think I may be in real trouble. When we bought our house, the deck had a really vibrant red semi-transparent (at least) stain. I hated the color from the beginning but left it alone – after all it wasn’t broke. But one day I slipped and really hurt myself so I decided it was time for the change. In an effort to avoid another injury, we hired a professional to paint using the now-known garbage product, Rustoleum deck restore textured paint as there were a few spintery areas. I can’t even talk about how bad that stuff is, but it gets worse.
The professional painter powerwashed but did not use a primer or anything to clean off the red stain before painting, so it looked even worse when it started peeling (less than a year later) and we could see all these red spots and gross beige peeling sandy paint.
My husband and I are not particularly handy but seeing just how easily this stuff was coming up, we decided we could handle redoing the deck ourselves. We were able to scrape off a lot, but for what was left over, we used a pressure washer only to find that in some places, this stuff really is on there! In an attempt to get that off, my husband has now gouged the poor deck in many places.
I am now using the angle grinder and having some luck, but we will have to use some wood filler for sure.
1. Do you have a recommendation on what wood filler to use?
2. Do I need to sand off all the old stain before applying an oil based primer?
3. I’d like to do a solid stain since you say that will last longer, but is that even possible at this point?
4. I would still like to have some texture to avoid slipping again, but is that only possible with paint? (And do I dare trying a textured paint after the Rustoleum nonsense?)
Thank you for any advice!
Some painters. Oh boy.
You are on the right track.
A gas powered pressure washer..grinding..sanding..filling…priming, the a good paint.
Look at exterior wood filler. Also, Bondo, which is for cars, can be useful, but it’s a mess. maybe save bondo for the walking areas of the floor.
Remember that solid stain is not like paint, it IS paint. You will be scraping in 5-10 years in the best case.
But first you have to get all that goop off. If you leave spots that are just too hard to remove, well, it will fall off in time and then you take a day in the next summer, prime, paint and get that spot caught up.
But if you get all that goop off, you’ll at least have wood to work with. Then PrimeLock primer and spend a lot on the paint.
Add sand to your final deck paint. Read about that on my site…here
I need advice how to fix this mess? Stained many years ago. We decided after we had our gutters done, to paint the deck this grey color. The guys that did it, straight painted over the stain. 2 years later, looks crappy! I power sprayed it, and this is what it looks like? Now what do I do…… not sure if we should paint or stain? How to prep it?
Ouch. THat hurt just reading it. Hold on while I recover. THe fact that they painted over the stain is not super terrible, as long as the paint could bond. Generally, a primer is best, but some deck paints would have been ok. Does not really matter. Here is the doctor’s prescription and with my best bedside manner… this is going to hurt… a LOT.
You really should strip it all.
You powerwashed? I’d say rent a gasoline unit with a rotating head and blast every square inch. WHat does not come off, you scrape off.
Then you get a great primer like PrimeLock and the best deck paint you can afford and then…the easy part… annual touchups. Scrape cracks as they appear. This will only take about one day per year…or one afternoon per year…
But that’s after you prove you manhood like a soldier going to war. Get your game face on. It’s going to be awful.
Or, on the lighter side, hire some local teens. They love money. If you can find one willing to take the bait.
Hi, Brad! I’m about to embark on a deck repainting project and am so happy to have found all of this great info your site. My guess is the deck was last painted 5-6 years ago (we have been in the house 3 years). In its current state, there is mildew staining, fading and lots of chipping (I can send pics if that helps!). We live in the damp woods of Eastern PA, so it really takes a beating with moisture, snow, sap, pollen, etc., but the wood underneath seems to be in OK shape. We’re hoping to get at least 5 more years out of it! I’ve settled on BM Sure Step and understand surface prep is key. So, two questions: 1) Is investing in a power washer absolutely necessary, or can I get by doing a deck wash with a regular hose and scrubbing it well? and 2) After scraping and sanding the loose paint, what are your thoughts on priming *only* the exposed wood, not the entire deck? There are areas where the current paint is adhered well that are a more difficult to access (under the railings, for instance). I’m planning on Kilz Original. I won’t cut this corner if it hurts the result, but spot priming would definitely be a time saver!
You can always rent, but the cost will be about the same as buying a good one. Scrubbing will do, but much more work of course.
Yes, you can prime only the exposed wood, and you would do this annually or however often you maintain it. I don’t have a painted deck but if I did, I would do annual work, just one day per year. Easy. Right, easy.
If you only expect 5 years, that means you have rot? If so, be very careful on the steps and floorboards.
Kilz is good, but not all are exterior so double check your lablel. I like PrimeLock from Ben Moore: oil and great bonding.
Great info! We are painting our deck soon for the 3rd time. I was leaning towards 10x 20x products before I came across your page. Our always chips! I like the Benjamin Moore idea but I want a custom color. What paint do you recommend with lots of color choices?
