Today: 7 July, 2020

Best deck paint and stain

Owning a house with a wooden deck can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, nothing beats a family barbecue out in the open air. However, wood tends to deteriorate with time, which means that you will have to repaint the deck every couple of years. To achieve the best results, you should use the best deck paint on the market. No brainer there. So, let’s take a closer look at the five top choices that could refresh and revive your good-old wooden deck.

Best deck paint review

PreviewProduct nameTypeSize (gallons)Coverage (sq feet)Drying time (hours)Time to recoatMore information
Ready Seal deck paintReady Seal 512Oil-based5150-1754845 min
KILZ porch and patio paintKILZWater-based1200-400244-6 hours
DEFY wood stainDefyWater-based1100-150241 hour
INSL-X deck coatingINSL-XWater-based1350-4502424 hours
 Liquid Rubber deck paintLiquid RubberPolyurethane140244-6 hours

So, what is the best paint to use on a deck?

Ready Seal 512 – Exterior stain and sealer

best deck paint for old wood

WHY WE LIKE IT:
  • Enhances the natural beauty of the wood
  • 2-in-1 formula
  • Requires no primer
  • Easy to apply

The process of finding the adequate coating for your deck can be overwhelming because of the vast array of options. On top of that, many homeowners are unsure whether they should paint or stain the wood.

Well, if you decide to go with staining, the unique formula of Ready Seal 512 Wood Stain and Sealer will not disappoint. What’s more, this particular oil-based exterior paint will protect the wood and enhance its natural beauty at the same time.

Since this is oil-based deck paint, you can apply it without a primer. Likewise, Ready Seal 512 does not require diluting or thinning. The application of this stain is as easy as they get. You can use a sprayer, a roller, or a brush. The semi-transparent coating will block UV rays and provide longevity to the deck.

The color of Ready Seal 512 Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer is darkest when first applied. In two weeks, the wood will reach its actual color. Even though Ready Seal offers a range of colors, natural cedar is the most popular option. This high-quality finish will allow you to see the texture of the wood, but it will also preserve the boards from mold and mildew.

A 2-in-1 stain and sealer by Ready Seal is an excellent choice for homeowners who are looking to add shine and prolong the lifespan of their wooden deck.

KILZ L573611 – Best porch paint

best porch and patio paint

WHY WE LIKE IT:
  • Resistant to peeling
  • Silky smooth finish
  • Highly durable
  • Mildew-resistant

If you are looking for high-quality paint for an outdoor wood deck, KILZ Porch and Patio Floor Paint should fit the bill. After all, KILZ is a manufacturer that has more than 40 years of experience in the business. Thus, they know a thing or two about making a premium wood coating.

When it comes to KILZ Porch and Patio Floor Paint, we should note that this is acrylic deck paint. In other words, this low-luster enamel is water-based.  For that reason, you will need to use a primer before painting the deck.

But once you prepare the surface, KILZ pudding-like paint will cover any imperfections and scratches. Depending on the weather conditions, the coating should be dry to touch in one hour. In 4-6 hours, the deck should be ready to receive the second coat of this thick paint.

Unlike most other wood paints, this porch and patio floor coating is not slippery when wet. At the same time, the smooth coat will protect the wood from harmful UV rays. One gallon of KILZ floor paint can cover from 200 to 400 square feet, depending on the surface.

Defy Extreme Wood Stain

DEFY paint for outdoor wood deck

WHY WE LIKE IT:
  • Super-fast drying
  • Effortless application
  • Zinc Nano-particles
  • Matte finish

The next entry on our list comes from Richmond, Indiana. As it happens, Defy is another big-time name in the world of wood paints and coatings. So, it’s not surprising to see that Defy Extreme Wood Stain dominates deck paint reviews across the Internet.

But what makes this wood stain so attractive and appealing? Well, Defy Extreme is a semi-transparent coating that leaves a matte finish on the surface. Because of its water-based structure, this stain dries in a super-fast manner. Thus, you need to be careful when applying the coating, especially if the outside temperature is high.

The reason why Defy Extreme Wood Stain is the best deck paint for old wood comes from the so-called Zinc Nano-particle technology. The zinc particles protect the wood from UV rays, which means that the color of the deck will not fade or darken.

On top of that, this particular coating will prevent mold and mildew. Defy Extreme Wood Stain is not prone to peeling, and this paint will help you retain the natural color of the wood for years to come.

INSL-X Tough Shield Floor and Patio Coating

INSL-X best deck coating

WHY WE LIKE IT:
  • Affordable price
  • Resistant to weather and abrasion
  • Satin finish
  • Covers a large area

INSL-X is also a brand with a long-lasting presence in the paint industry. To be precise, the company first appeared back in 1960. In 2007, INSL-X became a member of Benjamin Moore, a giant in the world of paints and coatings.

Either way, INSL-X is a go-to brand for painting contractors. What’s more, many of them swear that INSL-X Tough Shield Floor and Patio Coating is the best deck coating out there.

Available in five colors, Tough Shield is an excellent choice for painting projects on wood and masonry. Thus, you can use this paint on floors, steps, patios, and porches. In essence, INSL-X Tough Shield is an interior/exterior coating. So, you can use the paint for all sorts of DIY projects.

