Wooden Deck Painting Guideline

Wooden Deck Painting Guideline

Painting your wooden deck might seem like an easy job. But things can easily go south if you don’t have any proper wooden deck painting guidelines.

A well-furnished wooden deck naturally accentuates the beauty of your home. This is why it is important to repaint it every few years.

But don’t worry you don’t need to spend a lot of money on professionals to get your wooden deck painted. You can do it yourself with a few necessary. All you need is a proper guideline for dos and don’ts.

To help you understand what to do and what not to do, we noted down all the relevant information that will help you paint your wooden deck the proper way.


Then keep on reading!

Let’s get started.

Preparing a deck for painting

Before you start painting your deck it is important that you properly prepare it. Or the paint won’t be applied evenly and it won’t be durable either. This is why you must prepare your deck properly before going down with the paint.

Prepping your deck isn’t just one single step but rather a combination of multiple steps. You must follow through with every one of them. We described each of those steps elaborates below so that can prep your deck the right way to have a smooth paint finish.

1. Cleaning : The first step to prepare your wooden deck before painting it is by thoroughly cleaning it.

Firstly, remove all furniture from your deck, if there are any. Then use a broom to clean away any dust, debris, molds, leaves, etc from the surface.

Secondly, take any hardwood cleaner of your choice and generously apply it all over the deck and brush it with any cloth, sponge, or mop. Use a scrubber to scrub tough spots to remove any residue. Again, make sure to clean every side of the deck and not just the top. If you have a big deck you can divide it into sections to do the job.

Lastly, after you’re done applying the cleaner use a power washer to completely rinse the wood. Maintain a decent distance from the wood surface to avoid any damage to the wood from the water pressure of the power washer. Then let it dry down completely before moving on to the next step,

Wear protective glasses and hand gloves during this step to avoid any chemical contact to your eyes and hand. 

2. Sanding: A smooth surface is a key to a good paint application. To make sure that the paint is evenly distributed on your deck, sanding it is important.

Take sandpaper and carefully sand all rigid areas on your wooden deck. Make sure to not leave any spots behind. When sanding your deck you should emphasize the top side of the deck but you shouldn’t leave behind other sides as well. If there are any holes or scars you can use wood putty to fill them in if you want a smooth surface. After applying the wood putty with a putty knife, smoothen it out by lightly sanding the area.

If you are not a professional, make sure to put on protective gloves during this step to avoid any injury to your hand.

3. Priming: The last step before painting your wooden deck is priming it. Just like any other painting job, priming is crucial for painting your deck. It helps against bubbling, peeling, or blistering of the paint job.

Wood is very porous and absorbent so if it comes in contact with any liquid it may seep in through the paint. A primer fills in the pores and makes sure that this does not happen and helps to make the paint last longer. Furthermore, is also great against constant foot activity above the deck.

Before priming, protect all areas that you don’t want the primer to come in contact with. Such as your walls. Then use a paint roller or a paintbrush to liberally apply the primer all over the wood. Don’t thin out the primer and apply a thick coat over the deck. As the primer needs to be thoroughly absorbed by the wood. Allow the surface to dry for at least 2 hours or more before you start painting your deck.

Painting vs Staining

When it comes to adding a different look to your wooden furniture or surfaces you may find yourself torn between two options, painting and staining.

Both of which are popular for serving different results. Each has its characteristics. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your preference and what kind of look you prefer for your wooden deck.

If you’re torn between both the options for your wooden deck, then you can go through their pros and cons that we noted down below to assess which one best suits your preference.

Painting the deck

The pros and cons of painting your wooden deck are given below


  • Offers color versatility
  • Offers texture versatility
  • Easy to cover imperfections on wood
  • Protects the wood
  • Avoids rotting of wood
  • Protects wood from direct sunlight


  • Traps moisture
  • Chips away with time
  • Takes time to apply it
  • Leaves behind brush strokes

Staining the deck

The pros and cons of staining your wooden deck are given below


  • Leaves a natural finish
  • Highlights the natural beauty of the wood
  • Has an even finish
  • Easy to apply
  • Durable than paint
  • Easier to maintain than paint


  • Does not offer color versatility
  • Does not offer texture versatility

5 DIY Tips on Long-lasting the Deck Paint

Who doesn’t like things to last long. The same goes for your wooden decks.

But for that to happen you need to take extra care of it. We noted down five DIY tips that you can follow to get a long-lasting deck paint. Don’t worry you don’t need to buy separate tools to do them. You can easily do it yourself with tools you already own at the comfort of your home.       

  1. Don’t scrape or drag your furniture on painted wooden decks. Even though the paint is meant to be long lasting, direct scraping breaks the paint barrier and causes it to chip away from places.
  2. Don’t keep your decks soaked in water for a long time. This will cause the wood to absorb the water and expand. Which will eventually cause the paint to crack.
  3. When cleaning your wooden deck don’t use a super-strong or harsh cleaning solution. It may damage the paint surface. Rather use a mild detergent or dish soap and mix it with water, then use that as a cleaning solution.
  4. Don’t use mops with sharp metallic edges to clean your wooden deck. The sharp edges can damage the surface and scrape off the paint. Rather use a mop or broom.
  5. If there are any stubborn stains, then use a vinegar and water mixture with a 1:1 ratio. Dampen a paper towel with the solution and keep it on the stained area for 10 minutes then take it off. You may need to repaint that area if the stain is too stubborn.


No matter how easy a hardware job is you should never go forward with it without knowing what to do and what to avoid. Especially if you are not a professional. This is why we explained every essential wood deck painting guideline for you to follow.

We hope you found this article helpful. We tried our best to answer your queries and help provide a proper guideline to paint your wooden deck.

Thank you for being patient and staying with us till the end.

Happy painting!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: Should I seal my deck before painting?

Answer: Yes you should seal your deck before painting. If you paint your deck without sealing it, it will trap moisture inside the wood and over time cause a lot of problems. Such as chipping of paint, rotting of wood, etc.

Question: How often should I repaint my deck?

Answer: Usually you should repaint your deck in the span of three years. But this completely depends on the material and the condition of your deck etc.

Question: Can you paint a deck without power washing?

Answer: Yes you can paint a deck without power washing. Power washing is efficient in removing paint or stain but it isn’t a requirement. Sometimes power washing is not advised as it may get rid of gauge or chip on wood.

Question: What is the best time to paint a deck?

Answer: Spring or late spring is the best time to paint a deck. It is not too hot to tire you out while working and not too cold for the paint to not dry down. There is also less possibility of rain during this time.

Question: What if it rains after I paint my deck?

Answer: If it rains before the paint on your deck dries down, it will wash off the paint and you will need to reapply the paint the next day. However, if it rains after the paint dries down there will be no changes to your deck.

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