When you buy a house or a property with a deck already installed you need to consider the integrity of the deck and its state. If you find it is damaged, or of the finish is not to your liking, you will need to consider repainting or sealing the deck anew.
If you own a deck and after a while, it shows signs of worn-out paint or peeling paint, it’s time to re-coat the deck.
However, before you start, always check the entirety of the deck to see if there are no other issues, and whatever the reason to repaint the deck, make sure the reason has been treated too.
This means that if you find problem areas, don’t just cover them up with paint, check out what caused the problem, treat that issue first, and then paint the deck.
In this article, I present to you the best wood deck paint and the best paint for outdoor wood deck applications. I also look at the different options to paint, such as stains and natural finishes.
List of Top-Rated Deck Paints
|Cool Decking Pool Deck Paint||3.75gallons||Transparent||View on Amazon|
|Rust-Oleum 287327||1quart||White||View on Amazon|
|Interlux YJB000/QT||1quart||Grey||View on Amazon|
|Rust-Oleum 244163||5gallons||White||View on Amazon|
|Deck Flex DFT24ROOF||32ounces||Natural Clear||View on Amazon|
|Chalk Mountain Brushes 32cmhemp||1quart||Light Grey||View on Amazon|
|RTG RTG-2595-K||1gallon||Slate Grey||View on Amazon|
|KILZ L377711||1quart||Various||View on Amazon|
|Durabak Depot SWQ||1gallon||Various||View on Amazon|
|Anvil Paints & Coatings 956201||1gallon||Natural||View on Amazon|
The Best Deck Paints Reviews
- List of Top-Rated Deck Paints
- The Best Deck Paints Reviews
- 1. Cool Decking Pool Deck Paint
- 2. Rust-Oleum 287327
- 3. Interlux YJB000/QT Interdeck Slip-Resistant Deck Paint
- 4. Rust-Oleum 244163 Porch Floor Paint
- 5. Deck Flex Elastomeric Roof Coating
- 6. Chalk Mountain Brushes & Waxes -- Hemp Seed Oil Furniture Sealer
- 7. RTG Deck, Porch, Patio Anti-Slip Paint
- 8. KILZ 1 part Epoxy Acrylic Concrete Garage Floor Paint
- 9. Durabak 18 Non-Slip Coating, Deck Paint for Boats
- 10. Anvil Deck-A-New Resurfacer Paint
Cool decking pool paint is a special purpose acrylic paint used to surface pools and decks providing a fast thermal transfer performance for reducing the blasting heat from the sun.
What’s great about Cool is that it’s very easy to apply, and it coats all concrete surfaces, not just pool areas.
So, if you live in a hot location where there is a fierce beating sun for many hours a day, you will want to apply this paint to any large surface area that you tend to walk along barefoot.
This paint is non-skid, so while it is not advisable to run if you do, or when children always do no matter how many times you warn them, this paint dries to provide light friction, so you don’t slip even when the surface is wet.
This coating, after it has dried, is shiny, making it easy to clean from dirt, dust, and grime that accumulates around wet areas, and is protective against mildew and moss.
To apply this paint, all you need to do is clean the concrete surface very carefully. Use a concrete detergent mix and then let the concrete dry completely. It’s best to prepare the surface on sunny days for maximum application effect.
Then take the Cool paint, add some acrylic paint for color if you want it to be anything but clear, and then mix with water. Apply it using a standard roller and let it stand for 30 minutes to dry.
You now add a second coat and after that coat has dried, apply Cool SealBack treatment to assure the paint surface is permanent.
Things I like Most
The paint, when dried, has a shiny look, is slightly abrasive to assure you get a non-slippery surface, and is easy to apply. I also liked the fact that I can add any 1 gallon can of acrylic paint to color the finish. This is the best paint for the concrete pool deck.
Rust-Oleum is a well-known metal protection product as well as a corrosion removal company. This is their foray into wood deck protection and is a prize product.
