How to Paint an Old Wood Deck- Solved In 5 Steps

Image of old deck, do you know How to Paint an Old Wood Deck?Many deck owners are looking for the quickest and easiest ways to renew their deck. One popular way is painting it as you don’t expend too much effort. Paint products are also available in multiple colors, from eye-popping royal blue hues to neutral tones like forest green or chocolate brown. Hence, they afford you an impressive variety. However, it would be best to do the paint job correctly. So, let’s talk about how to paint an old wood deck.

 The first step is to wash the deck’s surface and allow it to dry for about 24 hours. You can use a concrete or deck cleaner for better results. Also, ensure that you remove any old coating that is peeling and fill in the cracks. Let the wood dry for four to six hours. Then, apply the first paint coat, wait for another four to six hours, and do the second coat.

 In addition, confirm that the paint specifically says “Deck” to ensure that it works for horizontal surfaces. You also don’t have to crack your head on how to go about the job because this article has all you need. Check out the following sections for detailed guidelines about painting old decks.

How Do You Prepare an Old Deck for Painting?

A painting job is never complete until you prep the surface properly. Deck painting, too, follows the same rule, and you can only boast of perfect wooden decks after a thorough preparation job. Fortunately, the prep job guarantees you a lovely and durable deck. Thus, it is worth it!

Also, although the painting process is the same for all decks, there are some extra steps to address when working on old decks. For example, they have more flaws, such as splits, chips, and dents, thus compromising the final look. In addition, old, chipped, cracked, and unsanded wood does not have longevity. Therefore, you may need to get a wood filler before priming the surface.

On top of that, remove all grills, planets, and furniture from the deck and sweep it thoroughly. Clean and wash the deck board to eliminate any debris. Also, ensure that you work on all the sides of the deck boards. Temperature and moisture changes may force them to contract and expand. Thus, the paint will wear down faster if you do not paint the boards underneath. 

Sanding is critical in the prep stage as it removes the old paint and other residues from the wood. It also helps you sand out grooves and any flaws. In addition, ensure that you sand in the wood grain’s direction, not against it. 

What Paint to Use on an Old Deck?

Decks soon age or peel sooner or later, especially if they experience a lot of traffic. Therefore, it would be best to maintain them regularly and, if need be, re-paint them. Also, the longer you wait to fix an old deck, the more the damage and the harder it will be to fix. So, the sooner, the better!

Thankfully, we have various paints and stains in the market that deliver a successful paint job. And you only need to select the best product to revive the deck.

So, check the following paint formulas before making a decision.

  • KILZ Over Armor Textured Wood

This paint is suitable for any surface, whether pitted or splintered. It has acrylic resin that delivers a durable and smooth texture. Also, it bridges cracks on the deck and hides flaws to give an even and uniform look.

KILZ comes in various solid colors and thus accommodates multiple re-painting projects.

  • SaverSystems #1 Deck Wood Deck Paint and Sealer

SaverSystems formula hides cracks and blemishes of old wood grains. It is water-based and produces a low odor, which gives you a friendly painting session. In addition, the paint coats both vertical and horizontal surfaces and thus is perfect for a deck.

The product penetrates deep into the lumber and offers superior protection from UV rays. Hence, the wood lasts longer without fading or graying.

  • INSL-X TS331009A-01 Tough Shield Wood Floor

This paint is waterborne and can resist abrasion from interior and exterior wood floors. It also offers optimal protection from harsh weather conditions. Thus, the deck lasts a longer duration.

You can clean the formula with grease, detergent oils, and a brush to keep it intact. In addition, it does not crack or peel off even in high-traffic areas. However, it would be best to apply a sealer or clear coat to enhance its longevity.

Lastly, this deck restoration solution is perfect for both residential and light commercial applications.

  • Woodrich Timber 5 Gallon Stain for Wood Decks

This stain is perfect for risk-averse DIY painters and contractors. It restores sad-looking, old, and neglected deck wood without presenting any risk. For instance, it has a simple three-step maintenance process, and you do not need to strip the surface before application.

Woodrich Timber acts more like a paint formula and beautifully soaks into the wood. It features transparent oxide pigments that deliver impressive coverage and glorify the wood’s natural grain.

