10 Easy Steps to Repaint Outdoor Decks

After Outdoor Deck Repainting
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Does your outdoor deck have peeling paint, fading colors, or just plain shabby looking? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to learn how to repaint outdoor decks the right way!

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Table of Contents

When my husband and I purchased our new-to-us 1960s home, one of the first projects was to repaint the outdoor deck, steps, and railings. 

Unfortunately, the previous homeowners had let the exterior deck turn rough and lots of problems were flagged by the home inspection. 

Before repainting project

We promptly hired a contractor to add support beams and reinforce the railings, steps, and planks with additional wood and bolts. 

After this project was completed, we needed to make sure the outdoor wood decking was protected to lengthen the lifespan. 

The primary two options to protect wood decks, railings, and steps against the elements are staining and painting.

before repainting deck stairs

So, which is better – repainting or staining?

After doing lots of research, my husband and I decided to opt for painting.

Why did we choose this option?

We found that staining wood decks would require lots more time in the long run as they generally would need to be stained each year in addition to cleaning and sanding.

Repainting outdoor decks provide:

  • 10+ years before needing to repaint
  • UV-fade resistant
  • Durable 
  • Moisture protection
  • Rich, thick color

Once you’ve decided on the method of updating the outdoor deck, it’s time to begin the process of repainting the outdoor deck.

repainting outdoor deck pin

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Step 1: Decide on an Outdoor Deck Color

With so many choices of colors to repaint outdoor decks, it can be a difficult decision. 

Some popular paint colors for outdoor decks include:

  • Black
  • Dark blue
  • Chocolate brown
  • Greige
  • Slate grey

If you are still unsure what color to pick – consider what is currently trendy.

The nice thing about painting is – if it doesn’t work, you can always repaint it again in a future season.

After Outdoor Deck Repainting Steps

After much thought, we decided to go with light gray as we wanted it to offset the white railing around the deck and stairs. 

Step 2: Select the Best Type of Paint

When re-painting outdoor decks, picking the right paint is key.

After lots of research, we decided to go with INSL-X SU031009A-01 Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint, 1 Gallon in Light Gray.

Benefits of this paint for outdoor decks:

  • Conceals imperfections
  • Resists scuffing, cracking, fading, and UV damage
  • Provides high durability
  • Stain resistant

Step 3: Purchase Repainting Materials for the Outdoor Deck

Once we chose acrylic paint, we needed to figure out the brand.

We started our project with another brand and then switched over to INSL-X SU031009A-01 Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint, 1 Gallon in Light Gray.

After applying the first brand, it wasn’t absorbing into the older wood beams as I hoped. 

However, the INSL-X SU031009A-01 Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint, 1 Gallon in Light Gray went on thick, clean, with great brush strokes, and was easy to apply.

Now that the type of paint and color is selected, it’s time to create a supply list.

Outdoor deck repainting checklist:

Step 4: Protect Under the Deck Area

With the supplies purchased, it’s time to prep for the outdoor deck repainting process. 

Make sure to put painter’s plastic or drop cloths underneath any area that will be painted.

It’s extremely easy to accidentally spill paint or have a few drops come off the brush while painting.

Pro tip: If using painter’s plastic, add a few pieces of scotch tape to secure the plastic to the floor. This makes it much easier to walk around on the plastic while painting.

Step 5: Tape off No Paint Zones with Painter’s Tape

Be sure to apply a good painter’s tape (I used Frog Tape) to protect areas of the deck that are not being painted. 

I made sure to tape off the white railing on the outdoor deck steps as well as the top of the deck rails to protect it from accidental paint splatters or strokes.

Step 6: Time to Open the Paint Can

The next thing to prep before repainting the outdoor deck is getting the paint ready. 

Open the can of paint using: 

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Paint can opener
  • Painter 6-in-1 tool

To remove the lid off the paint can gently pry the edging with one of the tools above.

Slip the edge of the tool (whichever one is chosen) under the lip and lift upward (slowly) then move to another area and lift again until the lid eventually pops off. 

 Pro tip: Be careful when the lid pops off as there could be some paint on it.


Step 7: Mix that Paint Up!

Once the paint can is opened, now is the time to mix it.

Mixing the paint is important as paint components, can and often do, separate. 

To prepare the paint, gently use a paint mixing tool (such as a wooden stick) to churn the paint. 

Step 8: Apply the First Coat of Paint

After all that prep work – the fun is about to begin!

It’s time to start painting.

I used a variety of brush sizes to hit every nook and cranny of the outdoor deck, steps, and railings. 

Up Close Outdoor Deck Repainting

Pro tip: While painting, make sure to keep brush strokes consistent – I recommend painting up and down or left to right for a fluid look.

Step 9: Round Two of Repainting the Area

After allowing ample drying time, you will basically repeat step 8.

