The 10 Best Deck Paints for Your DIY Project
Whether you've noticed that your deck is looking a little worse for wear or you just want to revamp your outdoor space, one important project is finding the right deck paint for you and your home.
There are many different options, and this is not a one-size-fits-all type of project. With that in mind, we've put together a list of the best deck paints for 2021. Our superlative categories range from reviving old wood deck paint to best technology to longest lasting. So whichever type or quality you're looking for, we've got you covered.
The best deck paint of 2023
- Best overall: BEHR PREMIUM Porch & Patio Floor Paint
- Most affordable: Kilz Enamel Porch and Patio Latex Floor Paint
- Best to revive old wood: Rust-Oleum RockSolid 20X Deck Resurfacer
- Most advanced: BEHR PREMIUM ADVANCED DECKOVER
- Best for hot summers: Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck Exterior Deck Stain
- Best grip: Benjamin Moore INSL-X Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint
Methodology: We searched the internet extensively to compile a complete list of deck paint options. Then, we narrowed it down to 15 options, based on those that were mentioned the most frequently and were the highest-rated. After creating this smaller list, we dug deeper to differentiate between the products and find which features stood out.
1. Best overall: BEHR PREMIUM Porch & Patio Floor Paint
This 100% acrylic paint can be used on both wooden and concrete surfaces. Just be sure to clean your wooden deck or use a paint stripper to remove old peeling paint before applying Behr Premium. They also recommend using a primer beforehand. This paint averages 4.6 out of 5 stars at Home Depot, making it the highest-rated deck paint among all of the options we surveyed.
Reviews of the paint consistently note its durability, so you can expect it to last at least several years, whereas other deck paints tend to show signs of wear and tear after one or two years. What's more, it comes in dozens of colors, so you can match it with whatever style you want.
2. Most affordable: Kilz Enamel Porch and Patio Latex Floor Paint
This latex paint can be used on wood, masonry, and metal surfaces. Kilz Enamel Porch and Patio Latex Floor Paint is very resistant to peeling, fading, cracking, and mildew. Most importantly, one gallon can cover 200–400 square feet (depending on the type of surface), which means you won't have to break the bank for any summer deck painting projects.
Even at its affordable price, Kilz Enamel Porch and Patio Latex Floor Paint has gotten consistently good reviews. Customers love its drip-free application, weather- and skid-resistance, and quick drying. The only downside is that it's only available in two different shades of gray.
3. Best to revive old wood: Rust-Oleum RockSolid 20X Deck Resurfacer
This water-based resurfacer is best known for its claim that it is 20x thicker than regular paint. Rust-Oleum RockSolid 20X is a great option for weathered wooden decks, as it effortlessly brings old wood back to life by quickly filling cracks, nail holes, and crevices up to 1/4 inch deep.
It's a little more expensive than other deck paints, but very highly rated, with many users praising its ability to make older decks look good as new. One user, D. Grimes, specifically noted that this “Product did a wonderful job of covering the old wood.”
It's not just for wood, though — you can also use Rust-Oleum on composite wood and concrete decks to breathe some new life into them. Unfortunately, you won't be abler to use a sprayer to apply the resurfacer; it requires a RockSolid 20X roller cover, which has to be purchased separately.
4. Most advanced: BEHR PREMIUM ADVANCED DECKOVER
This 100% acrylic paint is great for decks, pool decks, patios, and walkways. ADVANCED DECKOVER has an advanced sealing formula that makes cracks and splinters disappear, along with a slip-resistant and waterproof finish. But take note that you must properly prep the surface before you paint, and using two coats of paint is required. Otherwise, the product will not coat correctly.
Like the other BEHR paint on our list, you can get ADVANCED DECKOVER in over 50 colors, and it works on wood, composite wood, and concrete surfaces. It does require a little more time to apply than other deck paints — around four hours of drying time — but you'll get an excellent waterproof and slip-resistant finish.
5. Best for hot summers: Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck Exterior Deck Stain
This is an oil-based stain for wood surfaces that has reflective technology to help keep your outdoor space cool. Special pigments reflect solar rays back into the atmosphere, which in turn lowers the temperature of your deck.
One user noted, “I have used Super Deck on upwards of 25 customers' fences, garage doors and shutters. It has never let me or my customers down. Properly prepared and applied, it goes on smoothly, doesn't leave lap marks, and creates a great finished product.”
You can apply the stain over existing paint or on concrete decks, but you may need to use two coats for it to fully soak in all the cracks and crevices. It's also algae-resistant, so it's a good option for docks as well.
6. Best grip: Benjamin Moore INSL-X Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint
Benjamin Moore INSL-X Anti Slip Paint can be used on concrete, wood, and metal. It's water-based and specifically designed to eliminate skidding, slipping, and ponding water. This is especially great for your deck, pool or stairs, or if you live in an area with heavy precipitation.
You can apply the INSL-X Anti Slip Paint to wood, concrete, or even bare metal surfaces. Just make sure you clean the area first by power-washing or with soap and water.
When shopping for deck paint, you'll want to consider what type of weather your deck will be exposed to, how your deck is used, and how damaged your deck is currently. Your answers to these questions affect what types of paints or stains you should look for.
- What weather is your deck exposed to? If you live somewhere with weather extremes, it's important to find a paint or stain that is extremely durable. For instance, if you live somewhere with lots of sun, you'll want to find a paint or stain that is UV-resistant to help prevent color fading. Or if you live in an area with lots of rain, you may want to consider a paint with built-in grip.
- How is your deck used? If you live somewhere where it rains or snows and your deck has a decent amount of foot traffic, you'll want to find a paint or stain with gripping qualities that is slip-resistant. Or, if you have kids who like to run around barefoot, you'll want to find a stain or paint that is smooth and helps prevent splinters.
- How damaged is your deck currently? If your deck is extremely weathered, you're going to need a stronger paint or stain with the ability to fill cracks and holes and unsightly inconsistencies. If your deck was recently painted or stained, then maybe you'll want to find a paint or stain that doesn't require any sanding before use.
Deck paint FAQs
You must use an exterior paint that is made for high-traffic areas and wood, concrete, or metal surfaces. Paint specifically made for decks also has mildew and mold resistance, UV ray protection, and defenses against weather extremes, whereas interior paint does not.
This is a matter of preference. If you prefer to keep the natural look of your wood and just want to enhance and protect it, then a stain is the way to go. If you want a different color and a smooth, uniform look, then you'll want paint.
Generally, paint is going to last longer than stain on a deck. However, there are a lot of variables that can affect the lifespan of both painted and stained decks, such as the amount of use they receive, how well they are taken care of, and the kind of weather they're exposed to.
This varies by brand and type of paint. Some paints require primer, and some don't. Some paints also require other preparations like sanding, while others only need one coat of paint and you're good to go. Just make sure to follow the directions carefully.
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