How to Paint a Deck

Learn how to paint a deck with Behr Premium Advanced Deck Over – perfect to extend the life of your old wood deck.

How to Paint a Deck

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I hinted at it in the plans for the new cedar planter boxes, but I’ve been working on a small front porch makeover the last few weeks and it’s finally all finished up! We spend a ton of time on the porch and it was in need of a SERIOUS overhaul.

Here’s the before:

how to paint a deck before

And from the other side:

how to paint a deck before

The previous owners of our house had the deck built when they lived here. We’re not sure exactly how old it is, but, if I had to guess, I’d say about 10 years. So most of the wood is still in pretty good condition, though it’s showing signs of age – quite a few large cracks, some splintering, and a couple rotten boards.

Before painting, I researched different options for paint or stain and decided to go with Behr Advanced DeckOver paint (not sponsored). It’s the most intense paint I’ve ever seen but worked wonders for this older deck. If you have a newer deck (or just one that’s in better condition), you can definitely get away with standard deck paint. I would still recommend DeckOver to protect the lumber as best as possible, but it’s not necessary. However, if your deck is old or cracking, I HIGHLY recommend DeckOver.

paint. It’s the most intense paint I’ve ever seen but worked wonders for this older deck. If you have a newer deck (or just one that’s in better condition), you can definitely get away with standard deck paint. I would still recommend DeckOver to protect the lumber as best as possible, but it’s not 100% necessary. However, if your deck is old or cracking, I HIGHLY recommend DeckOver.

As stated on their website, it “resurfaces properly prepared weathered wood by filling-in cracks and taming splinters, extending the life of your deck and living space so you can enjoy the outdoors.”

… and they’re not joking … this stuff was the consistency of cement! It wasn’t difficult to apply or anything, but it did take quite a while. They say you can use a roller to apply it, but I ended up painting a lot of it with a brush since it’s so thick. All that aside, I definitely recommend it to extend the life of your deck – worth the extra work.

Now, on to the tutorial! This tutorial applies specifically to Behr DeckOver. Make sure to read the instructions on your paint if you use a different kind.

Check out how the whole thing came together in this quick video! And I’d love to have you follow along while you’re there.

Tools & Supplies:

Step 1. Replace Rotten Boards

Check the deck for any rotten or broken boards and replace them as necessary.

how to paint a deck before

I removed and replaced one rotten 2×4 on the railing, but other than that everything else still looked pretty good.

how to paint a deck before

Once you’ve fixed any bad boards, it’s time to prep the deck for paint.

Step 2. Preparation

Preparation is very important so the paint has a good surface to adhere to. The nice thing about Behr DeckOver is that you can paint over the old paint. HOWEVER, you still have to remove any old paint that’s peeling or chipping. If you apply paint over peeling paint, it will just peel right off.

how to paint a deck before

I started with a pressure washer. It worked really well to remove the paint on the platform section but started to splinter the wood along the railing. So I ended up sanding the railing rather than pressure washing. And, though the pressure washer removed most of the old paint on the platform, I decided to hit that with the sander as well just for good measure.

Pressure washing and sanding is time consuming, but it’s definitely worth doing correctly. The better you prep, the better the new paint will do. Believe you me … you don’t want to have to re-paint any time soon … it’s a tremendous amount of work and worth doing correctly the first time.

The instructions on the DeckOver paint recommend removing all splintered wood, peeling paint/stain, and deteriorated coatings with BEHR PREMIUM NO. 64 Wood Stain & Finish Stripper. I did not use a finish stripper since I ended up sanding everything off. That said, our paint was peeling SO BADLY that it came off easily with the pressure washing and sanding – stripper wasn’t really necessary. If you’re having a hard time getting the old peeling paint or stain off, the stripper will help.

Once you remove the old chipped and peeled paint, clean the deck.

Again, the instructions recommend cleaning with BEHR PREMIUM® NO. 63 All-In-One Wood Cleaner. The goal is just to remove any stains, grease, oil, and dirt – use whatever means you feel comfortable with to get the job done. Make sure to rinse it all really well after cleaning and allow it to dry COMPLETELY.

If you’re painting a new deck – no need to worry about stripping the old chipped paint. Simply clean the deck really well (i.e. BEHR PREMIUM® NO. 63 All-In-One Wood Cleaner), rinse thoroughly, and allow to dry completely.

Step 3. Paint

You can apply DeckOver right onto bare wood without a primer. So after the deck is all prepped and dry, it’s time for paint.

Make sure to follow all the manufacturer instructions. And when they say “do not apply in direct sunlight,” they’re serious … don’t ask how I figured that out.

how to paint a deck supplies

Use a paint brush to edge (i.e. cut in) the railing, spindles, corners, and steps – anything you can’t get with a roller. Then use a roller to apply the rest of the paint.

I ended up painting the whole first coat on the railing with a brush. The DeckOver is so thick that I couldn’t get very good coverage with a roller. Once the first coat dried, I edged the railing corners with a brush again but used a roller for the rest of the second coat. For the platform, I used the extendable roller for the first coat and then did the second coat with a brush (the opposite of the railing). That seemed to be the best combination on each section.

Writing it all out like this makes it sound like a piece of cake. So, just a heads up – it takes a while. But, if you do it correctly, it should last a long time!

How to Paint a Deck

Let the paint dry for a few days and then put your furniture and decor back in place.

Here it is from the opposite side:

How to Paint a Deck

I built a few box planters for the railing, strung outdoor lights for those nice evenings on the porch, built a gas fire table for the centerpiece, and finished it all off with our wicker chairs.

Here it is all lit up:

How to Paint a Deck

And the opposite direction:

How to Paint a Deck

It’s amazing what paint can do!

Please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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How to Paint a Deck
How to Paint a Deck

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