As the name implies, the Tough Shield Floor and Patio Coating will leave a durable and rugged film on the surface. Besides being waterproof deck paint, Tough Shield is also abrasion-resistant. What this means is that the coating will survive years of wear and tear without any problems.

Liquid Rubber Smooth Polyurethane Deck Coating

 Liquid Rubber textured deck paint

WHY WE LIKE IT:
  • Sixteen texture options
  • Seamless protective membrane
  • UV resistant
  • Waterproof and durable

Although it covers less ground than the other candidates on the list, the final entry more than deserves to be mentioned. After all, Liquid Rubber Smooth Polyurethane Deck Coating boasts being “10 times stronger than traditional coatings”. Sounds impressive? Or is this too good to be true? Let’s find out.

First of all, we should mention that the Liquid Rubber Deck Coating creates a seamless membrane on the surface of the wood. The super-strong film is waterproof, which makes this particular coating an ideal option for the docks as well.

At the same time, Liquid Rubber Smooth Polyurethane Deck Coating offers powerful solar reflectivity. In other words, this paint provides state-of-the-art protection against UV rays. So, if you decide to use this textured deck paint, the boards will be protected against the elements for years to come.

Liquid Rubber is an Ontario-based company that promotes nature-friendly products. For that reason, their Deck Coating is ultra-low in VOCs. On top of that, this paint can go over previous coatings without any trouble. You can apply the Liquid Rubber Deck Coating with a brush, roller, or a single-component spray.

Choosing the right deck paint

The beauty of a well-built wooden deck can be hard to resist. After all, decks can expand living spaces naturally and elegantly. As such, homeowners can use these spaces in a variety of ways. These outdoor floors provide a convenient area for parties, barbecues, or similar gatherings.

But the more time you spend on the deck, the more damage will appear on the wooden boards. Well, that’s where the best deck paint steps onto the scene. A coating of high-quality paint can protect the wood, but it can also hide flaws and block UV rays. So, can you afford not to provide your favorite deck with a fresh coat of paint that will prolong the lifespan of the wood?

With that said, you must choose the right type of coating if you want the best results. Here are the most common types of paints that can help you transform an old wooden deck into an eye-catching wooden floor.

Different types of deck paints

Nowadays, paints for decking come in two types: oil-based and water-based. Of course, both of these categories come with their pros and cons. Thus, the final decision will depend on your specific situation.

To help you make the right choice, here is a quick overview of these types:

  • Oil-based deck paint

In general, the use of oil-based paint has significantly decreased in the last couple of years. The primary reason for the decline would be a high content of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). In other words, we tend to use less oil-based paint because of its toxic fumes.

Nevertheless, oil-based deck paints can be a viable choice for many decks-owners. These paints can provide a durable finish, which can be hard to remove.

If you follow the guidelines and apply the coating properly, oil-based paint will stay on the wooden boards up to 5-10 years. When it comes to the actual process, oil-based paints might need up to 24h to dry.

  • Water-based deck paint

Meanwhile, water-based deck paint is the dominant type in the current market. Due to its low percentage of VOCs, this type of coating is healthier and more natural than oil-based. Plus, water-based paints are much easier to clean and remove than oil-based ones.

The acrylic is what provides water-based coatings with longevity and flexibility. As a result, water-based paint is less prone to cracking and peeling.

As a rule of thumb, this type of paint is super-easy to dry. In most cases, you should be able to put the second coat in 4-6 hours. If appropriately applied, water-based paint can survive 4-8 years of wear and tear.

Frequently asked Questions

What kind of paint to use on a wood deck?

Before you get down to painting, it is essential to choose the right paint for your deck. But do you need special paint for decking? Wouldn’t it be easier to use any wood stain or paint?

Well, it is crucial to use exterior paint when refreshing the colors of your deck. After all, this type of coating is suitable for high-traffic areas. Therefore, the wooden floor will stay beautiful for longer if you decide to use the best paints for decking.

What to look for in a deck paint?

The abundance of options might be overwhelming, but you can make the purchasing processes much faster if you look for the right things. For instance, the aspects you must consider when buying deck paint are:

  • Durability
  • Type of surface sheen
  • Coverage
  • Price

Of course, everyone wants to paint their wood deck with a resilient and durable coating. When it comes to the type of surface sheen, homeowners have several options at their disposal. The most common types are satin, semi-gloss, and heavy-gloss.

The elements of coverage and price are somewhat related. In essence, we all want to get as close as possible to the ideal: a paint that covers extensive areas for an affordable price. Our collection of deck paint reviews can help you make an informed decision and buy the best wood paint for the deck.

Painting or staining a deck?

If you want to provide your outdoor wooden area with a new coat, there two ways you can go about this. In other words, you can stain the wood, or you can cover it with wood paint.

But is it better to stain or paint the deck? Well, both options will protect the wood, so the ultimate choice is a matter of preference.