Paint stores can make any color, but of course, that means an in-person visit.
Those 10x etc have a bad rep. My advice is on the page here, esp about stripping the old paint. The main key is primer. I use Prime Lock for things like this.
Hi Brad. In your article you recommend #1 Defy Wood Deck Paint and Sealer. My question should the deck be primed when using this product as you consider this paint?
No, primer is just for paint and the Defy is a stain. They recommend 2 coats with a ‘brightener’ first. The brightener is a good idea as it opens the wood more, but it is not strictly necessary. The very first time I stain a deck, esp. and old one, yes, I would use a brightener.
Here is the link to the company ‘how-to’.
Let me know if you have any other concerns.
Hey Brad. Love the help you are giving out. I am curious of your opinion on my 120 year old front porch. This is my 3rd year working on it. I scraped all the old lead paint off the bead-board ceiling, columns, exterior moulding, etc. Sourced and milled new deck boards (Douglas Fir) to match the original boards I had to replace along the entire front length of the porch. The floor is being sanded professionally as we speak to give me a fresh surface and flatten out any imperfections of the repairs. I will have to epoxy (using Flex-Tec HV) butt joints where repairs were done before I prime. What do you think I should clean the raw wood with after its all sanded? Simple green and water? TSP? Once clean and dry, my plan is using SWP oil based extreme block primer. Then planning on using a highly flexible caulk to fill screw holes after priming. Then finishing with 2 coats of INSL-X Tough Shield. I’m concerned about the oil base primer over the epoxy. Should I spot prime the cured epoxy with latex base? Also, I’ve always been a Sherwin Williams customer, but have heard better things about the INSL-X, especially from you. Have any experience with the SWP floor enamel? I’m thinking adding some silica would be smart, but I really don’t want a rough floor. Lastly (sorry its alot), I’m fighting with weather right now in Indiana as we aren’t getting much of a fall and shooting straight to winter temps. Any tips to be sure of as I try to squeeze this in before snow flies? Thanks!
Hi. Nice work. Just pressure wash the wood unless it’s got oils/tree sap etc. If it does, use SImple Green etc will remove, but if it’ jsut sanded… just wash, dry, primer. Good choice of primer, but I would not fill screw heads: you may need to get at them later. I never do fill: nails yes maybe. If the epoxy is fresh, the oil primer should bond. Always do a test spot and when dry, test the bonding. Both SW and BMoore are great: I’ve always preferred BM, but both companies have a lot of my money!
Silica only the steps or areas you are concerned about…follow the post on this site about how to apply: don’t mix in bucket… scatter and roll wet paint over the silica.
The weather 5-day forcast these days is as accurate as the 1-day in the 1980s, so look ahead for 2 sunny days. If not, just wait. ONe winter will not matter so much.
Great question, thanks.
Thank you so much for your help!!! I picked up 4 gallons of Benjamin Moore paint for my deck after talking with you this summer. It is holding up great!!!! Thanks for this article!
Thanks for the reference Buddy! our deck paint is already fading this is exactly the blog I’m looking for, the step by step instruction and the list of paints are all useful, it’s worth reading this article! Good job!
It does help!
What primer would you recommend for our job?
Here’s a photo of our covered porch deck after pressure washing and some scraping. Porch is 29 years old. Oil-based paint was originally applied by builder. Then we repainted with acrylic-based paint several times.
Used Behr porch & deck floor paint last few times. Peeled quickly.
Thanks, I got your photo and I’ll handle the posting!
The problem seems to be in what you just wrote: you put a water-based over an oil-based. This can be done only when you de-gloss (sand or use deglosser liquid) or maybe just using the specific primer to get them to bond.
But your case is not ‘all lost’. You have some work to do if you are willing…well, your option is to hire a painter.
But you can do this.
Use your pressure washer again with an eye to removing all the paint you can…and set up many many drop cloths all around the yard to catch the flying paint chips. My guess is that 95% of your acrylic water-based paint will fly right off.
Then you are back to where you were before you went over the oil, and you just sand well (get the rest of the latex and scuff up the oil paint that is well stuck to the wood.
Then use an excellent bonding primer! That is key.
Then use any paint you like. We almost always say Ben Moore, but please don’t skimp on the cost of the paint: there is a big difference even tho TV commercials will tell you something else.
Hope this helps. You can do it! Thanks for the photo.
Trying to upload or copy a photo into the comments box but unable to do so. Any tips on how to do this?
So much helpful info here! Thank you!
You linked to the Zinsser high hide alkyd-base primer but all we are finding is oil-based.
How do we know which one to use?
The Cover Stain primer linked above is indeed oil-based. It is suitable for almost every exterior situations: from decks to sheds to homes. Just so you know, alkyd and oil-based are almost synonymous. There is only one paint that I know of (BM’s Advance) that is alkyd but water-based.
