Learn how to paint a deck in this step-by-step guide. Your deck will look professionally painted.
Do you enjoy doing things with friends and family out on your deck but wish it looked better? If so, you should continue reading this article. We understand your pain, and painting your deck doesn't have to be an impossible task. We have researched different aspects of painting a deck that will help you to have the best performance and help you to avoid any of the mistakes that we and other people have made when deciding to have their deck painted.
Each section below will be able to help you get through things like when the best time to paint your deck will be to if you should go with painted or sealed decks. There is one thing that you should remember and that is a lot of decisions you will have to make will be entirely up to you. So, it is imperative that you research the different areas below to ensure you have all of the information you need prior to getting started. That being said, let's get started on your painting journey.
Painted vs. Sealed Decks
Before you decide to paint your deck, you should really understand the differences between painting your deck and sealing your deck. They both have their pros and cons, and before making the final decision you should understand each of these to ensure that you will make the best decision for your deck.
Let's get started with sealing your deck. Sealants are designed to highlight the natural grain in the wood of your deck. Sealants are generally clean and clear coating that you place on your wood, and it is meant more to protect the wood of your deck from various types of weathering conditions while allowing it to look natural.
So, if your deck is made from an already beautiful grained wood that you enjoy, using a sealant might be your best option. It will give you protection while not changing the color of the natural wood. Plus, since it is a clear coating, if it ever chips or flakes off, it will be less visible against the grain of the wood than when regular paint chips or flakes.
However, some people do not like the natural look of wood or perhaps are dealing with an already painted deck. If either of these is the case, then paint can be used as a high-quality protective coating just like sealants, and paint is capable of hiding any and all imperfections or discolorations of the wood underneath. Painting your deck does give you the option of choosing a color that will match your shutters or house, and when you choose to paint a deck, you can always sand down the old paint and repaint the deck at will throughout the lifespan of the deck.
Painting still does have some cons that you should consider, as well, though. For instance, paint is more likely to chip and scuff faster than if you use a sealant. Plus, you do lose the natural look of the wood the deck is made of. Needless to say, both of these options are viable depending on your individual wishes, and you should consider and take into account both of them to ensure you are making the best choice for your needs and desires rather than one someone might recommend to you without knowing them.
When To Paint Your Deck
Weather can have a devastating effect on your deck, but it is important that you understand that when you paint your deck is very important. There are several factors that you need to consider when planning your deck panting project. Regardless if you decide that you want to traditionally paint your deck or stain it, the best thing you can do is determine which climate and time will be best for the area that you live.
After all, weather conditions are different all over the world, and sometimes the time that is best for one place is not the best time for the next, due to some of these traditions. You should also pay close attention to the structure you want to paint because depending on its shape, the project may be more urgent in nature. In some areas, it can be difficult to plan your project because you will want at least four to five days of clear forecast.
Now, this does mean that it will take four or five days for you to paint your deck. However, it is best to start your painting when the wood on the deck is completely dry. Then you will want a single day planned out specifically for painting the deck, and finally, you will want the forecast to be clear for an additional 48 hours after you have painted the deck to ensure that it is fully dry before it is introduced to any type of weather conditions.
The next thing you will want to ensure that the temperature in the forecast is right as well. You don't want to paint when it is too cold or too hot out because, depending on the type of paint you are using, it should be applied at temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, this is highly dependent on where you live because sometimes midsummer days might be far too hot for you to paint your deck. Springtime can be a decent time for you to paint your deck, but there again this is dependent on where you live and the weather patterns that often hit there.
If you find that you live in an area where it is really hot in the summer, this does not mean that you cannot actually paint your deck. However, it does mean that you will want to either paint your deck early in the morning or later in the afternoon once the sun has started going down, but the most important thing to consider is the forecast to ensure that you will be working with dry weather for a few days.
Mistakes To Avoid
When you decide to paint your deck, you obviously have pride in what it looks like and you will want it to look the best possible when you are finished. Therefore, here are a few common mistakes that you should try to avoid when planning your deck painting project.
Always check the forecast
When you are painting a deck, it is important to remember that you don't just need it to be a nice and pretty day on the day you are painting your deck. You will want to take note of the weekly forecast around the time you plan on working on your project because you want the wood of the deck to be dry when you start to paint. Plus, you want to make sure that it will remain dry for at least 48 hours after you have completed painting your deck.
Be sure of the chosen color before starting
Another mistake that many people make is rushing to pick a color to paint their deck in. There are so many choices in colors that this can be a dizzying decision. Unlike with an interior painting project, getting the wrong color can be harder to fix because of the additional planning that you have to do when you are painting a deck for outside. Due to there being so many colors, it is possible that the shade could be slightly off, which can give an undesired effect.
