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5 Best Deck Paints (2022 Review)

Deck paint helps homeowners spruce up their outdoor space and protect their wood’s finish against normal wear and tear. In this review, the This Old House Reviews team delves into the best deck paints to help you address your wood’s aging or outdated finish.

Deck Paint Adobe

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


Best Deck Paint Comparison

Product Size Finish Type Coverage
Product Size Finish Type Coverage
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

KILZ Interior and Exterior Latex Floor Paint

KILZ Interior and Exterior Latex Floor Paint

  • $37

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Available in two colors, this latex deck paint from KILZ adds a colorful crack- and mildew-resistant finish to covered or exposed porches and patios. The paint comes in a one-gallon can and covers between 300–400 square feet of smooth surfaces in a mild satin finish.

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

INSL-X Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint

INSL-X Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint

This anti-slip paint from INSL-X, owned by Benjamin Moore, is designed for homeowners who own a pool or live in areas that receive heavy rainfall. The paint comes in seven colorful variations and is formulated with color-retaining and abrasion-resistant qualities that add a protective grip to wooden surfaces. The multi-purpose paint is also compatible with concrete and metal surfaces so that you can protect all of your outdoor spaces with a non-slip surface.

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

Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer

Ready Seal Exterior Stain and Sealer

  • $147
  • $169
  • 14% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This Ready Seal stainer and sealer requires no primer and has a water-resistant, UV-blocking formula that makes it a great choice for using on wood. Additionally, this product comes in several different colors so you can choose which finish works best on your deck. 

This product requires no back brushing and won’t leave runs, laps, or streaks. Furthermore, it does not require wet-line application, diluting, or thinner, and it can be applied in any temperature range.

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

Montage Signature Eco-Friendly Indoor and Exterior Paint

Montage Signature Eco-Friendly Indoor and Exterior Paint

  • $28
  • $30
  • 7% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This indoor and outdoor paint was created with the eco-conscious in mind. It’s made with raw and post-consumer latex paint and boasts a mold- and mildew-resistant finish backed by a 10-year warranty. This Montage paint is available in over 15 colors and gives homeowners the option of a low-sheen or semi-gloss finish. With a water-based formula, this paint is easy to clean up and can deliver a customized finish to exterior or interior walls, floors, and trim.

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

Rust-Oleum Marine Topside Paint

Rust-Oleum Marine Topside Paint

  • $19
  • $21
  • 10% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Originally designed for boat decks, this oil-based paint contains a UV-protected and weather-resistant formula that’s great for homeowners who live in areas that experience frequent inclement weather. The long-lasting paint dries in as little as one hour and delivers a semi-gloss finish to fiberglass, wood, or metal. To match your deck and its surrounding outdoor decor, the paint comes in nine paint colors, including black, red, and beige.

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

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.

Sherwin-Williams

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.

Rust-Oleum

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Primer

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.

Surface Sheen

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.

Protective Qualities

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

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.

Drying Time

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.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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