Anyway, I can’t know if this is the primer you need in your situation: can you please reply here? I’ll see your comment when it comes in. If you send a pic and describe what you have, I’ll be able to give you the best I can from this distance. In any case, best wishes!
I’m trying to insert a photo in comments here but not able to do so.
Hi Brad, appreciate your responses to all the questions. Our new house has a wooden deck that’s been weathered. The previous homeowner used Flood solid stain in a blue gray color. We’d like to get it to a more natural color. Knowing that it would require weeks of sanding, we would probably have to go for a teak color. What would you recommend our process be to get to this color? Will we have to stick with another solid stain? Thanks!
It depends on how dark the blue-gray is now. Sanding is a long hard road. First, I’d probably pressure wash, let dry and re-evaluate. It’s easier to darken, difficult to lighten. To go more natural, you’d have to strip with some power sanding and it’s not so good to remvoe too much wood, as you know.
Yes to use solid stain (which is the same as paint basically) and you could have whatever you want, but it won’t look like wood as it’s so thick. The Semi-transparent is made to show wood grain, not opaque.
A lighter color solid stain will cover a darker one, with more than one coat. 2? 3? Depends on the product.
What product would you recommend if I wanted to go for a lighter solid stain color?
I trust Arborcoat. Tint to almost any color, durable. Just remember that it’s like a paint and in time will need scraping and re-do. THat’s why I always recommend semi-trans or just no color wood preservative.
Just to make sure, I can apply a semi solid over a previous solid stain (after washing and cleaning of course). Appreciate your help
Oh, I see. No, I don’t think that would be smart. The best way to know is to take your new product (if you can get a free sample, sometimes paint stores have mis-tints for sale…maybe they can shake and open one for you…you just need a 1/4 cup). Semi-solid means semi-transparent too, so your old opaque/paint will show thru. I think you need a solid or paint at this point, but do test to be sure.
I could scream! We moved into our first house a year ago. We knew that the back deck (raised 2nd story deck that runs the span of the house) would need some major TLC and boards replaced. But what we didnt know was what paint was used on both the deck (rails, sides, and posts) and the front porch. After about a week of powerwashing and scraping, almost every striper from sherwin willams, and losing about 10 pounds in sweat, I have finally convinced the previous owner used kilz (and a crap ton of it… To the tune of almost 1/4 inch thick). Now. Since i have most pulled up, there are lines of it in the wood. What can I use to get it off? Im trying to get to the base wood to see what i can salvage and what needs to be replaced or flipped. Please please help. I am beginning to think i bit off more than i can chew. Ps. Hubby is now chattering about demolishing what is there and building brand new since I spent so much already. (I’m not thrilled about that )
Oh boy, sounds like a rookie did your deck. What do you mean by ‘lines’? can you send me a pic? I’ll post for others here and remove any faces. In the wood? You can sand down: use an orbital grinder I discuss here.
Careful if flipping the boards: rot never sleeps, thanks to Neil Young.
Can you take the time to get all of the rest of the paint off and put on a zero-maintenance stain? I’d try if it were me. And don’t get me started on how much I hate scraping paint. I would use a power grinder and take down the wood as well. Then, you can read here about the stain I used: once in a lifetime. Yes, it’s true. It’s like a chemical pressure-treating, but safe for plants and animals.
On the other hand, cut your losses and rip it all off. Just be sure to hire someone who knows how to build a deck well: read about how many people die on decks poorly made… they fall off and that’s not good.
Please keep me updated? Good for others to read too.
I will send ya a picture of my projects, aka migraines.
I sent you an email.
I am interested in the Eco Wood Treatment and read your post about using it for decks but when I clicked on your link, it took me to Amazon and the label of the product states clearly that this is not to be used for decks. What do you think?
I read it all again: maybe we are not thinking of the same product. Can you tell me if this is it?
From that page, here are some key sentences…
OUTDOOR OR INDOOR – Apply this environmentally safe and non-toxic Eco Wood Treatment to decks, fences, siding, picnic tables, outdoor furniture, flower pots, birdhouses, windows, and more!
Recommended for use on: decks, fences, siding, picnic tables, outdoor furniture, flower pots, marinas, wood street signs, birdhouses, gazebos, windows, doors, and more.
UPDATE after a couple of emails…
Yes, I wrote to them about this when they sent me some samples. They replied that the treatment is fine for decks, but the color will wear off as it is walked on and will need to be refreshed as the years go by to keep the color up.
I’m going to write again and suggest they be more specific: you cannot tell people it’s ok then say it’s not ok. It needs to be explained better.
To some people, like in the Navy, the deck means the floor. To us it means rails etc as well as the floor. So, thanks for writing this…I’m going to forward it and see what happens.
