One of the best exterior projects you can plan to enjoy during the next few seasons is to paint your deck. Easy to plan and budget, and fairly straightforward to start by yourself, it’s the perfect way to set up an outdoor spot for the much nicer weather of spring. Combine that with a garden makeover and you’ve got yourself a hangout spot for the ages.

But when it comes to painting a deck… where do you start?

Surely it can’t be much different from painting anything else – pick a good color and get to work, right? Well, there are a few more steps you should consider to make sure your deck refinishing goes along smoothly.

Let’s take a look at those steps and a few more tips that will make your life much easier!

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. – Confucius

1. Pressure wash

Cleaning your deck from top to bottom should be the very first thing you do, and a good pressure wash is perfect for that. It saves a lot of hassle since you don’t have to do any scrubbing yourself. It’s super easy and fast, while the difference is staggering.

Most importantly, your deck will be ready for painting in no time… once you let it dry completely, that is. It’s very, very important that it’s one hundred per cent dry before you paint it!

2.  Choosing a paint color

The process of choosing a paint color involves gathering some reference and seeing what works best for your patio. Consider the color of your home and garden to choose a paint color that better fits or complements the look!

And as far as the paint type, oil-based paint is probably the best deck paint. It takes longer to dry, but it’s far more resilient. You might also find options specifically made for deck and porch painting, which will often claim higher resistance to weather effects.

3. Prime it!

Before painting, it’s extremely important to prime the entire deck. This will provide an extra coat of protection, but also assure that your paint color of choice will actually stand out. The process of priming a deck is sometimes more time consuming than the actual painting, since for the best effect, you have to fully prime every board. 

If in doubt on how to proceed, ask a professional deck painter for help! 

4. Final steps before painting

We’re almost done with preparation, but even before applying primer, there are some other things you should check and fix if necessary.

Watch for popped nails. Wood can expand and contract, which over time can lead to nails and screws popping out. Not only can these be dangerous, but they also get in the way of your priming and painting.

Fix any cracks. Priming and painting won’t cover obvious cracks, but even worse, if the crack grows (which is very likely), it will crack your paint! Be sure to fix any major cracks, down to replacing boards if necessary.

Let it dry completely. I’ve already mentioned this, but it’s worth bringing up once more: cleaning your entire deck is super important, but even more so is to let it dry completely before doing anything else. We recommend at least 48 hours.

Protect nearby surfaces. You can do this by using tape or plastic sheeting. This is just to prevent paint from spilling on walls, tiles, nearby plants, and so on. Try to cover anything you think is close enough.

Repainting a deck? It’s very important to stain or brush off the previous coat of paint entirely before repainting to guarantee a smooth finish, especially if the paint is already peeling. It’s a hard, but necessary step on how to repaint a deck with peeling paint the right way.

5. Paint!

And now comes the fun part!

Once the deck is clean and the primer has set, it’s time to finally start painting. There’s no big secret here, as long as you are careful enough to protect surrounding areas, you shouldn’t have a problem.

And remember that if you find yourself with no time to paint or don’t want to risk doing it yourself with no experience, you can always hire a professional painter. They will get the job done fast and without any hassle, and you’ll be free to cherish the results!

Need help painting your deck? Get free quotes from a professional deck painter in your area today!


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