A deck is a great thing to have in your garden, in part because it can be any size, shape, or design that you want it to be.
Wooden decks are both attractive and very useful, especially on days when the weather is nice. People entertain, enjoy meals, and relax on their decks all the time, which is one of the reasons why taking good care of your deck by choosing the best paint for decking is absolutely crucial.
After all, decks are exposed to the elements every single day of the year, and this alone can wreak havoc on a deck much faster than you might think.
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Why Take Care of Your Deck?
Fortunately, protecting your deck is now easier than ever, not only because of the selection of paints and stains that are available these days but also because of the improved quality of those paints and stains.
If you’ve done your research, you know that paints and stains are your two main options when it comes to protecting your deck best. If your deck isn’t well-protected, it simply won’t last for very long. And besides, it will just plain look bad if you don’t take care of it.
So if you’ve ever asked yourself what is the best paint for wood decking, just know that you have two options and not just only one to get your deck looking its best.
If you’re unsure about whether to use paints or stains, don’t worry because, with both of them, you’ll get a beautiful, well-protected deck in the end.
Paints will give you more options when it comes to colour, of course, but stains have different shades and tones as well. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of both paint and stains when taking care of your deck.
Using Paint on Your Deck
Unless you insist on a more natural look for your wood deck, you can choose to paint the deck instead.
There are hundreds of paints that you can use to protect the wood and make the deck last longer; besides, you get so many colours to choose from that you can even match the décor of your home’s exterior.
A painted deck is definitely an attractive one, so this option will never disappoint. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using paint on your deck:
- It is a better filler of imperfections. Paint tends to be thicker than stain so you can use it to fill in cracks, crevices, and all sorts of imperfections in the wood. In fact, there are even paints that are specifically made for this purpose; however, even if you choose a standard paint, it does a great job of covering up the defects created by constant exposure to the elements.
- It is a little better at protecting the wood. Again, since paint is thicker than stain, it usually does a better job of resisting sun damage, mould, and rot. This isn’t the case with every single type of paint, of course, but paint can do a great job of protecting the wood from various problem areas.
- It is sometimes easier to clean. If you choose a very light-coloured paint, this might not be the case but, as a general rule, paint is easier to clean than stain is. This is because the paint is thicker than stain and can result in a thick protective “layer” that is usually very difficult to penetrate.
- There are more colour options. With paint, you can make your deck any colour you want it to be. Besides, you can paint over any imperfections -- or even over an existing coat of paint -- quickly and easily. In many cases, you can use just one coat of paint to get the look you want, and when it comes to the colour itself, the sky is the limit.
- Paint lasts forever. This is usually an advantage, but in some cases, it can be a disadvantage instead. If you decide later on to go back to staining your deck, it can be extremely difficult or even impossible to get all of the paint off first. Once you paint your wood deck, it’s going to stay that way for a long time.
- You don’t get to enjoy a “natural” look. When you stain your deck, the natural grain of the wood shines through, but all of that is covered up completely when you use paint instead. If this doesn’t matter to you, then paint is a great option; however, if you love the overall look of wood, this is something you need to consider.
- You have to be careful with your colours. Although having a lot of choices when it comes to choosing a paint colour for your deck is a good thing overall, you have to make sure that colour is going to look good when you’re done. A colour made for trim, for example, may not look good once it goes on your deck, so a little caution is recommended.
What About Stains?
Just as with paint, stains have pros and cons as well. Most people choose a semi-transparent stain or clear sealer for their wood decks, but within these choices, there are tons more options available to you.
In short, if you decide that you want to use a stain on your deck, you’ll have a lot of choices available, increasing the odds that the look will be perfect in the end. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in the pros and cons of using a stain on your deck, here they are:
- A stain is a little easier to work with. With paint, you can’t miss a spot on the deck without it being noticeable to everyone, but stains and sealers are a little more forgiving. You can use stains without concentrating on every millimetre of the wood because even if you miss a spot, it likely won’t be noticeable in the end.
- A stain isn’t usually as slippery as paint. This isn’t always the case, of course, but overall stains do a much better job than paints of providing you with a surface that isn’t as smooth or slick, which means that you can walk across the deck as much as you want without accidentally slipping on it.
- Stains come in more colours than you think. When you’re viewing stain colours, there are more options available than you think. One word of caution, though. It’s best to get a small can of stain and test it on a small section of your deck before painting the entire deck. This is because the colour of the wood always affects how the stain colour looks when you’re done.
- Stains show the natural beauty of the wood. The grain of the wood is always unique to that particular piece of wood, and if you’re a person who loves seeing the grain shine through and catch people’s attention, you’ll have to use a stain on the deck to get that effect.
- It doesn’t fill in cracks. A stain is much thinner than paint so it won’t fill in or cover up those imperfections that you notice in your wood. If you have any types of cracks, splinters, rust stains, or any kind of voids in the wood, don’t rely on your stain to cover them up as you can with paint.
- It doesn’t last as long as paint. Most stains and sealers have to be replaced much more regularly than paint does. The lifespan will depend on the stain itself, of course, as well as the condition of the wood but stain just doesn’t last as long as paint does on wood decks.
Keep in mind that both paint and stain are excellent at protecting the wood and keeping it in better condition year after year.
Indeed, if you have a wood deck, you certainly don’t want to leave it bare. Make sure that it is protected and well maintained so that you can get many years of enjoyment out of it.
In addition, most wood paints and stains are very inexpensive to purchase so you can always find a top-notch product regardless of which one you choose and what your budget is.