We have a painted pressure treated deck that’s 6 years old. We painted it 6 months after building with Lowe’s best deck paint. Six months later it was peeling…. a lot. Scraped & painted again, this time with Ace Hardware deck paint. Six months later, peeling.
Someone recommended Sherwin Williams Deck & Dock but I read there’s a class action suit against them because of Deck & Dock.
Wondering – since some of the paint has adhered, if we get off as much of the paint as possible with power washing, would it work if we stain instead of paint – knowing that the following year we’d have to stain again to cover where more paint has come up. What do you think? We’re seniors and can’t afford to pay hundreds of dollars for someone to scrape, sand,etc.
Hi. Sorry to hear this. My friend has a similar problem with her deck: we think the issue is that the primer was either the wrong one, or was applied too soon … before it was ‘dry’ or cured. It’s a tricky business. If most of the paint comes off, my guess is that all of it will come off without too much resistance. Then… I’d start over. I’d first try to ask the builder or provider of the wood about the primer to use. If that does not work, try an oil primer? Since I’m not able to see it, I cannot promise anything about this advice… it’s at your own risk, but it sounds reasonable to me. Probably oil primer is the thing, but again, I cannot know without seeing it. After scraping, sand the deck that you will paint very very well. Use an electric sander with rough grit and use up a lot of sandpaper! Go down into the wood to get a ‘clean slate’. Put your primer or primers in tests in a section and let it dry well, then test its bonding by trying to scrape it off. It’s not a very good test until years go by, but I think it’s something to try. Good luck.
PS, I wrote to our good buddy Ben. You know, Mr. Moore? He replied: The Fresh Start Multipurpose High Hiding Primer # 046 is an excellent choice for priming wood. If the pine has a high concentration of knots, consider using the Fresh Start Exterior Wood Primer 094 to better control tannin bleed from the knots.” I think you want all the bonding power you can get in a primer. The 094 he mentioned or what I mentioned above still stands. I just like oil better for times like this.
thanks for all the info and replies to posts…
I have an old deck that was painted and now peeling where it sees the most traffic and weather. I was planning to pressure wash it, and after reading the other posts, doing some sanding (palm sander and grinder with sanding wheel) followed by a quick wash to get rid of the dust…
Questions: 1) where the paint is still bonding strongly should I just leave it on or turn up the pressure on the pressure washer? Maybe just give it a sanding and final wash? 2) how long after pressure washing should I let it dry before priming? 3) what is the minimum and maximum time between priming and painting? I may not be able to do them on subsequent days and it may actually be weeks between the priming and painting. 4) anything else I am missing?
Hi. Well, #4, no you are not missing anything. #1 you can try more pressure, but be careful not to gouge wood…if you have a rotating tip you are pretty safe, but be careful. Some of that paint won’t want to come off. Why take it off? Are you converting to stain or a lifetime treatment (I did the latter on mine). If painting, just sand the edges..feather them… then prime, paint. If staining, yes, you have to get it. Going to be difficult, but just go slow and listen to a nice slow ball game. #3, check the label on the primer: some have a minimum and a maximum time to re-coat.. Best to not wait between primer and paint as junk falls from the sky and you have to clean again and you can’t clean it all. But the primer will be perfectly clean as soon as it is dry. GOod luck!
I have a deck with rails that have never been painted. It is old and I’m trying to get a few more years out of it since it has lots of cracks. WHat is the best product to use? Is there a primer and stain/paint all in one that you would suggest?? thanks for the help. I need it.
Hi. If you only want a few more years, I would go low-cost and when you replace your deck, use a lifetime product. That is my thinking. There are so many stains and paints… they will get your through. The Eco Wood product I used has 5 colors, and it’s really not expensive and it claims to be for life, but you may have to re-do every 10 years or whatever as the color fades: the chemical change to the wood, and it’s protection is permanent. Maybe you can get more than a few years with it. Good luck,
Great to read all this valuable information. In regards to INSL-X paints such as Floor and Patio, will any hiding-primer work with them or is it necessary to use their primers?
Hi. I think you could use anything you are sure will create the bonding: for a floor you have to be right…if it peels, you are in a big mess to remove and re-do. I don’t know your floor, but STIX is the one for bonding. But if you have any staining, like water stains or wood resins etc, you’d want Prime Lock.
Hey Brad, i have a very different project. I put down 1×6 pine boards on a bedroom floor. I previously painted it with regular white wall paint. I really looks nice (for a week). Any suggestions on what paint I really should use? I was even thinking about rubber deck paint. I know this is weird but I really like a white floor and don’t want tile.
Hi. So the wood knots bled through? or it is just all marked up? In any case, there is a floor paint just for this, in white. Send us a pic? Enjoy your new floor. -b
love the site!
Checked our spelling… seems ok,…. not sure what you mean, but thanks. Glad to help.
