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
- So, which is better – repainting or staining?
- Why did we choose this option?
- Step 1: Decide on an Outdoor Deck Color
- Step 2: Select the Best Type of Paint
- Step 3: Purchase Repainting Materials for the Outdoor Deck
- Step 4: Protect Under the Deck Area
- Step 5: Tape off No Paint Zones with Painter’s Tape
- Step 6: Time to Open the Paint Can
- Step 7: Mix that Paint Up!
- Step 8: Apply the First Coat of Paint
- Step 9: Round Two of Repainting the Area
- Step 10: Maybe the Third Coat of Paint
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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:
- Dark blue
- Chocolate brown
- 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 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:
- Paint of choice
- Drop cloths or painter’s plastic (for the underdeck/stairs)
- Paper towels for paint drips
- Paint brushes (three different sizes)
- Painter’s tape
- Paint mixing tool
- Screwdriver to open the paint can
- Scotch tape
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.
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.
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.
It is possible, pending the type of paint, you may not need a third coat of paint.
You be the judge!
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.
Are you thinking of repainting your outdoor deck? What color would you pick?
Let me know in the comments!