Also, you can apply the formula using a sprayer, garden hose, or any other techniques you deem fit. Thus, it is easy to apply while delivering a superior finish.

  • RTG Anti-Slip Deck Paint

RTG Anti-Slip paint is a water-based and polyurethane product that can stand wet, hot, and heavy foot conditions. It is not abrasive like other paint coats and delivers a solid anti-slip coverage. In addition, you can easily clean up splatters, rust, and peeling paint with water and soap.

The formula is available in four neutral color shades and dries within one hour. It saves the wood from becoming reddish and delivers a low odor. Also, you do not need special supplies or tools to apply the paint. Thus, you enjoy a friendly working session.

  • Rust-Oleum 319384 RockSolid 20X Deck Resurfacer

 Rust-Oleum is more adhesive than other paints and thus restores minor defects and cracks on the deck. In addition, it has a 24-hour curing time that makes it affordable for furniture and foot traffic.

However, it would be best to work with a thick roller as a regular brush won’t get you home. But you will enjoy a water-proof and slip-resistance wooden surface.

  • INSL-X Acrylic Old Wood Restoration

This formula covers old wood comprehensively and is perfect for a deck renovation project. It features anti-abrasion qualities that enhance its durability. On top of that, the maintenance routine is pretty simple and affordable because soap and water do a perfect job.

That said, it is prudent to determine the deck’s needs before you purchase the product. Below are some considerations to have in mind before committing your money.

  • The Deck’s Surface. People have different thoughts and myths about painting horizontal and vertical surfaces. However, the manufacturer’s instructions should form the basis of your paint choice. Thus, ensure that you get a formula that works well for decks.
  • The paint’s brand. Always go for high-quality paint products as they deliver an excellent finish and desire satisfaction. Also, buy nice, or you will have to buy twice.
  • Area of Coverage. You might end up with more or less paint if you do not carefully consider the deck’s coverage. While remaining with extra paint may appear like a loss of money, a paint shortage may lead to a failed product. Therefore, it would be best to consider the paint amount that is suitable for the work.
  • The Paint’s Color. Popular product brands offer a wide range of wooden and concrete paint hues. For instance, Rust-Oleum provides about 60 color shades, whereas INSL-X offers the most recent and trendy colors. So, ensure that you select the best hue that will make the old deck alive again.
  • Application. It would be best to choose paint with easy curing and coverage options. Also, the success of the final product relies on the preparation process and weather conditions. Hence, settle for a fair-weather working day and ensure that the deck is clean before painting.

Is It Better to Paint or Stain an Old Deck?

The choice to paint or stain an old deck depends on what you want to achieve. For example, staining takes less time and delivers a perfect job within no time. In addition, stains usually accentuate the wood grain and deliver a more natural finish. You will also enjoy an attractive deck for an extended duration as the formula defends the lumber from peel and seasonal changes.

Conversely, painting often delivers a better result, especially if you want to fill cracks and cover imperfections. Paint formulas are also rot resistant and prevent the deck from sun and mold damage.

Besides that, paint formulas offer a variety of hues, even multi-colors. Thus, you can pop up the deck as you please.

What Is the Best Color to Paint a Deck?

You need to carefully select the paint color if you want the deck to appear new again. Luckily, there are multiple colors available in the market. Here are some of them.

  • Wonderful White Wash. The color adds sophistication and fancy touch to the deck, thanks to its vintage look. Also, the whitewash hue has an earthly element and glorifies the wood grain and lines. Hence, it helps revive the deck without any color additions.
  • Fiery Red. This hue is perfect for those who are not afraid of popping colors. It helps the deck to command attention and creates an energetic atmosphere. In addition, the color is perfect for both indoor and outdoor applications.
  • Earthly Brown. Your deck will restore its calm, earthly, and tranquil feel with this color. Also, you can complement the color with any other color and still maintain an attractive deck.
  • Calming Blue. This color enables the deck to accommodate various personality types. Generally, blue offers a soothing psychological effect and thus delivers a peaceful oasis in your backyard.
  • Classic Gray. Would you like to add character, personality, and charm to your old deck? Well, this color is suitable for you. It offers elegance, sophistication, and glamor to the environment. Also, you can combine it with more defined hues, such as yellows, reds, and oranges, and still keep an inviting deck.