I bought my house two years ago and my deck is painted. To maintain the deck, could I put a sealant over the paint (if so, what type of sealant do you recommend)? Or do I need to repaint? Or maybe hire someone to completely sand it off and just stain it? The house listing shows that it’s reclaimed wood, not sure if this makes a difference. First time homeowner and not really sure what to do. I’m in the Pacific NW.
Hi. That is a wet area as we all know. I think that ‘reclaimed’ wood is not an issue unless you see rot or lots of splitting. No, I would not go over old paint with a sealant: you will have more problems later than you do now. This is a never ending war: us vs. the elements. If I were you, yes, I’d strip it and if the paint has been there a long time, it’s not that difficult. You don’t need your weekends free right? Thought not. Sanding it off? No, grinding, and that only after you blast it with high pressure water. Please see the comment on this page (actually from earlier today) about the procedure: water, grinder, scraper, etc. Then if you are really not decided, give the ECO-Wood Treatment I put on my deck a try. My paint store manager buddy turned me on to it. The color versions do need re-coating in some years, but not much and maybe not ever. It’s a natrual preservative…but only in limited colors. I like gray, weathered wood. Who does`nt if you get your weekends free? But in any case, once the paint is removed you have a clean slate: I say go with ECO or go with semi-transparent stain…ANYTHING that does not need scraping later on. Good luck!!
Hi Brad, I have reading your articles a lot lately and have a bit of a deck nightmare going on. Without really knowing what was on it, but assuming it was faded and chipped semi transparent stain, I cleaned it, sanded it with 80 grit, and restained it with a similar product and then WHAM! As I was finishing the second coat an unforecasted rainstorm blew in and it poured for 20 minutes. Blotches everywhere. I then tried to remove all stain. With a product called Superremover, I was able to get a few boards done, but at 65$ a can, I couldn’t keep up. A cheaper deck stripper I bought did next to nothing, even with two attempts. So now my beautifully built, treated wood deck looks absolutely terrible, blotchy, partly stripped. My only question is this: If I decide to paint over it, can I get away with this another sanding to rough it up, clean it, apply primer and good quality exterior latex paint? Or does it need to be entirely stripped regardless, say with a belt or drum sander, in which case I will probably just stain it anyway? Thanks in advance and for all of the helpful info you share on your site!
Hi. Such a sad story. I think you don’t have to paint…remember that means later scraping, etc … Lots of work. You wanted semi-transparent stain… stick with it. Did you try pressure washing? Search this site for that and you’ll find a reasonably priced Sun Joe. I cannot see your deck but I’m guessing this will remove enough. Then maybe let it go a year to fade for the winter/summer…if you can stand it. It will take the new stain better. So I’d say wash, let age, then use quality stain. Avoid painting if possible if you hate scraping old paint every 5 years. GOod luck,
PS, this post might help: I used Eco-Wood on my own deck. Love it. Never needs any mor attention
Thanks for your reply, Brad! I jumped the gun and bought a belt sander yesterday (before I read this suggestion re: a pressure washer). I am sanding using 50 grit and then going over it with 80 grit using my palm sander. I started yesterday. Lots of work, but it is looking pretty good. I plan to clean and brighten it after, and then stain. Since I am sanding, should I leave it till next year to stain or should I let the deck dry out for a couple days and do it this summer?
Hello, I had my wood deck re-painted a couple years ago with Behr paint. Well 2 years later the color (redwood) has faded and I will be re-painting this time myself. My question, is there anything that will help prevent the paint from fading or as much? I miss the vibrant redwood color, and due to the elements (I’m in the Midwest) the color has faded and looks so dull. I understand painting may be necessary every other year. Just wished the color stayed vibrant longer. Thanks for your feedback!
Yes, it can really fade. I know the makers all test with UV which is what fades the pigments. I was on the Colorado front range for about 20 years and did my share of faded decks. I think the best plan is to buy the highest quality deck paint you can afford: Benjamin Moore is pricey, but really does last. My argument for spending a lot for paint is that the labor of doing it is the expensive part. You could be watching a ball game instead! Good luck!
hey there brad.
good article by the way. very informative.
i recently purchased a house with a pressure treated deck.. that.. was painted. damn!
anyways; it looked as good as new last year and now the paint is flaking off in the wind.
defiantly not prepped proper. it looks like it is plain old paint slapped onto wood with no primer.
anyhow. luckily i think the paint will remove easily since its basically blowing off in the wind.
its an old weathered deck that is showing signs of cracking but is still solid.
just a few questions.
is it ok to pressure wash when the wood is beginning to split/ weathered? followed by a good sanding/scraping. just wondering how long of a dry time would be needed after pressure washing?
also once i remove all the pain in the.. i mean paint.. would a previously painted deck be eligible for the eco treatment? or would i have to go back to painting it.
