A wooden deck alone can single-handedly change the aesthetic of an entire home. It brings a sense of serenity and sophistication in the urban areas of brick and mortar. This is where we want to go when the stress of daily life becomes a bit too much to handle.
However, this therapeutic experience can be interrupted by the unavoidable old wood issues like cracks and gaps. It can also show signs of water damage, rotting, faded colors and other problems.
A smart and efficient way to get rid of all these is to use a good paint over it that fills up the gaps and prevents further damages for years. So if you are facing these problems and want to put an end to them, hop on the ride to find the best deck paint for old wood with us!
Ready Seal 525
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4 out of 5
Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.043841-16
4.5 out of 5
Benefits Of Painting Old Decks
1. Repairing Gaps and Cracks
With time, decks can start having issues like gaps, cracks and more. They ruin the appeal of the entire space by drawing the attention of visitors to these flaws.
Deck paint can resolve this situation by filling up those gaps and cracks. Its thick finish should be able to cover and repair these problematic spots effectively.
2. Makes It Easier to Clean
Investing in a good paint can prove to be quite efficient in the long run. The resulting smooth coating automatically keeps the surface free from dry dust particles. Besides, the hard and even finish will make it easier for you to wipe off any spilled drink from the surface.
As a result, you don’t have to put in too much effort in keeping the deck clean. It almost takes care of itself in this matter after being treated with a high-quality paint with a smooth finish.
3. Protects Wood from Rotting
Paints contribute to the longevity of wooden decks by preventing external factors like weather conditions and UV rays from damaging it. Most deck paints are manufactured in a way that they can resist mildew, rotting and sun damage. So using any of those paints can extend the lifespan of your decks significantly.
4. Increased Property Value
Treating the deck with high-quality paints not only solve the current issues but also increases the value of your house. Otherwise, it may look like you have not maintained the deck which can become a financial liability. So, restore the deck whenever necessary for turning your home into an asset.
5. Improved Aesthetics
Deck paints come in a wide range of colors, sheen levels and textures. As a result, you can pick the perfect tone and finish for your deck. You can either maintain the original appearance of your deck using a transparent paint, or you can cover it all with a new stylish solid color.
Combining them with the rest of your interior or exterior area, you can improve the aesthetics of your entire space. This will elevate its appeal to both guests and potential real estate clients.
Top 10 Best Deck Paint for Old Decks in 2020
1. Ready Seal 525 Exterior Stain and Sealer for Wood
Ready Seal has been offering new products that minimize both the preparation and application time of wood stains and sealers.
They do so by combining both of those necessities in one product which adds color and seal from moisture in one step! One such product is this exterior stain and sealer of model 525 for wood.
You can find it in two convenient sizes and an astonishing range of eight beautiful shades! It covers almost the entire spectrum of wooden tints with colors like light oak, natural cedar, redwood, mahogany, burnt hickory, mission brown, dark walnut and pecan.
Besides, you can get 1 gallon or 5 gallons of it depending on your requirements. So you don’t need to worry much about storing the leftovers or wasting a good amount of the paint.
Applying it doesn’t take much preparation since it can work without primer, back brushing or dilution. Once you apply its first coating, the paint may seem too dark.
However, the shade grows lighter with time and then attains the desired color in the end. It usually takes about two weeks for this waiting period to be over.
Ready Seal recommends to not use this deck paint on freshly stained surfaces since they are prone to inhibiting penetration. You can use a brush, roller or sprayer to apply it.Highlighted Features:
2. Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint
In the industry of paints and sealers, Rust-Oleum is one of the most widely known veterans. Being here for a century, their product list deserves a look when anyone searches for the best deck paint for old wood.
From all the products they have released since 1921, the Marine Coating series takes a special place in terms of taking care of decks!
The product in discussion, 206999 Marine Topside Paint offers a wide range of vibrant colors. If you have been thinking of making your deck unique by using uncommon colors on it, the Topside paint will surely make it to your shortlist. You can find the paint in green, red, navy blue, black, gray, sand beige and three kinds of white!
Since the formula is oil-based, it will provide you with great leveling quality and therefore you will find it easier to apply. Besides, the paint also makes for quite a durable option.
Its coating lasts for a long time since it protects the surface from abrasion, UV rays and extreme weather conditions.
After application, it dries pretty fast within just a couple of hours! You will surely be impressed with its smooth finish and superior gloss retention which can significantly elevate the elegance of the deck area.Highlighted Features:
3. KILZ L573611 Enamel Porch and Patio Latex Floor Paint
Kilz has been at the forefront of developing paint, primers and other items of the same category since 1974. Their product range covers nearly every possible material and texture available for residential or commercial construction.