What makes Restore 10X Advanced Resurfacer such a great product is its versatility and performance. This is a thick paint coating that is 10 times thicker than standard acrylic paints. It is also mildew and algae resistant material and is good for coating wood and concrete surfaces.
It’s perfect water replant product and protects the surface with a thick coating of hard binding polymers that comes in 60 different colors for a perfect match, or mix and match performance.
All you need to do is apply this with a brush or roller, just remember it’s a thick, viscous liquid. It dries within 48 hours, so wait two days after application.
Things I like Most
What I found to be most attractive about this product is that it works on wood and concrete, so where I had a deck connected to a concrete surface, I could continue using the product, making the entire surface look like one big unit.
The color choice and the ability to buy two paints and mix them is great, and the most important feature is its true water repellant and anti-rot features.
Interlux Slip-resistant deck paint is an excellent choice for all substrates. This product comes with a fine mineral additive used to assure a hard-wearing, non-slip surface treatment with a low sheen finish that is designed to prevent sunlight dazzle.
YJB000/QT Interdeck Slip-Resistant Deck Paint is a polyurethane resin used to protect decks and can be used on marine surfaces that are above the waterline. This product is not only used for marine purposes; it’s a perfect deck paint for everyday use anywhere.
However, if you live in wet climates, or live in hot and humid locations, even next to a lake, the seashore or a swamp, Interlux is the paint you want to apply to your wood surfaces for ultimate protection against rot.
Its best to apply 2 coats using a roller and a gallon of Interlux will cover around 411 square feet.
Things I like Most
This paint is exceptionally good in all humid climates, and I have used it all around Florida where the weather is constantly humid and hot. While you can apply only one coat, I always recommend two coats of Interlux for all surfaces, smooth and rough. This is the best acrylic deck paint.
This is another great Rust-Oleum paint for wood and concrete decks. This version is their Rust-Oleum® Porch & Floor urethane-fortified acrylic coating formula.
This Rust-Oleum paint resists sunlight UV rays and rejects the formation of mildew. It’s an all-weather protectant that works perfectly on all wood and concrete surfaces. As a semi-gloss finish, you get the brilliance of gloss with the performance of matte.
To apply this paint in bulk, you must mix all the cans you use together; this will assure a single tint and shade for the entire surface.
Things I like Most
This is a basic deck and floor paint and is extremely easy to apply. It’s a fast solution for most instances and is easy to mix for a unified color coating.
This is the Deck Flex T2424 elastomeric roof coating that protects all roofing from the sun and the elements all year round.
This product is very easy to apply, and it reduces energy consumption by up to 30% after application. You apply this product using a standard roller, and its best to apply 2 coatings for full long-lasting effectivity.
As a roof protectant, it comes with super adhesive performance on all roof types including steel and aluminum roofing, concrete rood, asphalt and asphalt shingle roofs, built-up roofs (BUR) and mobile home roofs.
This is a white product to perfectly combat direct sunlight and is easy to clean.
Things I like Most
The versatility of application, the ease of application and the longevity of this product all add up to a perfect performance product that protects your roof and home.
Once applied it increases the thermal performance of your roof, reducing heating costs significantly. It also acts as a perfect water barrier during wet seasons.
The Chalk and Milk Paint Hemp Seed Oil Sealer comes with a citrus scent and is a wood application for sealing all wood surfaces from decks to furniture.
Let me start by saying that this is a great sealer for all woods and all purposes. As such, its best used without the addition of lacquers or varnishes and is a natural product that comes without and THC’s.
The additional orange scent is added to provide that extra layer of experience, and the application is very simple and easy.
This is a natural hemp oil product that seals all woods naturally. It removes the need to use polyvinyls that come with VOC’s and applies to small and large surfaces, smooth and rough alike.
This is also a great product revitalize old dry wood, and can be used on natural wood surfaces or painted or tinted wood surfaces too.
It dries within 72 hours of application.