What Is the Longest Lasting Deck Paint?

The longest-lasting deck Paint is Benjamin Moore INSL-X Shield Floor and Patio. It is a water-based formula and thus excellent for outdoor applications. Also, thanks to its durable and abrasion-proof qualities, it outlasts similar products.

Additionally, although the paint is pricier, you don’t need to re-paint your deck now and then.

How Do You Revive an Old Deck?

Begin the process by clearing the deck to assess the condition of each board. Then, replace damaged boards and secure any popping nails. Also, ensure that you pressure wash the wood as it saves you so much sanding and cleaning time. Place the equipment a reasonable distance away from the wood to avoid etching it.

Next, sand the deck using 120 and 60-grit sandpaper. You can also use a small orbital sander as long as you end up with a smooth surface.

Clean the deck using a commercial cleaner blended with water and spray the mixture on the deck. Allow it to cure for around 15 minutes while you scrub it with a hard bristle brush. Then, rinse the wood and let it dry for 48 hours before you paint or stain it.

Lastly, get your preferred product and apply it to the wood. Ensure that you allocate the recommended drying times for accurate results.

What Happens If You Paint Over Stained Wood?

Most stained wood usually has a glossy varnish or polyurethane. Hence, a paint coat will not grip the surface properly if you paint directly. Also, the finish will soon chip, crack, or peel and you’ll have a failed product. Therefore, it would be best to sand away the glossy layer before painting.

Additionally, an oil-based primer is an excellent option if you do not have time to sand the stained wood. It sticks to the surface and helps the wood to accept latex Paint.

Do I Need to Sand My Deck Before Repainting?

You don’t need to remove the deck Paint, but scuff sanding will do you some good. The process allows the new paint to adhere to the surface and hold tight for longer. Thus, ensure that you lightly sand the deck before having an additional coat.

How Much Should I Pay to Have My Deck Painted?

The average cost to have a deck paint job ranges from $600 to $1,500. Or $2 to %$ per square foot. Thus, you are good to go with $1,050. But several factors, like paint quality, labor rate, and material condition, can hike the price.

Fortunately, with $1,500, you cover all the cleaning and prep work. It includes one hour of pressure washing to deliver a smooth surface. Hence, it is worth it.

Can I Paint My Deck White?

Yes, you can paint your deck white as paint formulas come in multiple colors. However, it would be best to have an efficient maintenance and cleaning routine. A white color gets dirty pretty fast and is not that easy to clean. Thus, you need to add extra effort to keep it spotless. 

Even so, painting a deck is always an excellent idea as paint formulas have numerous benefits. For example, they resist mold, rot, and sun damage. The available multiple colors allow you to get as creative as possible. So, you can choose another suitable color to compliment your white hue.

In addition, paint fills gaps and cracks as it is a thicker finish. Thus, it works wonders for damaged wood. Also, interestingly, some manufacturers make paint specifically for wood restoration purposes.

Do You Need to Seal a Painted Deck?

It would be best to seal a painted deck as you will protect the wood from splinters, cracks, rot, and fading. Hence, you will not have to stress if there is a sudden downpour.

In addition, a deck functions as the living room of your compound or outdoor area. It is the place where you will make memories, laugh, and socialize with guests at your home. We can also confirm that a deck is an ideal spot for an enjoyable evening with a favorite person or eating some barbecued burgers. So, you need to give the deck maximum protection from elements.

How Do I Keep My Deck Paint From Peeling?

The major reason for peeling paint is improper application. The initial application technique determines how long the material sticks to the deck. Therefore, it would be best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, especially for the prep work. 

In addition, consider hiring an expert to help you get perfect results if you are a novice. Moreover, the pro will help give you some trendy ideas on what colors to pick for your deck. But, generally, ensure that you adopt the correct application procedure.

The other aspect to check out to keep the paint from peeling is trapped moisture or too much paint formula. Lumber can only soak so much paint. Hence, the excess liquid lingers above the surface and prevents dew and rain from leaving the wood. Ultimately, the paint peels away.

Therefore, ensure that you apply the correct paint amount. Also, it would be best to do multiple thin layers than one thick layer.

