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An inviting and comfortable outdoor space starts with quality deck paint. Not only does deck paint bring color to your backyard, but it also helps sustain the integrity of your wood by protecting it against damage caused by constant foot traffic, direct sunlight exposure, and inclement weather.
While applying a protective layer of paint to your outdoor areas is a good start to extend their usable lifespan, it’s important to select a deck paint that fits your climate, wood type, and personal preferences. Because paint selection is important, the This Old House Reviews team researched the best deck paints on Amazon to match your needs with a specific product. Here are our top recommendations.
Top 5 Deck Paints
- Easiest To Use: KILZ Interior and Exterior Latex Floor Paint
- Best For Wet Areas: INSL-X Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint
- Best For Wood: Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer
- Most Eco-Friendly: Montage Signature Eco-Friendly Indoor and Exterior Paint
- Most Weather-Resistant: Rust-Oleum Marine Topside Paint
Best Deck Paint Comparison
|KILZ Interior and Exterior Latex Floor Paint||128 fluid ounces||Matte||200-400 square feet|
|INSL-X Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint||128 fluid ounces||Matte||80-120 square feet|
|Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer||5 gallons||Not listed||100-125 square feet per gallon|
|Montage Signature Eco-Friendly Indoor and Exterior Paint||128 fluid ounces||Low Sheen/Semi-gloss||300 square feet|
|Rust-Oleum Marine Topside Paint||32 fluid ounces||Gloss||100 square feet|
Easiest To Use: KILZ Interior and Exterior Latex Floor Paint
Pros and Cons
✔ Has a low-luster enamel surface formulated for decks, patios, and porches
✔ Works on all previously primed or painted surfaces
✔ Resists scuffing, fading, cracking, or peeling
✘ Has a lower viscosity than some other deck paints
✘ Is not fully waterproof
Best For Wet Areas: INSL-X Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint
Pros and Cons
✔ Leaves a durable, skid-resistant finish
✔ Is good for exterior or interior application
✔ Dries quickly
✘ Some customers had issues with the color of the paint not being accurate
✘ Covers less surface area than some other paints
Best For Wood: Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer
Pros and Cons
✔ Can be applied using a sprayer, roller, or brush
✔ Does not require diluting or thinning
✔ Works on all types of wood
✘ Can take up to two weeks to reach its full color
✘ Can sometimes take a long time to fully dry
Most Eco-Friendly: Montage Signature Eco-Friendly Indoor and Exterior Paint
Pros and Cons
✔ Is easily scrubbable and defends against mold and mildew
✔ Marks can be wiped away without affecting color or finish
✔ Comes with a 10-year warranty
✘ May require multiple coats for full coverage
✘ Some customers said fumes took a long time to dissipate
Most Weather-Resistant: Rust-Oleum Marine Topside Paint
Pros and Cons
✔ Has excellent gloss retention and resists abrasions
✔ Ideal for use on fiberglass, wood, or metal
✔ Resists salt, mildew, and moisture
✘ Has fewer color choices than other deck paints
✘ Some customers said the color of the paint did not match what was listed
Best Deck Paint Brands
When shopping for deck paint for your next home improvement project, it’s important to select a reputable brand that’s known for delivering quality deck paint. Here are four top-rated brands to keep in mind when purchasing deck paint.
KILZ is an American company that has provided paint and primer products for over 45 years. The brand is known for its quality exterior paints like the KILZ Interior and Exterior Latex Floor Paint, which is an all-purpose outdoor paint great for any deck or patio. To simplify the deck painting process, the company even offers an all-in-one paint and primer that cuts down on working time while delivering a long-lasting coat.
Ranked number one in customer satisfaction for interior and exterior paints by J.D. Power, Sherwin-Williams is a top-rated paint company that provides affordable and effective outdoor paints for your deck or patio. Offering exterior paints in a variety of sheens and formula bases, Sherwin-Williams has a multitude of options suitable for your outdoor area.
Providing rust- and water-resistant paints for almost 100 years, Rust-Oleum is a trusted paint company suitable for almost any outdoor area. Specializing in protective paints, the company is well-versed in creating high-quality and long-lasting paint that works for commercial and residential customers throughout the country.
Benjamin Moore, a leading paint company that has served homeowners for over 100 years, provides exterior paint solutions through its owned and operated brands, including INSL-X. The company’s outdoor paint catalog is designed to cover a variety of surfaces like asphalt, metal, tile, and wood so that all of your home’s outdoor areas are protected.