Using the wrong type of paint
This might sound like something simple to avoid, but in a simple moment of distraction, this could easily happen. When you go into the hardware shop or wherever you plan on purchasing your paint, you need to ensure that you check and double-check that you are picking the correct type of paint to avoid any mishaps at the time of the project execution.
Not having the right or proper equipment on hand for the project
Unlike with some projects, everything needs to be in place in order to paint your deck. You should make a competent materials list prior to getting started, and you should always check and double-check that list before you get started to make sure that you have everything that you will need.
Tools And Materials You’ll Need
Here is a quick list that you should have before you get started with your deck painting project.
- Cleaning agent
- Brushes/rollers/paint sprayer
- Paint stirrer
- Wire brush
- Scrub brush
- Exterior-grade putty
- Putty knife
Now that you have gone through a few of the different mistakes that people commonly make and the materials you will need to paint your deck, here are the actual steps that you will need to go through in order to complete the job effectively.
Step 1. You need to make sure that your deck is cleaned. This generally should be done a day or so before you plan on painting your deck because the wood on the deck needs to be completely dry before you start painting. Depending on if your wood has faded or has mold and mildew on it, you should make sure that the cleaning supplies you use will get rid of all of these things.
Step 2: Sand and scrape the deck. This will help to ensure that any peeling paint on the deck will be removed, and any rough surfaces in the wood will be sanded smooth, which is better for holding the paint coats. For this step, you can use a wire brush, scraper, and of course, sandpaper to ensure that all of the existing paint is removed from the wood.
Step 3: Brush or clean away the dust from sanding down the deck.
After you have finished sanding down the deck, you should use a dry brush or broom to sweep away any of the paint shavings or dust from the deck to make sure it is all gone before you get ready to start painting.
Step 4: Apply painter's tape to any part of the house you don't want to get paint on and prepare to paint.
You will want to gather all of your materials, like your roller or brushes, paint, stirrers, and other materials that you will need to actually paint your deck.
Step 5: Put back all furniture and remove all painter's tape.
After waiting at least 48 hours, you can finally replace all of the furniture back onto your deck. This is also the time when you should remove any of the painter's tape that you applied prior to painting the deck if you haven't already removed it.
Tips & Tricks For Painting Your Deck
We have already told you about a few of the mistakes that you should avoid when preparing to paint your deck, and here are some tips and tricks that you can use to help you get the best results possible.
Never use a pressure washer to clean your deck before painting or in general.
Pressure washers can actually harm the wood of your deck by digging chunks out of the wood, and many people think that it is an excellent way to get rid of debris and dirt, but it isn't worth the risk of messing up the wood.
Don't forget about the underside of your deck.
Even though people might not take the time to look at the underside of your deck, it is still important to paint it because the paint will help to keep the boards safe from moisture and all sorts of weathering conditions. This will help to increase the lifespan of the boards on your deck and even help to prolong the lifespan of your deck's newest paint job.
Check the weekly forecast before setting a time and date for your project.
You need to check the weekly forecast to ensure that your deck will have plenty of time to be completely dry before you get started, while you are painting, and at least 48 hours to give your paint enough time to dry fully before it is his by any sort of bad weather, like a rainstorm.
Remove any loose nails from the deck's boards.
While you are prepping your deck, you should make sure that all of the nails in the deck are tight and not loose. If they are, you should remove them and replace them with larger nails before you paint the deck. This will help to make sure that you will not have to worry about damaging your new paint job by replacing the nails later on.
Just like with walls, fill any holes with exterior-grade putty.
Regardless of how old your deck is or when the last time you painted your deck, it will most likely have some sort of divets in the wood that should be repaired and filled before you start painting. This will ensure that your newly painted deck has a smooth surface and look brand new, regardless of the age of the deck.
Never put regular exterior paint on a deck that has been oiled.
Oil paint can be difficult to use, and if your deck has ever been oiled or had oil paint used on it, switching to any other type of paint will be a horrible mishap. Regular paint will not stick to oil painted or oil-stained. Once it has had an oil-based substance on it, you will need to remove it with paint remover thoroughly before sanding down the wood to make sure that the wood grain is free from any of the substance, which leads the way to allow you to successfully paint the deck.
Insights and Takeaways
Never again fear the idea of painting your deck! As long as you research when and how you want to paint your deck, it can be a rewarding experience. However, it is imperative that you make the final decisions based on what you want rather than what someone might have recommended to you. You know what you like and what you want, and as long as you do the research, you should be able to pull off painting your deck with ease and hard work that can be rewarding.
That being said, you should remember some of the information that we gave you above because it could make or break your deck painting experience, and finally, you should remember that these are just things that we have figured out in our experience. We hope that it has been useful in helping you plan the next painting experience you have for your deck! And if you're looking for a high-quality paint sprayer, we have plenty of reviews you can read.