Hi Adam. First, I’ll copy this off to Bob Dylan and see if he wants to write a song about paint chips blowin’ in the wind. My guess is he will if it pays.
Sorry to hear about your ‘curbside’ appeal job. The last owners hired, or did themselves just what you think to make it look good from the curbside to sell it.
Yes, the washing is first and it sounds to me like you will have 90-95% of your prep done with water pressure. Buy the 2000psi if you don’t have one already. No worries about the old wood standing up, unless it’s rotten, then you want to blast out the rot anyway.
Paint chips will be blowin in the rain, so spread cloth, not plastic all around and keep an eye on where they land. Then, when dry somewhat, start your scraping. See the tools on this site: just search for ‘scrapers’ and also get a file and keep the edge sharp: you’ll go very fast and it’s sort of enjoyable at first. Like dentistry: you’ll see what I mean. Searh this site for “SUN” or Sun Joe,… I pointed to the best on the market: they never die, and you can wash your car, house, etc.
If you want to kick it into 5th gear, get an electric (low speed) grinder and lots of pads. This rips paint off without melting and gumming up the pads. High speed not so. Then, if any paint held on, just hand sand the edges: “feather sand” them. Finally, let it become BONE dry before painting.
Part of the problem could have been that it was painted when wet, not necessarily a quick cheap job like most bad deck jobs.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
Oh, ps, yes if you get all the paint off, even if it’s ‘pressure treated’ wood, you can use the ECO wood treatment: you will nver have to go thru this again, so it’s worth trying to get all the paint off.
Bob Dylan’s lawyer just called: he’s into it.
Hello, My name is Vince, I live in MAINE, just finished restoring a 130 year old Victorian ( 3 years Top to Bottom). Finally restoring the Front and Side porches total 400 sq. ft’. Supports underneath are good and reinforced where necessary. The decking is 20 yr old P.T. and was Never given any love..No Paint..No Stain..No Sealer. Last year I rescrewed all the boards, luckily very little rot which I fixed. I filled any of the wider cracks w Liquid Nails ‘Fuse-It’ and ‘Loctite PL 8X Fast Grab’ both which are paintable. Hardware store ran out of 1st product so bought the other. I did this to Mitigate any further damage from water getting in then Freezing n Expanding the cracks in the winter. Cleaned deck w Super Deck Stain/Sealer Remover n Revive. What Primer n Paint will LAST..PEELING is my MAINE concern…thx… Vince
Hi Vince. You are the perfect candidate for what I used. I had 20 yr deck, harsh winters, but it was green pressure treated. I wrote story in this post. The product there is what I want you to consider. If you want to paint, sure, the products above in this post (on this page) are fine. But you know, it will peel some day. If you love painting decks, scraping, sanding etc, use paint…but I quit taking deck painting jobs long before I retired: too much bleeping work. So consider the ECO Wood Treatment…Watch the video and read all i wrote. We are seeing many readers buy it based on that post. LEt me know how it goes. PS, you can have one of 4 ‘stain’ colors, but it’s once for life and not really deep colors. I will be adding more photos of the 4 colors this summer. Not expensive either, and no, I don’t get paid from them in anyway. Good luck,
I purchased my home roughly 4 years ago. The existing deck had a dark brown solid stain/paint which has been chipping away and looks terrible. I decided to strip it using Wolman’s and Cabot wood strippers which I was promised would lift anything on deck and it now looks even worse. I have power washed, sanded (hand sander) and scrubbed. There is still a lot of stain/paint left on the deck. After reading many reviews about these 6x thicker than paint deck overs, and have decided against using this product. I think my only option is sanding the rest of the deck so the paint isn’t chipping and re-staining with a solid stain. I know you mentioned using a high-quality stain, would you lean more towards Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore?
Wow, so sad to hear this. You are making a wise decison on the 10x or whatever: these companies are in law-suits as the stuff does not work! So, after your misery is over, (the scraping), yes, either SW or BM. If you have local stores (if you don’t live in Montana ha ha, sorry Montana, but you don’t deserve 2 senators!), ask a local store manager what they offer. Stick with SW, BM or another brand you know is quality: stay away from PPG , Behr, etc. No offense, but they are in it to make money only. I have some scrapers listed on this site: get a good pull scraper and a file and keep it sharp and your labor will really drop. Sand only after you accept what paint will get to stay. If it’s still well-bonded, just feather sand the edges, prime and paint. Easy, Right? ha ha. Best of luck! –Brad
This isn’t a “deck” question, but I am working on a project where I am using plywood to build an indoor platform that will be heavily trafficked and looking for some insight. It is more like an art project and the idea is to have a colorful floor mural painted on it. My research brought me here and wondering if you have any recommendations as to what primer, paint, and sealer I should use? Because it will be a heavily trafficked area, I want to make sure it is non-slip and durable. Similarly, I don’t want to be limited by color choices, which is why I am looking at both primers and top-coat sealers to sandwich in the mural paint.
