How to Prepare an Old Deck for Painting

Person using a paint brush to paint a wooden deck
Is your deck looking a little worse for wear? Do you wish it was in better shape for entertaining or enjoying with your family? Weather and time can take a heavy toll on your deck, leaving the paint peeling and chipped and overall looking less than stellar. But painting an old deck requires proper preparation. If you think it’s time for a fresh coat of paint, but you’re not sure how to ready your deck, you’ve come to the right place.  

How to Remove Old Deck Paint 

You can’t just apply a fresh coat of paint on your deck and expect to get great results. Dust, dirt, and chipped paint all create a bumpy surface for application. Before even cracking open that can of paint, here are some steps you can take to ensure your old deck comes out looking good as new: 

  1. Wash the deck using deck cleaner and a stiff broom. Cleaning will remove dirt, debris, mold and mildew, and some loose paint. A neutralizer may be required depending on the type of cleaner being used. 

  1. Scrape the deck material using a soft bristle brush and paint scraper to remove old paint so the new paint will stick evenly without chipping or bubbling. 

  1. Lightly sand any additional loose paint or rough areas to make a smooth surface, which is easier to paint and will seal more effectively to protect the wood. 

Related Topic: What to Do If Paint is Peeling Off a Deck?  

Now that your deck is prepped and ready for painting, it’s time to pick the best product. An old deck requires a little more TLC than a new one due to natural wear from sun, water, snow, and use. To help give it extra longevity so you can get many more years of use out of it, here’s what to look for in deck paint: 

  1. Opacity. This is important because it controls how much wood grain is visible through the paint. The higher the opacity, the less wood grain you’ll see. An older deck with lots of wear and tear might benefit from higher opacity to hide the flaws.  

  1. Durability. A paint’s durability is particularly important when choosing it for use on an old deck because weather, foot traffic from pets and people, and daily use can break down paint quickly. A durable paint will protect the deck and help the paint last. 

  1. Texture. You don’t want to use smooth paint for the flat surface because it will be too slippery, but you don’t need highly textured paint for the vertical sections. Knowing what texture to use and where to use it will increase the success of your paint job. Non-slip additives are the way to go on vertical areas. 

Related Topic: Paint Your Deck for Summer  

Make Your Old Deck Look New Again  

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to help your aging deck look new again. Although it may be tempting to shorten the painting process (since a deck is subjected to natural wear and tear anyway), preparing it properly before you paint will make the time and effort you put in worth it.  

Knowing how to properly prepare the deck material, selecting the right paint, and applying it correctly are essential to a successful paint job and a longer-lasting deck. But it is a lot of work. So, you’re not alone if you think the process seems a little daunting and overwhelming. Instead of spending your weekends taking on this DIY project, call your local pros at Five Star painting for deck painting services. If you would rather use an exterior solid stain on your deck, we can help with that too! We have the knowledge and experience to get the job done right. Give us a call (888) 261-3633 or request an estimate online to get started.