• Painting Decking: A How To Guide

    | by Holly Wood

    Are you looking to refresh your outdoor living area? Painting decking is a fantastic way to breathe new life into your wood deck, enhancing its appearance and protecting it from the elements.

    In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through each step of the process, from cleaning and preparation to applying the final coat of paint.

    Whether you’re working on an old deck or planning to paint a new one, we’ve got you covered.

    Preparing for Your Decking Project

    Before diving into the exciting world of painting decking, it’s crucial to prepare your deck properly. Here’s what you’ll need:

    Gather Your Materials

    Before we get into how to paint a deck, gather the following materials and tools:

    • Decking paint: Choose a high-quality, water-based deck paint that is both durable and mildew-resistant.
    • Paint scraper: Use it to remove any peeling paint or old finishes from your deck boards.
    • Pressure washer: This will help you clean the decking thoroughly.
    • Wire scrub brush: Ideal for scrubbing small cracks and rough edges.
    • Masking tape: Use it to protect areas you don’t want to paint, such as plant pots and surrounding structures.
    • Plastic sheets: Lay these down to protect the ground and nearby surfaces from paint splatters.
    • Paint roller and paint sprayer: These tools will ensure a smooth finish on your deck.
    • Extension poles: They make it easier to reach the farthest corners of your deck.
    • Power sander: Necessary for sanding down any rough spots or loose boards.

    Check the Weather Forecast

    Painting decking should be done on a sunny day with a mild breeze. Avoid exterior painting in direct sunlight, as it can cause the paint to dry too quickly, leaving an uneven finish.

    Also, check the weather forecast to ensure there’s no rain in sight for at least 24 hours after you finish your project.

    Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Decking

    Now that you’re prepared, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of how to paint decking for a fresh and appealing look:

    Clean Your Deck Thoroughly

    1. Clear the Deck: Start by removing all furniture, plant pots, and any obstacles from the decking area.
    2. Sweep Away Debris: Use a broom to sweep away leaves, dirt, and dust from the deck boards.
    3. Pressure Wash: With your pressure washer, give the entire deck a deep clean. This will remove grime, mould, mildew, and any old paint from the existing decking boards.
    4. Scrubbing Brush: For small cracks and rough edges, use a wire scrub brush to ensure a deep clean.
    5. Allow to Dry: Let your deck dry completely before moving on. This may take a day or two, depending on the weather.

    Repair and Prepare the Surface

    1. Inspect for Damage: Check for any loose boards or small cracks. Replace or repair them as needed to ensure your decking is well-maintained.
    2. Sand Rough Edges: Use a power sander to smooth out any rough spots and create a smooth surface for painting.

    Mask and Protect

    1. Apply Masking Tape: Use masking tape to protect areas you don’t want to paint, such as railings, walls, or plant pots.
    2. Cover the Ground: Lay down plastic sheets to protect the ground from paint splatters.

    Apply the First Coat of Paint

    1. Stir the Paint: Give your decking paint a good stir to ensure consistent color and texture.
    2. Use a Paint Roller: Start painting from one end of the deck, and apply a generous coating of paint using a paint roller. Work your way across three to four boards at a time for a smooth finish.
    3. Don’t Forget the Edges: Use a paintbrush to get into the nooks and crannies that the roller can’t reach.

    Allow the First Coat to Dry

    1. Patience is Key: Let the first coat of paint dry thoroughly, following the manufacturer’s recommended drying time.

    Apply the Second Coat

    1. Apply a Second Coat: Once the first coat is completely dry, apply a second coat of paint for complete coverage and a thicker finish.

    Final Touches and Clean-Up

    1. Remove Masking Tape: Carefully remove the masking tape while the paint is still slightly tacky to avoid peeling.
    2. Replace Furniture: Once the paint dries, you can move your furniture and other items back onto the deck.

    Maintenance Tips for Painted Decks

    To keep your newly painted deck looking its best, follow these maintenance tips:

    • Perform regular inspections for peeling paint or small cracks and touch up as needed.
    • Clean your deck with a mildew-resistant decking cleaner to prevent mould and mildew growth.
    • Consider re-painting your deck every few years to maintain its appearance and protect the wood underneath.


    In conclusion, painting decking can transform your outdoor space, enhancing its natural beauty and protecting it from sun damage and trapped moisture.

    With the right materials, preparation, and technique, you can enjoy a beautifully painted deck for years to come. So, start planning your decking project, gather your supplies, and let your creativity flow as you breathe new life into your outdoor oasis.

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