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Everything Deck

As a painter for over 35 years, I've done tons of decks: literally.This page contains everything on deck treatments you need to jump in. I'm with you.

Hi, I am Brad (The Painter!).
I am a professional painter for over 30 years, and I am now passing on tips and trade secrets to you.

Articles on Deck

Deck Stains

Here are the main top-quality deck stains that we recommend. Our view is that using high-quality products cuts the labor involved and saves time and money in the end. You can read more details about these stains in our article

Top Choice


Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat Deck Clear Waterproofer
Clear, water-based penetrating silicone, apply to new or restored wood

Restore deck paint

#1 Deck Wood Deck Paint and Sealer
If your deck is in horrible shape, this might help delay the installation of a new deck.

Top Choice

Defy’s #1 Semi-Transparent Wood Stain for Decks, Fences
TOP CHOICE Water-based, 4 colors counting clear, moderate UV protection.

The best deck sealer

Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat Classic Oil Deck and Siding
Superior UV protection, mildew resistance, oil-based.

Semi-solid deck stain

Cabot Stains, Redwood, Semi-Solid Deck & Siding Stain
Oil-based, many colors, moderate UV protection.

Deck Paints

Durable deck paints for your new or old deck from trusted makers. You can read the post about these deck paints and more.

Top Choice

Benjamin Moore’s INSL-X Tough Shield Floor and Patio 
5 colors, water-based, interior/exterior; not for garagesOnce-in-a-lifetime deck preservative

The best floor paint

Benjamin Moore’s Anti-Slip INSL-X Sure Step Floor Paint
Water-based, 6 colors, best exterior floor paint

Great deal

KILZ Interior/Exterior Enamel Porch/Patio Floor Paint
Water-based, only comes in 2 shades of gray

A trusted company

Valspar Porch and Floor Latex Satin Enamel
Water-based, interior/exterior; 3 colors

Deck Sprayers

You can go much faster with your deck work with a good paint sprayer. Here are the main recommendations. You can read more about our recommended paint sprayers here. Also, be sure to look into the Deck Prep section: it has masking products you need for a spray job. Also, you’ll need strainers and more shown below in “Deck Tools for Stain/Paint​”


Graco Magnum X5 Stand Airless Paint Sprayer

Top of the list for DIYers and some pros use it too. Great resale value.

Pro Model Airless

Graco Cart Pro Connect Pro210ES Paint Sprayer

Pricey, and meant for professionals, but well worth the extra cost over the X5 or X7. This is my top gun.


Graco Tip Extension (Wand)

Choose lenght on product page, but most pros perfer the 30-inch. This really makes spraying go much faster than just the gun. RAC IV Tip Guard included, but not tip.

Works for stains

Smith Sprayer: S103EX Stainless Steel Sprayer

Not all garden sprayers can spray stain, at least not for more than a few minutes! Low-tech is often best. From the top maker today. Read about this method and other pump choices here.

Essential for spraying

Elastic Top Paint Strainer, 5 Gallon Size

Essential and reusable. Place inside a large bucket to strain even new paint/stain. It has slot for sprayer siphon. Reusable, for all paints/stains.

5-Gallon Bucket


So many uses: need 3-4 for spraying. Lid is very helpful for overnight storage.

Single use strainers

Cone Paint Strainer Filter Screens, 50 Pack
Essential for spraying and fine trim work; not really re-usable.

Top Choice

3M Mold Remediation Respirator Kit 68097
Protect eyes and lungs- chemical cartridges sold separately

Life Saver

3M P100 Filter

Fine for latex spraying, but not for more toxic gasses.

Life Saver

3M Respirator – Half Facepiece; choose size on page
Mask without filters – Need filter kit below or buy filters separately: read about this inexpensive Life Saver.

Starter Kit

Paint Respirator Supply Kit
Use with 3M masks – has both chemical cartridge that I use, plus outer filters / clip to use a paper filter over the more expensive chemical cartridge, extending the lifespan greatly.

Project sprayer

Wagner Spraytech Control Spray Corded HVLP Paint Sprayer

Probably sells more than all the rest together because of great price, but this is slower than the big boys and is not known for longevity. It’ll get you through if you keep it clean and dry in storage.

Project sprayer

Graco TrueCoat 360DS Paint Sprayer

Among all project sprayers this is the top gun. Comes with reversible tip and you can use most Graco tips.


Hand Masker from 3M

3M M3000 Hand-Masker Pre-assembled Masking Film Kit

Buy tape and paper as well as the plastic that comes in this kit.