Besides that, the surface’s adhesion capacity may lead to peeling. Although you may have used the correct paint amount, a weak bond with the wood will compromise the result. Dirt and debris loosen the stain, whereas moisture compromises the adhesion capacity. Therefore, confirm that the wood is clean and dry before paint application.

In addition, the paint will still peel away faster than expected if you fail to sand the previous stain or paint coat.

Lastly, ensure that you maintain the paint regularly. You can also consider a sealer as it is water-proof and keeps the deck away from moisture. 

Can I Use Marine Paint On My Deck?

Yes. It is okay to use marine paint on your deck. The main difference between regular paint and marine paint is that most house paints are latex or water-based, whereas marine paints are mostly oil-based. 

Also, marine formulas are excellent for surfaces with constant water exposure, such as boars. Therefore, they will work best for your deck if you are in a wet area. 

More specifically, it would be best to consider Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint. It is simple to apply, smooth, and works magic on wood_your wood deck not being an exception. Thus, you’ll enjoy maximum value for your money.

Can I Spray Paint My Deck?

It is okay to spray a paint formula on your deck. The process rejuvenates the wood and delivers a brand new style. Also, spraying paint saves on labor costs and material as it is easy to apply.

However, ensure that you cover other items with plastic sheets or painter’s tape. The move protects surfaces that you don’t want to paint. So, please do not ignore it to keep ugly spots away. 

How Much Should I Charge to Sand and Paint a Deck?

You should charge around $2 to $5 per square foot or $600 to $1,500 for sanding and painting a deck.

Even so, it would be best to look at the material condition of the surface and paint quality to determine the price. However, it should not be too far from the above range.

In addition, a separate sanding job ranges between $30 to $50 and will take you approximately three to ten hours. But the work may be less or more depending on the surface area.

How Much Should I Charge To Pressure Wash a Deck?

Mother nature will take a toll on your deck’s surface. Thus, do not panic if the wood becomes stained or discolored. Luckily, deck pressure washing is a viable solution to keep the deck shining and attractive. 

The process uses a strong water stream to eliminate grease, dirt, grime, or mold build-up from the surface. Thus, it revitalizes the deck’s finish and even prepares it for painting or staining. In addition, pressure washing extends the deck’s life by removing any bio-contaminants that damage the lumber’s fibers.

On top of that, it is an affordable strategy, and the cost ranges from $100 to $200. Hence, an average painter will spend about $145 to clean a 500 square feet deck effectively. Also, you might pay $87 at the low end of the bargain and $766 for hand brushing and pressure washing at the high end.

However, the price varies based on the surface material, and the work needed to get a perfect outcome. For example, aluminum and composite decks are more expensive than wood ones.  

How Much Does It Cost To Strip Paint Off a Deck?

The accepted average cost to remove paint from lumber is $1.32 per square foot. You can also work with a $1.24 to $ 1.41 range. Also, the total cost might spill over to a $6.5 to $14.11 range when you add the price for materials and labor.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should I Paint the Underside of My Deck?

It would be best to paint the deck’s underside, especially if it is more than a few feet above the ground. However, you can also consider spraying a light coat during a warm day. This condition will help the deck dry properly. Also, the amount that you can apply at once limits you.

  • How Often Should I Paint My Deck?

Maintaining your deck makes it look attractive and extends its lifespan. Therefore, it would help to adopt a simple maintenance routine. In addition, it is prudent to refinish the deck every two to three years. Also, ensure that you consider the deck-type material and the current weather as you do the work.


You don’t have to get rid of your old deck simply because it does not draw attention anymore. You can always stain or paint it and revive its pop look. In addition, paint manufacturers offer multiple hues that accommodate various project requirements and personal preferences. But painting an old deck has some extra steps that require you to be more careful. So, it would be best to discuss

How to Paint an Old Wood Deck. 

Begin by prepping the surface by removing the old paint as it may interfere with paint adhesion. So, first, clean the wood deck and allow it to dry completely. Ensure that you get a deck cleaner for a fresh and smooth surface. Also, use a wood filler and fill any cracks and holes on the lumber. This exercise ensures that you deliver an even and uniform surface.

Then, apply the first coat once the filler dries and wait for about six to four hours before applying the next one.

Remember that the curing time varies with the humidity and temperature levels. Thus, it would be best not to hurry to step on the deck or apply pressure on the surface.