The 8 Best Deck Paints of 2020

Add some personality to your outdoor living space

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Our Top Picks
"The finish is mildew resistant and super long-lasting."
"It can rub out those annoying splinters and cracks up to a quarter inch."
Best for Slippery Surfaces:
In The Swim Patio and Deck Paint at Amazon
"This non-skid paint works well on most outdoor areas."
"Gives the wood an opportunity to show off its best features."
"Adds a subtle tint or enhances the already vibrant hue of the deck."
Best for Treated Wood:
Defy Extreme Wood Stain at Amazon
"This water-based stain is formulated to protect your deck from the sun."
"Will give you a unique finish that definitely holds up over time."
"You only need one coat of this creamy white primer to cover any flaws."

One of the easiest ways to refresh your outdoor space is to repaint your deck. An old deck with chipped paint and splinters can detract from an otherwise inviting backyard. Some people prefer stains or oils because they allow the color and texture of the deck to shine through, but paint is generally more permanent and will hide any flaws that exist in the wood.

A quality paint can last for up to ten years, and it will protect your deck from wind, rain, and UV light. You will also have more color options to choose from. Before you get started on your deck, make sure you have the right tools for the job. You can use a paint brush or a paint roller (or a combination of both tools) to get the right surface and finish for your deck. Paint brushes will give you the most control over the finished product, but paint rollers are the workhorse of the paint kit.

Here, the top-rated deck paints to use the next time you need a refresh. 

Best Overall: Kilz Interior/Exterior Enamel Porch & Patio Latex Floor Paint

A good deck paint should be long-lasting, easy to maintain, and durable. This latex floor paint from KILZ checks all of those boxes and more. The KILZ floor coating has a low-luster finish that's perfect for sprucing up your deck, porch, or patio. It's available in two neutral colors (slate gray and silver gray), and the finish is mildew resistant and super long-lasting. One gallon of this paint covers 200 to 300 square feet on rough surfaces and 300 to 400 square feet on smooth surfaces. Reviewers say that this paint has a gorgeous finish and works great for sealing out stains. They also noted that the two color options are even nicer in person.

Best for Old Wood: Behr Premium Advanced Deckover

The worn wood on decks may provide you with a rustic look, but it isn’t doing the wood any favors. When it’s time to repaint old wood to give it new vitality, Behr Premium Advanced Deckover can put a pop of color and a life-extending coat on old wood structures. It can rub out those annoying splinters and cracks up to a quarter-inch deep to keep the wood deck sure and plumb for years to come. It comes in smooth, textured (for a stippled look), or extra textured to offer a slip-resistant surface up to 75 square feet and two coats per gallon.

Best for Slippery Surfaces: In The Swim Patio and Deck Paint

For those with in-ground or above-ground pools, or a group of family and friends that enjoy a good slip and slide, this non-slip coating is a keeper. It covers 100 to 125 square feet with just one coat per gallon. The specially-formulated non-skid additive works well on most outdoor areas, including concrete, wooden decks, and pavers. Whether it is an old or newly built structure, a deck that sees a lot of wet foot traffic will benefit from a coat of In the Swim every few years to keep slips and falls to a minimum. If you plan to put a coat down on a wooden deck, make sure to use an oil-based primer for best results.

Best for Cedar: Olympic Maximum Deck, Fence & Siding Stain

Every wood has its own personality and color that can shine under the right deck paint. To show off good-looking wood, gravitate to semi-solid, transparent, and semi-transparent option. These stains give the wood an opportunity to show off its best features at any time of day. Penetrating deck stains and paint soak into the wood grain and makes the deck easier to maintain. To see what moves you, try different colors on inconspicuous spaces on your deck before you commit.

Best Stain: Sherwin-Williams Super Deck Exterior Deck Stain

Staining a deck can be a big job so choose your color wisely to avoid buyer's remorse. Sherwin-Williams Super Deck shows off the natural beauty of a wood deck while also adding a tint or enhancing the already vibrant hue of redwood deck planks. When choosing from Sherwin-Williams’ line of Super Deck paints, stains, and tints, consider the exterior of the home, the surrounding landscape and any major pieces that will be sitting on the deck once it is complete.

Best for Treated Wood: Defy Extreme Wood Stain

Treated wood may seem impervious to the seasons and unforgiving weather, but even the sturdiest decks may splinter and crack over time. For these decks, we recommend using Defy Extreme Wood Stain, which is a semi-transparent water-based product that works well with treated wood decks.

This water-based stain is fortified with zinc nano-particle technology to protect your deck from the sun's harmful rays. The resins in the wood stain hold up to fading and won’t darken and discolor as the sun beats down on the deck, season after season. It can also add shine to old and dull wood.

Best Texture: RTG Deck, Porch, Patio Anti-Slip Paint

Bring a hint of texture to your outdoor space with a bright coat of color and texture that will go with anything you have on deck. From tiny feet traipsing over the boards to tons of furniture and grilling equipment meant to be moved around, this non-stick and inexpensive deck paint will give you a unique finish that definitely holds up over time.

Reviewers love that it has a fast drying time so you're back to business as usual in no time. The RTG Deck, Porch, Patio Anti-Slip Paint is a one-coat wonder that comes in a variety of neutral colors that will make the deck stand out against a lush, vibrant landscape.

Best Primer: Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Primer

When wood looks like it needs more TLC than you are capable of, a primer can fix all the dings, dents, and splintered banisters that make you cringe. Lay down a coat of Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Exterior Wood Primer to create a smooth surface before you paint over it with a heavier deck paint. You should only need one coat of this creamy white primer to cover any flaws in your wood. It's quick drying and has a low odor due to the low VOC.

Final Verdict

The best overall deck paint is KILZ Interior/Exterior Patio Latex Floor Paint (view at Amazon). It has a low-luster finish that’s long-lasting, easy to maintain, and durable. If you’re going to be painting over old wood, though, Behr Premium Advanced Deckover (view at Home Depot) is the way to go, as it conceals splinters and cracks up to a quarter-inch deep.

What to Look for in a Deck Paint

Coverage Do you want your deck's natural finish enhanced, or would you prefer to paint it with an opaque shade? Generally, products labeled as paints will be more opaque, while stains will still show some of your wood's natural grain and texture once applied, though both products have a range of finishes, colors, and coverage levels.

Texture If you live in a rainy area, are finishing a deck around a pool or hot tub, or just need a bit of traction on your deck, check for a paint or stain with a gritty, non-slip texture. Just make sure you stir regularly while you apply it to make sure the grit doesn't settle at the bottom.

Area Not all paint gallons cover the same amount of area—it can vary depending on the coverage, texture, and when your deck was last painted. Don't forget to add in the square footage of any stairs you plan on painting as well—you'll definitely want them to match!

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