Hi. Sounds like fun: a stage? From the top of my head I’d say any interior paint. The primer should be the Kilz Original: just search this post for ‘plywood’ we have a post on painting it. Because you will go over it with a clear top-coat, you can use anything really as it will never touch feet…right? Do be careful as it might be slippery if you walk on it. Not sure any product exists to be non-slip and clear. But if you want, just use an interior deck/floor paint (we have posts on floor painting) and add silica, sand. The art sand at art stores comes in colors if you want. Don’t use beach sand: too course, but you could run thru a strainer.
Any deck paint will hold up, but will need touching up as years go by.
Send us a pic when done? Thanks, and good luck!
I painted my deck a few years ago with Cabot deck paint from Lowes. Now it looks horrible. It chipped and peeled and I’m planning to repaint with some shade of brown. I have replaced all the boards and pickets that needed to be updated. I’m wondering now if it needs to be primed first before I paint or if there is an all in one you would recommend that has good coverage. I was looking at the Rustoleum 2X from Lowes or Olympic Rescue from Home Depot. I did read earlier that you recommended the KILZ for decks that had never been painted but was unsure if that was suitable for this situation.
Hi. These deck restore and resurfacing products… just extremely thick paint really… are in all kinds of lawsuits. It’s just advertising. Good advertising. I wrote about them.
Yes, a primer for all new wood and where old paint has chipped off. Scrape and sand first, wash, then prime. I would use the exterior OIL based primer shown on this page. Find this paragraph above: it contains both products of what I’d probably use….
“When you need a primer, use the best shown here, and for the top-coat, get a quality non-slip deck paint with great reviews: this is what I used in my basement—(35+ years as a painter).”
I feel the all in one products are a sham designed to make you think it’s easy. It’s not hard, but it will only hold up to the elements with a tight bonding product and prep is key.
I hope this was clear…let us know how it comes out!
My deck is pressure-treated lumber, approx 20 years old. When it was new I applied a semi-transparent stain. That lasted about 7 years. I power washed the deck, then applied a solid deck paint. Now, 12 years later areas of the deck in high traffic have worn off. I need to hire the work done, but want to chose the paint myself. I’m looking for high quality paint in a walnut color (current paint has too much red in it). Do I need to go strong, like Kilz, or regular deck paint product like SherwinWilliams?
Hi. 7 years is good: I think I can assume you do not live in a very wet place, but even in Colorado, a treatement would not go more than 10.
Since you are not ‘eligible’ for the lifetime treatment I talk so much about (just search this site for ‘zero’ as in zero maintenance), and you want a specific color, you should probably go with SW or Ben Moore as they can tint to any color you want. If you know the original color, good, but also take a faded (current) chip if you want a true match.
Pick an experieinced painter, not a young one, and as you interview painters ask the same questions of each one. Also, will the painter sub-contract the work? Big no no for me. Get the clear instrucitons from the paint store on how to do the prep: yes pressure wash, then sand, then wash again to remove the dust. WHich painter said the same thing?
Washing twice is more trips to the job for the painter and more money, but it will last longer. Know that some deck paint for walking surfaces may not be able to be matched to deck paint for railings (not for walking). So ask about that too. If you are unsure, ask to speak to the district rep about the SW or BM products and prep. They HAVE to know. Most paint store folks will however also know a lot. Good luck and let us know!
You start off recommending against painting and link to a “once-in-a-lifetime deck stain and sealer” on Amazon, but your links on the best deck stain do not mention it at all? Any insight on this stuff? It’s hard to make an informed decision on a product that speaks in esoteric language and doesn’t explicitly state what it is made out of. It’s some kind of dry mineral substance you mix in water, and it’s supposed to protect the wood for a lifetime? Sounds too perfect to be true.
Yes, I know what you mean. I did some reading before I sprayed it on my deck. Too good to be true usually is, but this has some kind of minerals bugs and water hate. The rep for the product and I corresponded. He’s great. He said ‘lifetime’ is true, but to be very safe, you can re-apply very 5 years or whatever. I will. Follow the link to the product itself, they have some info there. Seems good to me. My deck is doing well and was neglected for 20 years before we bought the house. Good luck. Let me know if you have any other thoughts. –Brad
I read your article on painting a deck. I tried the Behr Deck cover which peeled on the flooring after one year. I have removed 99.9% of the covering and will heat gun the small area. I would stain but the pressure lumber is old so painting was my option to cover the decking.
I am moving to new home and want to provide a good painted deck for the next owner.
I live in eastern Pennsylvania which in winter is cold and snowy. My question is Kiltz the best deck Paint cover for an old deck and do I need a primer and can I spray the paint?
