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5 min read

How to Choose the Best Paint for a Deck?

Wooden terrace
Wooden terrace

5 min read

How to Choose the Best Paint for a Deck?

How to Choose the Best Paint for a Deck?

Choosing the right paint or stain for your deck is key to ensuring its durability and aesthetic. Whether partial to stain or paint, wood or concrete, this buying guide will help you navigate the array of options available. Learn how to prepare your surface and choose the best product to revamp this outdoor space.

To Paint or Stain: What Product Best Suits Your Deck?

wooden terrace with straw furniture

Stain is no longer an option if your deck is already coated in paint. Indeed, staining a painted surface is not feasible. Otherwise, you can choose between a stain or paint.

To choose between the two, you have to first understand the differences. Here are the advantages of stain: 

  • Doesn’t chip

  • Weatherproofs wood

  • Allows wood to breathe

  • Maintains the wood’s original colour (if it’s a clear stain) 

As for paint, it has other advantages: 

  • Broad choice of colours

  • Glossy finish

  • Clean shades

However, if the listed advantages of paint and stain aren’t enough to make you feel more tempted by one over the other, the drawbacks of each might just do the trick. As it turns out, the downsides of wood stains shouldn’t be overlooked: 

  • Colour changes over time in some areas (looks unkept) 

  • Few colours

  • Has to be paintbrush-applied (better absorption) 

  • Time-consuming application, hard to manage with the temperature 

On the flip side, paint also has its drawbacks: 

  • Chips over time

  • Needs a coat of primer 

As it so happens, there is no perfect route. It may be easier to work under optimal conditions using paint since the application process isn’t as timely. However, with the weather forecast, finding three sunny days to stain your deck and allow the product to dry isn’t such an easy feat.

As such, keep this in mind: If you want a glossy and colourful finish, go for paint. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a matte finish, or to preserve your deck’s natural-looking grain, stain is your best bet. 

How to Strip an Old Coat of Deck Paint

tiled terrace with bright garden

Revamping a wood deck is a whole other ballgame compared to a concrete patio, considering you have to:

  • Sand the wood (80- to 100-grit sandpaper)

  • Sweep the surface

  • Apply a stripper with a paintbrush (silk bristles)

  • Strip back the old paint with a scraper

  • Pressure wash the surface

  • Remove any residue with 80-grit (horizontal surfaces) or 120-grit sandpaper (vertical surfaces)

  • Rinse and sweep the entire surface

You can also choose to clean the surface of your deck with a cleaning product before applying the primer.

The sole condition to abide by is the weather: no rainfall for 48 hours after applying a paint or stain. 

Wood Deck, Stone or Paver Patio: Which Exterior Paint to Choose?

wooden terrace with black house

To paint wood, acrylic is best as not only does it make for an elegant choice, but it also weatherproofs the wood, preventing it from warping or deteriorating.

Acrylic paint can also work on pavers and paving stones, but it’s best to select an anti-slip paint. Said coating will prevent the paving stones or pavers from becoming too slippery during the wintertime or on humid days.

A stone patio can also be painted to conceal any signs of aging. The most recommended paint for such work is silicate paint since it’s: 

  • Mineral adapted

  • Waterproof

  • Long-lasting

  • Sanitizing

  • Water vapour permeable  

  • Weatherproof 

What is the best exterior stain?

To stain a wood deck, avoid beginning with 100% acrylic products on bare wood. Start by using a hybrid stain, and then, when it comes to applying the second coat, opt for a 100% acrylic coat.

Finish the process by applying a sealant if your wood deck has knots. Otherwise, the stain applied can sweat through the knots and result in brown stains. 

Prepping Your Concrete Patio Before Painting

Prepping an outdoor space’s treading surface differs based on the material that will be painted. If it’s a concrete patio, you will have to start by cleaning the patio floor with a mixture of purpose-adapted cleaner and water, coupled with a good scrub using a deck brush.

Coat the edges of the surface using a paintbrush to obtain an even colour finish over the entire surface. Next, coat the rest using a roller and allow it to dry for eight hours. Apply a second coat, and allow it to dry for 24 hours. 

Maintaining and Restoring a Painted Deck

tiled terrace with wooden table and tree

To maintain your deck, you have to, above all else, avoid using products that may strip the paint or stain coating the surface. Instead, use gentle products.

During the winter, shovel your deck regularly. Why? Because by allowing large amounts of snow to melt on its own, moisture will seep into your deck’s wooden surface, resulting in the paint chipping. 

The same precautionary measure applies to your gutters. Neglecting their maintenance will lead to runoff water leaking onto your deck, abnormally soaking the wood, which risks chipping the paint.

Pay special attention to your patio furniture. During the colder months, when you aren’t necessarily using your deck, store your furnishings. Otherwise, the odds are that your deck’s floor will show signs of uneven use. This is especially true when it comes to painted surfaces.

If your deck is in dire need of restoration, refer back to the section of this article about stripping old paint off a deck. Once the old paint has been stripped, apply a coat of primer-sealer using a paintbrush, paint roller, or paint gun.

Next, apply a first coat of paint or stain, allowing it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The delay before applying a second coat is also written on the label. For a flawless application, always apply the product with the wood grain.

Adding Colour Wisely: Choosing the Right Deck Paint

Choosing the perfect paint for your deck is vital for not only ensuring the desired aesthetic but also for the durability and functionality of the space. Several factors should be considered, such as the paint’s resistance to UV rays, moisture, and temperature variations. You also have to think about the chosen colour and how it fits with your patio furniture and the look of your home. Test paint colours beforehand, in a concealed, discreet area, to help you visualize the final outcome prior to coating your patio in the selected paint colour. Lastly, prep the surface properly and apply the coating according to the manufacturer’s instructions to achieve professional-looking and long-lasting results. By following our advice, you can, without a doubt, design an inviting and weatherproof outdoor space for years to come.


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Last modified 2024-05-17

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