What Type of Decking Paint Should You Choose?
Just as with paints for the interior or exterior of your home, there are many different types of paints for your wood deck.
While that leaves you with a lot of great options, it can also make the task a little more confusing and overwhelming.
Before you get started with your shopping, below are a few things that you should consider first.
Oil-Based versus Water-Based Deck Paints
When you look for paints for your deck, they are often labelled as paint for porches, patios, and/or decks, and they generally include two main types: water-based and oil-based.
Both of these paints can be used on your wood deck without any problems and here are some details of each type:
- Oil-based paints. These paints are tough and last for a very long time -- usually five to ten years, which is a long time for deck paint. They are available in tons of different colours and offer excellent protection against moisture so you can enjoy watching raindrops “bead” up on your deck for many years to come. On the other hand, they are high in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and therefore have a lot of potentially dangerous fumes, can take up to 24 hours to dry completely, and require some type of solvent to clean your paintbrushes when you’re done.
- Water-based paints. These paints are low in VOCs, dry in roughly four to six hours, do a much better job of keeping the deck from fading, protect the deck from peeling and cracking, and come off your paintbrushes with just soap and water. That being said, water-based paints usually only stay on your deck for four to eight years, which isn’t as long as oil-based paint.
You should also keep in mind that the condition of your deck has a lot to do with how long your paint will last and how the paint looks once the job is done.
Nevertheless, once you decide which of these paints is for you, you can start reviewing the different paints on the market to determine which one you want.
Below are a handful of deck paints to get you started with this research.
Dura Grip Anti-Slip Decking and Floor Paint
Made for decking, floors, and even boats, this epoxy paint is available in ten different colours and offers non-slip protection for all types of surfaces.
The 946ml can cost around £70 and covers seven to ten square metres of space. Once it dries, it provides you with the semi-gloss finish that so many deck owners love.
It is available in colours such as different shades of grey, brown, beige, red, blue, and yellow, among others, so everyone can find something that they will be anxious to use on their deck.
It is also available in other sizes with cans that go up to 3.7 litres to accommodate those extra-large outdoor chores.
Raincheck Universal Water Sealer for Brick, Wood, and More
This five-litre can sell for around £15 and is therefore reasonably priced. It is made for wood, brick, stone, and concrete.
It provides no colour so it will match anyone’s décor and it has very few harmful chemicals to breathe in as you work.
It cures fast to allow you to enjoy your deck quickly and is durable as well, lasting up to ten full years after the deck is sealed.
This is also a UV-resistant formula that can make any fixture look brand-new again, and since it is colourless, you can easily apply it to a good paint job for some extra protection if you like.
Ronseal Weatherproof Exterior Wood Paint
This 750ml can of paint is perfect for decks, patios, and any other structure made out of wood on the exterior of your home.
It lasts up to ten years and is guaranteed not to peel, crack, or blister during that time frame.
Roughly one hour after you apply this paint, in fact, your deck is already weatherproof.
At a price of under £30, it is a very affordable option for your wood deck. Even better, this wood paint is able to be used even on decks that were painted in other colours and with different types of paint in the past.
You get a consistent, even look every time that you use it.
EverBuild Quick-Drying Wood Stain
Available in three different sizes, this is a high-quality wood stain that is solvent-free, meaning that you don’t need harsh chemicals to clean your brushes afterwards.
It provides a satin finish for an extra attractive look in the end. The 750ml can of stain only costs around £14, and it dries to the touch in only one hour.
The colours available include antique pine, natural oak, dark oak, rosewood, mahogany, walnut, teak, and, of course, clear.
It can cover up to 20 square metres per litre of stain, and it is also UV-resistant. It is easy to apply and is made for both exterior and interior uses.
T.A. Paints Ltd. Multipurpose Floor Paint
Made for wood, metal, brick, and stone, this multipurpose floor paint is excellent not just for decks but also for garage floors, factory floors, and even warehouse floors.
It is easy to apply and is available in 25+ colours, including attractive colours such as blue, orange, red, yellow, and green as well as neutral colours such as grey, white, and off-white.
This is an oil-based floor paint that can handle decks and patios of all sizes and types. It covers up to eight square metres per litre.
It dries to the touch in two to four hours and is ready for use in 12 to 24 hours so you’ll be enjoying your deck before you know it.
Hamburger Lackprofi Glossy Varnish for Wood and Metal
A one-litre can of this varnish costs you just £18, and this one works wonders on all types of wood and metal.
This is a UV- and weather-resistant varnish that comes in numerous colours.
It is both easy to apply and quick-drying. It is a synthetic resin paint that will protect the wood from the elements and make it look good as well.
Best when used with a roller and brush, this varnish can accommodate 10 to 12 square metres per litre and comes in additional sizes - up to 20 litres, in fact -- so that even your super large jobs look nice and even when you’re done.
Halvar PU Wood Protection Shiny Paint
For decks, fences, patios, balconies, or even sandboxes, this is an excellent paint that will both protect your wood and make it look a whole lot better.
Made in Germany, this is a high-quality paint that offers weather resistance and aroma-free advantages.
At around £18 for a one-litre container, it won’t break the bank to purchase it.
It also offers complete coverage regardless of the project and can be used both indoors and outdoors, making it a very versatile paint indeed. It will actually preserve the wood, not just protect it, so whether your deck is one year old or ten, it is certain to benefit from this wood protection paint.
This is just one the DIY tasks that need to be done for more help and advice on the other homeowner's maintenance then I have a full in-depth guide for you - Our Grant New Homeowners Maintenance Guide