Additional Items You May Need for Painting Your Deck
An important first step to protecting your deck is selecting a suitable paint. However, once the paint is picked out, a few additional items may be needed to prepare your deck for your next outdoor gathering. Here are a few tools and accessories that’ll help you coat your deck with your paint of choice.
Dumond SmartStrip Advanced Paint Remover
If your wood deck is currently stained or painted, use a stain and finish stripper to prepare the wood for a fresh coat of paint. This paint remover from Dumond helps you do just that with its odor-free and biodegradable formula that removes existing paint layers. Once the remover has penetrated your deck, you can use a floor scraper to remove the deck’s peeling layer.
Yanyi Moldable Epoxy Glue
This easy-to-use epoxy glue is hand-kneaded and applied directly to any noticeable cracks or breaks in your deck’s surface to help you apply paint evenly to the surface. After applying the epoxy, you’ll want to use sandpaper to polish any inconsistencies in your deck caused by the epoxy or weathered wood.
Scotch Exterior Surface Painter’s Tape
This painter’s tape is designed to adhere to rough outdoor surfaces to provide a protective boundary between your deck and finished surfaces like brick or siding. The product contains a strong adhesive that can stick to your deck for up to 10 days to last the length of your project.
Bates 11-Piece Home Painting Supplies
Equipped with roller frames, roller naps, paintbrushes, and a paint tray, this Bates painting kit comes with the necessary tools to apply your paint to decking boards, handrails, and stairs. To speed up the painting process, Bates offers a telescoping extension pole that can help keep you upright and walking while painting wooden decks.
Factors To Consider Before Buying Deck Paint
When deciding on deck paint, consider the qualities and specifications of each paint and how it affects its look and performance. Here are six factors to consider before buying and applying deck paint.
Water- vs. Oil-Based
When using outdoor paint, your options include water- or oil-based products. Water-based paint, oftentimes referred to as latex paint, has a more flexible consistency than its oil-based counterpart. This allows the paint to maintain its look through seasonal changes in the wood and better remove trapped moisture.
While oil-based paints tend to crack and blister over time because of their inflexible nature, they’re more resistant to low temperatures than latex paint. Additionally, oil-based paints generally cover more surface area than their latex counterparts, so a second coat isn’t always required.
While the durability of your selected paint relies on its water or oil base, you can extend its life by preparing your deck with a primer. Primer is applied before your chosen paint and works to ensure the wood is protected and prepared for a finishing layer.
The sheen of an outdoor paint refers to its glossiness, which can range from a dull, flat finish to a shiny, high-gloss look. Typically, flat finishes are used on large exterior wood surfaces to hide surface scratches and blemishes. High-gloss paints are easy to clean and are used mostly on decorative surfaces like doors or fixtures.
Many outdoor paints contain additives that help protect the deck coating from wear and tear caused by high-traffic areas or poor weather conditions. One popular additive is acrylic paint, which increases flexibility and weather resistance. Paints contain different percentages of added acrylic, though more expensive paint usually consists of a higher percentage for a longer-lasting finish.
Other common additives in paint include UV ray- and mildew-resistant additives that are designed to target areas that receive direct sunlight or heavy rainfall.
Coverage refers to how much square footage a single can of paint covers. The amount of coverage provided depends on a variety of factors, including the painted surface’s texture and the tool used to apply the paint. Typically, coverage ranges between 200-500 square feet.
The drying time of paint relies on several factors, like the type of paint and the outdoor temperature and humidity. Depending on the paint, dry times can range anywhere from four to 24 hours. To ensure that your paint dries properly, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for information on optimal air temperature, humidity, and sun exposure.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should my deck paint last?
The number of years your paint lasts varies based on factors like where you live and surface usage, though multiple coats of high-quality outdoor paint should last 10 to 15 years.
Should you paint or stain your deck?
The choice to stain or paint your deck comes down to preference. If you’re looking for a simple protective solution that requires minimal work, staining is a solid option. Deck stains are usually applied in a single coat and have a runny consistency that makes them easy to spread over wooden panels.
If you’re looking for a longer-lasting solution and don’t mind the added cost or work, paint may be a better option. Paint comes in a range of colors and usually creates an easy-to-clean surface that makes deck maintenance simpler.
Can you paint over existing deck paint?
Yes. However, it’s important to remove any cracking, bubbling, or peeling paint before a new coat is applied. This can be done using a paint scraper or sander and is an important pre-painting step that ensures the paint properly bonds to your deck.
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