With that said, here are the most prominent characteristics of both of these methods:

  • Staining

In essence, staining is a less expensive and less slippery option. For instance, you will not need a primer with the majority of stains in the market. Also, staining is an excellent option for homeowners who want to show off the natural look of the wood. Plus, staining is more forgiving when it comes to wet lines, which means that stains are easier to apply than wood paints.

On the other hand, stains will not cover imperfections and cracks in the wood.

  • Painting

When it comes to painting, consumers can choose from a wide array of colors. In most cases, paints for wood are thick and creamy, which results in a smooth and uniform look. If you decide to use paint for old decks, you will prevent cracking. Also, the coating will prevent mold and mildew. Modern paint for wood can last up to 10 years, depending on the use of the deck.

Now that you know the pros and cons of these methods, we can move on to the actual process of painting a deck.

How to paint a wood deck?

Even though it might seem like a simple and straightforward task, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to deck painting. Therefore, it is imperative to follow the necessary steps if you want to achieve the best possible results.

Depending on the deterioration of your deck, you might need to go through some of the following phases:

  • Cleaning
  • Preparation
  • Sanding
  • Priming
  • First coat of paint
  • Second coat of paint

Of course, these are not universal guidelines. You can adjust the process to suit your specific needs. Nonetheless, a certain amount of preparation will be necessary no matter what, so let’s take a closer look at this aspect of deck painting.

How to prepare a deck for painting?

The preparation starts with removing the furniture and sweeping off any leaves or debris. Cover the walls of the house and any surrounding plants with plastic sheeting. After that, you should spray the deck with water. If possible, use an anti-mold detergent as well.

Use a medium bristle brush to remove any stubborn mold or dirt. The final step would be to use a high-pressure washer and rinse off any residue. Keep in mind that the blast can damage the wood, so keep the nozzle moving and hold it 8-10 inches above the deck.

Once the cleaning is over, replace damaged boards and fix any similar issues. Likewise, check for any nails/screws that are not flush with the surface. Hammer them down or screw them in place before proceeding with the process.

Do you need to sand the deck before repainting?

Most experts agree that sanding is a necessary step. The thing is, power washers will raise the fibers in the wood. Later on, these tiny elements can cause splinters and discoloration. Of course, you should also sand the wood if you have filled any holes with putty or epoxy filler.

Before you proceed with sanding, check the weather channel. The deck must be dry before and after the sanding process. In most cases, homeowners will achieve the best results by using belt sanders or orbital ones.

If performed the right way, sanding should result in a smooth and uniform surface.

Should you prime a deck before painting?

Priming is another step that will help you achieve the best results. With that said, priming is not necessary when using wood stains. But if you decide to use paint for decks, a high-quality primer will do wonders for the wood.

Often, primers have a glue-like structure. As such, this thick liquid will fill in the pores and create a uniform surface. Nowadays, acrylic latex primers are a popular choice.

In essence, primers are like problem-solvers in the world of wood painting. Besides preparing the surface and creating a base for the topcoats, these liquids will slow down the deterioration of the wood and resist corrosive effects.

Can you paint over old deck paint?

Long-lasting deck paint will stay on the boards for up to 10-12 years. However, signs of wear and tear could appear within a year or two after the assembly of the deck.

If the quality of the paint is not on the highest level, the coating in high-traffic areas will crack and peel. So, it’s best to eradicate the old paint before applying a new coat. As we said, sanding can help with these issues, but there are other steps to consider.

How to remove deck paint?

The old paint on your wooden deck can sometimes be stubborn and resilient. Thus, the removal of the previous coating might require a step-by-step approach.

First, try to scrape off as much paint as possible with a paint scraper. After that, use a deck stain remover to rinse off the remaining spots. Also, you could use a wood brightener to revive the natural color of some types of wood.

In the end, sand the surface by using fine-grit sandpaper. By doing so, any remaining spots of the previous coating should disappear.

How to paint a deck quickly?

OK, now that the surface is ready, you can finally start the repainting process. Once again, we recommend using only the best deck restoration paint if you want to protect the wood from the elements.

Before buying the paint, you should also consider the following elements:

  • The local weather and climate
  • Daily use of the deck
  • Current damage of the wood

All of these parameters might affect the decision-making process. So, make sure to check our deck paint reviews before splashing the cash.

When it comes to the actual painting, you will achieve the fastest results by using a spray gun. Even so, a brush with natural hairs is the best option for gaps between the boards.

Also, make sure to brush along the grain of the wood, never against it! Start by painting the railings first, i.e. from top to bottom.

Likewise, it’s always a good idea to plan your escape before starting to paint. In other words, start at the corner that will allow you to exit the deck without stepping on the painted surface.

Final thoughts

As you can see, the best deck paints can provide the wood with a much-needed boost. A life-extending coat can also add shine to a tired and worn-out deck. By repainting the structure, you can kill two birds with one stone.

So, strike while the iron is hot and choose one of the available deck paint options. No matter if you go with staining or painting, the crucial thing is to refresh the wood as soon as possible and revive the colors of the deck.

Joseph Patrick

Joseph is the founder and Chief Editor of "Indoor To Outdoor". He is an entrepreneur with experience in sales of household products. He also travels a lot, takes pictures and loves to ride a bike.

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