Keep paint strokes consistent to match the style from the first coat of paint.

Mid Process Repainting Outdoor Deck

Step 10: Maybe the Third Coat of Paint

The last coat of paint is to make sure the outdoor deck area is thoroughly painted, and the brush strokes are consistent.

Mid Repainting Outdoor Deck

It is possible, pending the type of paint, you may not need a third coat of paint.

You be the judge!

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Final thoughts

Repainting outdoor decks that need major TLC is an easy and cost-effective way to revitalize a worn outdoor area.

I absolutely love the final product of my repainting project. 

I was thrilled to use the slate grey paint and would use it again on future projects.

After Outdoor Deck Repainting

Your turn!

Are you thinking of repainting your outdoor deck? What color would you pick?

Let me know in the comments!

30 thoughts on “10 Easy Steps to Repaint Outdoor Decks”

  1. First of all….your finished deck looks amazing! Second, thank you for this post as I needed it. We are in the process of doing some home renovations with the deck being one of the big ones! The details of painting the deck are very helpful!

    1. Hi Michelle!

      I’m so excited you found the tips for repainting outdoor decks helpful. It was a time-consuming project, but not too hard. I hope you are able to cross it off your to-do list soon.

      Thank you for reading!

  2. Hi there
    I`m not very creative that for any small task, I do look for help, but you`ve explained things so well thta I`m motivated to paint my patio that really needs some love.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Hi Roseline!

      I hope you are able to your repaint outdoor deck soon. It’s a pretty easy project that really changes the look of the deck or patio.

      Thank you for reading!

  3. Your deck looks amazing. Great job. I envy American houses. They’re huge!

    1. Hi Liv!

      Thank you for the kind words on the deck painting project!

      Thank you for reading!

  4. Just shared this post with my husband; it will help us choose the right paint colors for our desks. Thanks for sharing this article.

    1. Hi Queen!

      I wish you luck in picking the right colors and your outdoor deck painting project.

      Thank you for reading!

  5. This is helpful. Thank you for the detailed steps. Your newly painted deck looks beautiful!

    1. Hi Carrie!

      I’m excited you found the outdoor deck painting post helpful

      Thank you for reading!

    1. Hi Meredith!

      Thank you for the compliment on the deck painting project. I hope you are able to get yours painting, too.

      Thank you for reading!

  6. Stephanie

    The deck looks so refreshed! Thank you for sharing all the products needed to make this a successful home improvement project.

  7. Your deck now looks beautiful!!! The design of it reminds me of one of our childhood homes. The deck was off of our living room, overlooking a ravine and woods. We had maybe twenty-five or so feet behind the house before the steep ravine started, and the deck was over our walk-out basement.

  8. The deck looks so good repainted! I always thought stain would be better than paint so it was nice reading about the pros of painting.

  9. This post is super helpful! We’re in a similar boat where the previous owners of our home neglected the deck, so we’re in the process of deciding if we can salvage what’s there or if we need to rebuild it altogether. Whatever route we decide to go in, I think we will definitely plan to paint versus stain the deck. Thank you for sharing your experience and great tips for painting your own deck!

    1. Hi Heather!

      I hope your deck turns out great! I really prefer painting vs. staining. We stained our deck at a previous home, and the paint just looks better and goes on much smoother.

      Thanks for reading!

  10. So helpful! Thanks for sharing. The paint definitely looks better than a stain. Thanks for all the information, advice, and pics.

    1. Hi Sharon!

      I really enjoyed working with the paint for the deck. I stained a deck at my previous home, and found the paint went on so much better.

      Thank you for reading!

  11. It looks great, you guys did a great job! I love the colors too, they go together so well.

    1. Hi Leslie!

      Thank you so much! We were really excited about how it turned out. I love the grey and white look, too.

      Thank you for reading!

  12. Stephanie

    Our deck is so tired and worn looking I had thought about hiring someone to do this. After reading through this article I think this is something I can do myself – thanks for the deck painting tips!

  13. Whitney Stewart

    I don’t have a deck, however, a couple friends of mine do at their houses and could benefit from reading this. Especially now that the weathers warming up and they are spending more time outside. Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. I love the gray color! It turned out great; gotta love how a fresh coat of paint makes a huge difference!

  15. The end result looks like a professional job. I love how my deck looks now and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Thank you for sharing this helpful guide!

  16. Hhhhmmm….you have brilliant painting ideas that you have shared. I love the one to do with switching to a more jovial look or colour. It’s high time I moved on from the browns.

  17. Beth

    This was very timely and helpful. I was just planning to repaint our outdoor decks! Thank you.

  18. Looks like an interesting project and thanks a lot for the tips and guide! It is wonderful that we can repaint our home with ease and know about the things that we need to pay attention to.

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