Things I like Most
This is a great natural product that is environmentally safe and even healthy for you and your wood. It does take a bit of time to dry, but then that’s due to it being all-natural with no fast drying chemicals.
RTG is a fast-drying, textured paint used on a wide variety of surfaces ranging from decks, porches, patios, stairs, ramps, and more. This product contains a nonstick, traction additive that is not abrasive.
When it comes to home and marine surface applications, RTG is a leading brand with its special formulary that provides a non-abrasive friction surface coating.
This is a completely waterproof product for use on wood, concrete, and fiberglass and is applied using a 1/4″-3/8″ foam or nap roller for smooth coatings and a ½”-3/4″ for textured finishes.
This product is designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear and is easy to apply and easy to maintain. One of its stand out features for application is that you don’t need to prime the area before applying. Just clean the surface from dust and particulates and apply.
This is a UV stable product that retains its color for a long time and applies to wood, concrete and sealed concrete surfaces.
Things I like Most
There are four colors to choose from, and it’s perfect for creating different textured finishes. I have sued this around marinas in houses and on decks. It’s an exceptionally versatile product.
KILZ makes amazing products, and one of them is its 1-Gallon can of KILZ 1-part epoxy Acrylic paint for use indoors and outdoors. This brand comes in a Satin Slate Gray finish.
This is a single component, water-based floor paint and is best used on concrete surfaces providing perfect polymer protection against chemicals, gasoline, and water.
As such, it is one of the hardest substances to damage after application and is perfect for garages and marina work areas.
KILZ is a concrete and stone deck paint, applicable to all such surfaces irrespective of where they may be and in what weather conditions.
It’s so strong a formula, providing a superior chemical bonding to the surface, and a clear anti-corrosive finish, that it is found in even the most inhospitable locations.
One gallon can of KILZ covers 400-500 square feet on smooth surfaces and covers 300-400 square feet on rough surfaces.
Things I like Most
It’s so corrosion resistant that I apply this to all VOC areas in garages and marina and construction yards. If you have an area where you store VOCs, including fuels, oils, additives, and other hazardous materials, this is the product you want to use.
I also apply this to all office and deck surfaces in locations where feet will bring such corrosive substances in contact with the floor.
Durabak 18 is a perfect boat deck paint that resists strong UV light exposure over long periods. As such, it retains its color as well as provides a rubberized surface for anti-slip performance.
Durabak 18 is a leading marine brand to coat all deck surfaces, on the boat and off. It comes with maximum UV protection and has a rubberized finish which can be applied as a smooth coating or a textured one.
This coating is used as a bed liner and boat decking product and goes beyond anti-slip and UV protection. It also provides a great anti-corrosion performance, resisting brine, fuels, and oils that come in contact with it during a standard cruise or while in the berth.
Durabak 18 bonds to all standard surfaces, and comes in 17 different colors. It’s applied using a regular brush or roller.
Things I like Most
I tend to prefer this for actual marine or on boat surfaces that require a wider color range. It is also perfect for anti-slip performance and due to its viscosity, allows me to apply it in a smooth or textured finish, which is sometimes necessary for the same location application.
When it comes to wood, concrete and rock surfaces that require a natural finish, Anvil Deck-A-New is the product you want to apply.
Anvil Deck-A-New is used to renew and rejuvenate all wood and rock surfaces, as well as concrete surfaces. It fills up ¼ inch cracks and pits and holes with ease.
You will replenish and recover the original wood look when using this on all wood surfaces, and provides a 100% acrylic protection coating assuring that your wood will withstand many more years of sun and rain, hot and cold weather.
For rock and concrete, this product provides an essential protective layer that smooths over all cracks and holes and retains the integrity of the surface even for the most walked on locations.
You apply this in two coats over a clean surface only and one can cover around 60 to 80 square feet. For smooth cured or treated floors (Concrete), you will need to surface etch them first before applying this material.
Things I like Most
For wood it’s perfect, an acrylic shield protecting the wood with a natural finish rather than a painted one. For concrete, it does require some preparation work before applying it, so I tend to focus this one for wood and rock surfaces only.
