Painting a deck requires careful preparation and technique to ensure a durable, attractive finish that lasts years. Scholars Edge Painting has prepared a comprehensive guide to help you achieve the best results.


The first step in painting your deck is thorough preparation. Begin by clearing the deck of all furniture, plants, and other items. Inspect the deck for any damaged boards, loose nails, or screws, and repair them as needed. Next, clean the deck and scrub the surface with a stiff-bristle brush to remove dirt, mold, and mildew. Rinse thoroughly with a garden hose or pressure washer and let the deck dry completely.

Remove Old Finish (if necessary)

If your deck has an old finish that needs to be removed, scrape off any loose or peeling paint with a scraper. Sand the surface to smooth out rough spots and remove any old finish. Begin with coarse sandpaper and move to a finer grit for a smooth finish. After sanding, sweep or vacuum the deck to remove all sanding dust.

Protect Surrounding Areas

Cover nearby plants, siding, and other surfaces with drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect them from paint splatters. Use painter’s tape to protect areas you don’t want painted.

Priming the Deck (if necessary)

Applying a high-quality exterior primer is essential if your deck has bare wood or significant patches where old paint was removed. Stir the primer thoroughly and use a paintbrush to cut around edges and tight spots. For larger surfaces, use a roller to ensure an even application. Allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Painting the Deck

Choose a high-quality exterior deck paint designed for durability and resistance to the elements. Scholars Edge Painting recommends the Sherwin Williams brand. Stir the paint thoroughly to ensure an even colour and consistency. Apply the first coat using a paintbrush to cut around edges, corners, and between boards. Use a roller with an extension handle for larger areas, rolling the paint on evenly and following the wood grain. Paint in small sections to maintain a wet edge and avoid lap marks. Let the first coat dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Apply Additional Coats

After the first coat has dried, inspect the deck for any missed spots or uneven areas. Apply a second coat of paint for better coverage and durability, following the same technique as the first. Allow the second coat to dry thoroughly before using the deck.

Final Touches

Once the paint has dried completely, inspect the deck for any missed spots and touch up as necessary. Reassemble the deck by replacing all furniture, plants, and other items.

Tips for Success

Paint on a dry day with moderate temperatures to ensure the best results. Avoid painting in direct sunlight or when rain is expected. Invest in high-quality paint, primer, and brushes for a longer-lasting finish. Regularly clean your deck and inspect for any touch-ups needed to keep it looking fresh.

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