Does Kiltz offer colors for this product such as a brown because I could not find color selections?
I read reviews and some people did not care for this product because of pealing which I do not need to have happen because I have 2 decks which are 15’ X 12’ in area.
I would appreciate your expert pro advice.
I have a plan for you… but not having seen your decks, I’m somewhat blind, like Ray Charles himself.
Make sure it’s bone dry… I guess you’re getting some April showers. Then, give a sanding to any loose Behr product, (I assume it is ‘deck restore’ or whatever they call it… it has a terrible reputation by the way)
See above… for a primer: oil-based Kilz, (it says “This is the best by far the best deck primer. ”
…and top it off with any one of the deck paint products I point to in this post. This will be a long-lasting combination.
Read on my tool post the brush and roller/bucket you want to use there.
Decks that size will go fast if you roll for application and then brush in for quality.
You can tell your buyers that the deck was done correctly…a selling point!
We do buy low-cost brushes for oil and toss them…sorry to admit it, but for latex, which will be your top coats, get a good brush and clean it well: it’s easy.
Rollers easy to clean too.
I can’t seem to find insl x tough shield paint. Do you recommend just any Ben Moore exterior paint?
I found it here for about 45 with free shipping: seems about right…this is designed for floors. Five colors to choose from. I would never say just any Ben Moore exterior, but BM is worth the extra money. I watched a video once of the lab testing: they rain and pelt it for years and it’s the best. So when you consider the labor involved, it’s worth not scraping and re-painting so much: that’s why it’s a overall lower “cost” if you add in time and hassle. Good luck.
Hello! Fiberglass deck: Repainting with Valspar patio w grit. Multiple coats and looks horrible. Uneven grit, lap lines, what now??? Scrape, sand, thicker coats? Help!!! Thanks, and great site! -Paul
Yikes. I wonder if you can email me a photo? I could post here. Can i ask a few questions: will save time I think…Did you sand? Did you use a primer? Which? What do you mean by ‘grit’? What Valspar?
Here is what we are talking about:
Some more detail… applied first coat in 90 deg & full sun straight from can and random pattern (mistakenly thinking the grit would look better). Second coat was much thicker, from roller pan and one direction – hid some, but not enough. I’m wary of scraping/sanding large area possibly damaging fiberglass then having the same problem when repainting. Im really frustrated. Thanks again.
I see now. Yes, you are right. Just send me a bit more info (here, not by email please).
What paint, and what did you use as texturing? Sand?
Did you use quality rollers? Sometimes the budget ones shed lint and don’t apply evenly.
You mentioned it was in full sunlight and the heat from that: never helpful, but sometimes we thin a bit to keep it flowing. This makes each coat thinner, but you can work in the heat.
I don’t think rolling in one direction or not is that much of a problem.
You might be married to this until it comes time to repaint.
The only other suggestion is to…. repaint.
But you would do a few test areas.
I think you are right to not sand it off: but you could do a test in an inconspicuous area.
Hi Brad, I didn’t sand: there were only a few hairline 1″ cracks in the paint and was in great condition otherwise.
I used simple green and nylon brush to scrub & rinsed well. Dried 24 hrs, then did not prime. Used Valspar 83070 Porch, Floor & Patio Anti-Skid Latex Paint – it already has the grit/texture in it. I stirred frequently, but results don’t show it. Old paint had texture too and was a lighter gray than the 83070. Rollers were 1/4 nap Sherwin William’s. The rain has set in here so I’ll wait until spring to fix, but still value your opinion on how to proceed. Thanks for sticking with me!
Looking up that product I found:
Maximum Temperature 90F, and you applied in the sun. The floor may have been quite hot…more than the air.
and… the worst news for you is…
For Use On Fiberglass: no
So that means the bonding will not take in the long run..unless you are lucky. You did some good prep so keep your fingers crossed. If and when you have a peeling problem, buy the grinder and 3M paint remover pad on this site (just search for grinder … it’s in a few posts). Then take off paint from the top of the panels…don’t worry about between. Just paint them as best you can… but this is all in the future..hopefully a long way away.
The other problem I can see is that they add the texture at the factory. I just published a post on concrete floor paints. That has info on texturing our way: we toss the sand on the wet floor then roll over it. this way it’s uniformly spread.
Keep me updated?
PS that post has a video at the bottom on how to make your own, small and uniformly sized sand
Our surface is just plywood but completely covered By a roof over the patio. So I guess my question is can that paint the put on plywood?
Absolutely. I’m about to publish a post just on plywood. Sand it and clean it well to start. If it has never been painted use the Kilz oil-based primer then for a deck paint, depending on the color you want, most are just gray, white and some are brown/redwood and that is all… I’m recommending Benjamin Moore’s INSL-X non-slip. Let me know how it turns out! Good luck.