Both paint and stain protect your wood. If you are uncertain what to do, consider the location of the deck, what is surrounding it and how you have finished everything else.
Again, staining is easier to paint over, and as such, might be a good starting point. Stain or seal your wood first, and if you don’t like the finish, paint it.
How to paint a deck with peeling paint
Paint peels due to a bad adhesion between the wood surface and the paint. In general, this comes through either rot, humidity that enters the wood, or age. Paints and wood age, and over time the constant contraction and expansion affect both materials.
If the paint is an acrylic based one, (Latex), then it will peel over time, this is one of the cons of latex paint. Latex paints do not bond to the wood. As such, if the wood is exposed to damp, this will create air pockets between the wood and the paint and lead to peeling.
With oil paints, age also makes the paint brittle, and layers of the oil paint peel away, even though the wood surface retains a layer of the paint since it has bonded on the fiber level.
The four main categories for peel are:
Poor Quality Materials, prone to aging and the effects of the elements.
Poor Application, where the application of the paint was not made in optimized conditions, such as the wood was damp; the paint was not applied all over the wood, no primer was used for latex, or general poor brush or roller work.
Unclean surfaces were not cleaned and dried before the application of paint. Any debris, especially mildew, will create air pockets that allow for more damage and rot to develop under the paint surface leading to peel.
Damp wood, or applying the paint in a humid atmosphere, this causes bonding issues.
Best way to remove paint from the wood deck
If your deck has aged, or if you bought a property that needs to be revitalized then you most probably are considering how to clean all that old paint or varnish off the decks surface.
Before you do start to clean things up, first check the integrity of the wood. It’s important to make sure that the wood is safe for the use that means not rotten.
So the first thing to do before cleaning is checking each plank of wood and replacing the rotten ones, seriously cracked or generally loose and unsafe.
First, choose the paint or coating you want to use for the deck. This means choosing between latex and oil-based paints.
Latex paint doesn’t bond with the wood, while an oil-based paint sucks and bonds with the wood making it more than tough to remove and requires sanding if you intend to varnish instead of paint.
The way to test what is covering the wood is to take an alcohol-infused rag or sponge and rub it over the old painted surface. Latex will smear while oil will not.
You only have two options to remove paint, one is the use of mechanical force, and the other is to use chemical reactions. Chemical requires you to apply a substance that will dissolve the old paint using any form of application such as sprayers, brushes, rollers, and rags.
Once these apply the chemicals, you must wait until the chemical has reacted before removing, usually with water.
Chemical dissolvent is primarily used on latex and does not affect the wood, whoever, be sure that when you apply the material, it is not going to damage the wood. In most instances, the chemicals used to strip paint are gel-like, or thinner in substance.
Mechanical methods require the use of force from pressure cleaners, sanding, and other abrasive methods. In fact, in most instances, you will need to apply both chemical and mechanical methods to strip a deck completely and make it smooth for new applications.
Work in sections, based on the size of your deck, split it up into squares of ten by ten feet. It’s best to start with the paint stripping chemicals on latex surfaces.
After this, clean them off with a power washer to blast away the soft paint and help clean the wood surface before drying. When using a pressure hose, don’t use hot water since this damages the wood.
After stripping latex, or to begin stripping oil, you need to apply a belt sander to smooth the surface. A belt sander on oil pints might require two different belts of grit — one rough to remove the paint and then the finer one for smoothing the surface after cleaning it from the paint.
When using a sander, make sure the wood is dry and apply equal pressure at all times. IN areas where there are depressions of paint, consider using a hand-held sanding paper.
Once the wood surface is sanded, brush the sawdust off and get ready to either seal or stain it. The options for painting include staining before varnish, applying natural varnishes, or painting.
What kind of paint to use on a wood deck
This can be either subjective or objective. If your deck is part of a whole design, then the design dictates what must be done. If, however, it’s not part of a complex design, then you can decide what suits you best.