Trimaco Masking Paper 24-inch x 1000-feet; better than 3M
For use with 3M hand masker; for protecting medium-size surfaces

Basic type

Canvas 9 x 12 Cotton Drop Cloth
We use various sizes – these can be cut for 2 ‘runners’ for walls

Spray suit

Rayguard Spray Suit

Essential gear; also see respirators and goggles.

Spray suit

Kraft Cardboard Shield Holder

Far better than our old metal shields. This is not as essential as the hand masker and drop cloth, but it is really handy to protect from overspray.

Basic type

Premier 9′ x 12′ 1-MIL Plastic Drop Cloth

Necessary to protect adjacent structures and vehicles.

Deck Prep Tools

Here you have everything you need to prep your deck job. How to use them is described in the various articles on deck care. Doing a good prep job with the right deck tools is key for your next step. We described how to use them for painting a deck or for staining a deck.

Vairable Speed

Bosch Angle Grinder, 5-inch

Variable speed, with 3M Sandblaster disk shown on this page makes quick work of paint removal.

Goes with 5" Grinders

3M Sandblaster Grinder Disc

Fits all 4.5-5 inch angle grinders: may need adapter kit for some grinders.

Works with 5" Grinders

DEWALT Grinding Wheel, Double Row, Diamond Cup

Budget choice

3M Drill Attachment for stripping paint

A good alternative to buying a grinder: all you need is a drill.

Water does 95% of work

Sun Joe’s most powerful pressure washer

We use this for prepping outdoor wood, especially decks: doubles as a car washer. These never die.

DIY Project

Sun Joe SPX-TSN-34S Quick-Connect Turbo Head Spray Nozzle
Rotating tip prevents water pressure damage to wood

Coarse for decks

3M Aluminum Oxide Sandpaper, Coarse

Choose amound and type of grit on the product page: we sand decks with 50 to 80 and usually nothing smoother. It’s a deck.

3rd hand: scraper, hammer...

Clauss 6-in-1 Multi-tool

Every painter’s 3rd hand: fits in side pocket. Pulls nails, acts as hammer, squeeze paint rollers, much more.

Best Quality Sander


Dewalt Orbital 5-inch Sander

More for smoothing, feathering than for removal of paint

Works with 5" Sander

Works with 5" Sander


Quality Hook and Loop sander discs

From Mestool: Works with all 5 inch sanders that use ‘hook-n-loop’, aka velcro sandpaper


TSP powder for deep cleaning prep

For deep clean of surfaces too dirty/greasy/slick to bond with paint

Wire brush


Purdy Wire Brush with Scraper Tip
To clean paint brushes (budget ones shed wires) – for rust too

Stop-Gap measure

Bondo Wood Filler

Not a permanant solution, but to fill holes where rot was removed, this works for a few years.

My favorite ladder

Little Giant 17-Foot Velocity Multi-Use Ladder, 300-Pound
Step ladder with many configurations – comes in 4 sizes

Deck Tools for Staining / Painting

All the fundemental tools in our bag of tricks: how we use them is described in the various articles on deck care, above. Some are merely time-saving items, but they will also come in handy in other projects…and we only recommend quality, reasonably priced items that last.

Top Choice

Purdy 144080225 Nylox Series Dale Angular
Any water-based product – bristles find corners by themselves – try the 2.5″


The Wooster Roller Cover 3/4-Inch Nap, 3-Pack
Our go-to cover – fine for stains, paints, primers – won’t shed like budget ones

Go-To Roller Cover

Blend of Wool and Polyester
Wool holds a lot of paint; Poly gives long life. Read how easy these are to clean in this article.



Wooster 9″ Roller Frame, R017
Won’t break like others; fits both screw-type and quick-lock poles

Bucket System

So many uses: better than trays for rolling; need 3-4 for spraying

Bucket System


Wooster Five-Gallon Paint Bucket Screen/Grid
Insert into 5-gallon bucket shown just above

Top Choice

Wooster Brush Sherlock GT Convertible Extension Pole
A painter’s right hand; works with both screw-type and quick-lock roller frames


Tray Kit

PURDY Painters Kit, 4-Piece
If you prefer tray to bucket: other brands’ rollers & brushes shed lint & bristles

Life Saver

NoCry Professional Knee Pads with Heavy Duty Foam
Real freedom comes from cushy knee pads – also for cleaning chores

Deck Restore

I’ve searched high and low for a good deck restore product. None of them are reputible. Please read the post all about deck restoration in detail and what deck products are known for. You can really have big problems if you apply them over rotten wood.

Deck Products

Here are the categories for your deck work. Everything here is selected by a pro: reasonably priced, high-quality products. Our goal: cut the labor involved—save time and money.