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Wood Deck Paint

A LOOK AT WOOD DECK PAINT

There are many wood deck paint products out there. Some prevent mold and mildew, some discourage insects and a few even come with warranties for up to 50 years!

If you’ve had to hose down, scrub clean, and go through the 4 or 5 step process of weatherproofing every other year, you might be open to a suggestion on how to avoid all that. Of all the wood deck paint products available, one is sure to meet all your needs.

Wood outdoor deck paint has unique properties, as opposed to stains, other finishes and even other exterior paints.

And, today your choice can be based on many factors. The most important is durability, but there are so many improvements and new ways of refinishing a wood deck today that the DIYer has some decisions to make!

The main one might be deciding if you like the look and feel of natural wood, or the low maintenance and smooth crisp appearance of paint.

Once painted, you know, there’s no going back.

Non wood decks (the plastic composite materials) used to be sold as “Maintenance Free.” Now they say “Virtually Maintenance Free” or “Low Maintenance.” The fact is that some need to be refinished or painted every five to ten years.

When those start to fade or are being attacked by fungi and other orgasms you can clean and paint, but you may only be hiding the problem. Many deck professionals don’t like the old composites, as they fade and could look really bad in five years or so. The best thing to do, they advise, is replace the entire deck floor. But, therein lies a problem. That’s a lot of plastic in our landfills. Painting plastic decks is, by far, the greener option.

HOW TO APPLY YOUR WOOD DECK PAINT:

Regardless of the kind of wood deck you have or whether its stained, weatherized or has been previously painted, the following will ensure you have a quality job that will last. Always read the instructions on the cans, though.

1. Get rid of as much of the old paint, stain or discoloration as you can. This will involve using a cleaner—get the best you can—and some scrubbing. Power wash if you need to (be careful). If the deck is painted now and is cracked, split and peeling, treat it like you would the house siding. Scrape and sand. Rent or buy a belt sander and smooth it down. Really bad flaking may need to be taken down to the bare wood, but a power sander will make short work of most peeling. One person scraping and one sanding can cut through a small deck in a day.

If you need to use a liquid stripper on previous wood deck paint, wear rubber gloves and goggles. Its a good idea to put on knee pads as you’ll be on your knees for long periods, and if the stripper soaks into your jeans you’ll be experiencing something akin to an ant invasion! Also, you’ll need to cover any landscaping and bushes with clear plastic, as well as the lawn for 8 to 10 feet. Remember, you have to spray off the toxic paint impregnated stripper with your garden hose. Makes buying the 50 year paint pretty attractive, doesn’t it?

2. Fill in any pits or depressions. Using wood filler and a 2″ or 3″ spatula, completely fill any low spots as these are places standing water, and fungus collect. Spread it as smooth as you can, let it dry (one day) and sand smooth. You want to be able to walk barefoot and feel really good.

3. Use two coats of primer. You’ll be tempted to only paint the primer on once, but don’t. Allow the first coat to dry, then paint it again. This extra coat makes a lot of difference. And, get a good primer like Kilz™, Valspar™ or Behr™. They all advertise one coat coverage, but why take chances? Your deck will be subject to all kinds of abuse for years and years. Better to be safe than … well, you know. The best process for applying both the primer and the paint is to first paint the railings and the spaces in the flooring with a brush, then use a roller to cover the floor. Two people can make this highly efficient and you can roll over wet paint.

4. Paint it! The decision here is to spray or “brush and roll.” Spraying involves masking and covering anything and everything that might get sprayed or catch any over spray. You can use a small paint sprayer like the ones you get at the big boxes or buy or rent an industrial one. Preparation and clean-up are the hard parts.

Once you mask and cover everything, you just walk around aiming and pressing a trigger. But, then you spend time removing the masking and cleaning the sprayer. Brush and roll is, in my humble opinion, the easiest.

5. Clean up. Leave the masking in place if you chose spraying and use it to clean the unit by spraying clear water through the tip until the spray runs clear. With a wet rag, wipe down the unit and, if you have an old toothbrush, gently clean in the crevices. If you used the brush and roll method, make sure you get all the paint or primer out of the brush and roller cover before storing. Or, buy good quality, but less expensive brushes and rollers and pitch ’em after you’re done. Its a deck, after all.

6. Seal it. Some deck builders and professional painters recommend putting on a coat of sealer after the wood deck paint dries completely. That’s a great idea, since you have everything off the deck and its clean, clear and you’ll never have a better time. Why not?

This whole thing is a process that will take a few days to do, but will reward you many times over. And the compliments you’ll receive will make up for any discomfort you experience!

For more info, search wood deck paint using the Bing Custom Search Box on the right side of this page -> and talk to the folks at the big boxes.

… for any questions, concerns or problems on a remodeling or landscaping project, just click the carpenter’s pencil above. We’ll get back to you within 48 hours with solutions or advice on where to get solutions.
We never charge for help or advice!

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Updated: October 20, 2013 — 10:03 pm

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