There are four options available to you:
- Natural Finish with Oils
- Natural Finish Sealer
- Stained Finish Sealer
- Painted Finish
Natural products such as hemp seed oil with wax is great for finishing surfaces and seals them from the elements using only natural products.
Lacquered finishes can be natural too, or come with a stain. Staining is when you apply a transparent coating of a specific color, the more layers of stain you add, the deeper the finish. After staining you apply the lacquer.
There are two types of lacquer, natural or acrylic. Acrylic is cheaper and more weather-resistant, while the natural lacquers are mainly used for indoor applications.
Paints come in two forms, oil, and latex. Latex doesn’t bond to the surface like oil, and as such, sits over the wood providing surface protection and is easy to remove. Oil bonds with the wood, it seeps into the wood fibers and stains them as well as adhere as a surface coating.
These are much harder to remove, and should only be used if you don’t intend to change the paint, just rejuvenate it over time.
Take heed that decks that have been oiled (or waxed) cannot be painted over. If you oiled the wood, you would need to treat it first to remove the oil chemically.
Before applying a latex (acrylic) paint, you need to prime the surface with a wood primer. This might take longer to apply than oil paint, but again, think of the cleaning up process if you decide to remove the paint at a later date.
Also remember that some acrylic paints come with anti-mildew and UV resistance, which oil paints tend to have but in much poorer qualities.
What color should I paint my deck?
This is totally up to you; no one can tell you what paint color to use. Look at the deck, where it is, what is around it and consider the application based on a design feature that will complement the environment.
What is better for a deck paint or stain?
This is a personal consideration question.
Some people prefer natural wood colors, and like to varnish their wood to enhance the grain, showing off the woods natural beauty.
Others, like to stain the wood first to give it a more coherent application with the other design elements surround the deck, and then varnish over it to retain the natural grain structure and look of the wood deck.
Paint is a solid surface coating that is dependent on what you want and likes. Since there are so many paint colors to apply, especially when you use a base color and add other paint colors to reach a specific tint and hue.
Painting wood just requires one consideration, how does it feature with the rest of the design.
Another option is to leave the wood as it is, uncovered and unfinished. Some woods will accept this, they are usually treated first so that they don’t warp in different weather conditions, and only require a good sanding to make them smooth and safe for use.
However, natural unfinished wood will wear quickly over time. As such, even when using the hardest of woods, its best to treat the surface with some protectorate.
Pros and Cons of each surface coating
Paint enables you to coat the wood with any color. You can use a base color and mix it to meet your specific desires. Paint is great for filling in cracks, holes, and connections.
Paint is a thicker coating, and more protective against wear, especially when you use a deck paint that is designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Paint is also UV resistant and fully waterproof and in some instances comes with an anti-mildew and mold ingredient.
Paint is a solid coating, as such, it is harder to replace or cover than a lacquer. The paint will last for decades if applied correctly, now this is a Pro too, but a con when you want to change the coating for design reasons.
Paint, when not using the correct one, is slippery when wet, so you need to make sure you buy a non-slip paint, and these cost more than standard paints as well as much more than varnishes. Paint, being a solid color, covers the natural beauty of the wood.
If you want to color your deck but don’t want paint, then use a sealer, which is a stain with a
Stains are transparent colors that coat the wood but preserver their natural look and beauty. Stains are not slippery since they don’t change the surface of the wood, just color it. Stains are easier and cheaper to apply than paint and are easier to work in general.
Stains also come in many colors, and the more layers you add, the deeper the stain. Stains are for a rustic look
The stain does not last as long as a paint, and they are not as powerful (if at all) in providing UV protection. Stain, being thinner and only a wood fiber colorizer, does not fill in cracks, holes, and connections, in most cases, they exaggerate these areas, showing them off.
If you’d rather let the professionals paint your deck, ensure you shop around for house painting quotes before committing to one contractor. It’s a good idea to read their reviews too and make sure they are qualified and reliable. Happy painting!