One of them is this floor paint meant for porch and patio areas. It is acrylic in nature which promises to deliver high durability and elegance at the same time!
After putting it on your deck, you can marvel at the smooth enamel surface which boasts a subtle shine. This paint belongs to the low-luster category of Kilz products ensuring a sophisticated finish that applies evenly across the area.
In addition to being visually pleasing, the paint also guarantees high durability. It is resistant to cracking, fading, peeling and scuffing in different weather conditions. Besides, the quality should not alter either since its film can protect against mildew.
You will need to wait only about an hour for it to dry up and then 3-5 more hours for applying the next coat. Each gallon of this paint can cover 200-300 square feet of rough surfaces and 300-400 square feet of smooth surfaces. You will get it in two shades of slate gray and silver.Highlighted Features:
4. Olympic Stain 79614 Maximum Wood Stain and Sealer
If you are not sure about how much transparency or opacity you want for your deck stain, check out the collection of Olympic Stain! They have an extensive array of different transparency levels, impressive solid colors and convenient sizes.
You can choose to go fully transparent, completely opaque or keep up the mystery with a semi-transparent color.
Among the solid shades, there is a huge collection of 114 interesting colors including Navajo red, ebony, redwood, white, chocolate, timberline, coffee, Oxford brown and Canyon brown.
All these together make the perfect shopping list for you to pick the best deck paint for old decks!
For those who want to get a little creative, you can get several shades in the smallest size to try them all out. This paint is available in three sizes of 5 gallons, 1 gallon and 1 quart.
This one product can be the stain and the sealant simultaneously. It will diligently fight against the evil forces of extreme weather conditions and thus ensure high durability. Its formula enables it to become waterproof and stay protected from UV rays.
Each gallon can cover about 250 to 350 square feet of a deck or both sides of a 25-feet long fence!Highlighted Features:
5. Thompson’s WaterSeal TH.043841-16 Solid Waterproofing Stain
Similar to Rust-Oleum, Thompson’s WaterSeal has been a veteran in the wood finishing industry. It has been in operation since the early 1920s and has focused on resisting water damage in exterior areas from that very time. Specializing in waterproofing, the brand offers a deck stain that follows its legacy.
You will find this waterproofing stain in six solid shades that easily complement a deck of old wood. These shades include acorn brown, maple brown, woodland cedar, coastal gray, harvest gold and sequoia red. They can give your deck a major makeover by introducing a vibrant color in its decor design.
Along with making it visually appealing, the deck stain also succeeds in improving the durability of this surface. The stain keeps this space safe from being damaged by mildew and UV rays.
Its formula containing advanced polymers makes the color fade resistant which means you can marvel at the subtle shade for years!
You can apply this stain on dry or damp wood after cleaning it. You will only need to wait about two hours for touching the dried stain. Each container unit can cover 150 to 400 square feet of exterior space. Even a single coat of the stain can protect a deck for five years and a fence for almost 15 years!Highlighted Features:
6. Rust-Oleum 1976730 Painters Touch Ultra Cover Latex
For those of you who are bored with usual wooden shades and the one or two vibrant deck stain colors, Rust-Oleum Painters Touch offers a wide range of 29 colors while not compromising with their durability or convenience!
You will surely not be disappointed with this impressive collection of stain shades which include both vibrant and neutral options.
Among the brighter ones, there are apple red, colonial red, sun yellow, hunter green, deep blue and navy blue. For the ones who love sophistication, you can choose from flat white, metallic silver, metallic gold, almond, kona brown, satin nutmeg, dark gray and more!
Its formula is a water-based acrylic paint that creates a smooth and durable finish on the deck. The flat finish can minimize any imperfection present on the surface and makes for an excellent base.
Applying it also is quite convenient since you don’t have to deal with unpleasant odors while working with the paint.
You can use it on a number of surfaces like wood, plaster, metal, masonry and unglazed ceramic. In both interior and exterior areas, it should become dry to touch within 30 minutes. You can find it in two sizes of a quart and half a pint. Each quart can cover up to 120 square feet.Highlighted Features:
7. Liquid Rubber Textured Polyurethane Deck Restore Paint
Liquid Rubber has kept up its promise of providing high-quality and environment-friendly products to the masses since its inception in the early 2000s.
Their stain for decks and docks also maintain that ideology by incorporating eco-friendly substances into their formula.
This particular deck and dock coating is made of polyurethane which makes the surface waterproof, hard, and durable. Liquid Rubber used this substance as the main ingredient for making its coating ten times stronger than others.
You can use it on surfaces made of concrete, wood, plywood or non-corroded metal. In addition to decks, the paint can also be ideal for walkways, fences, baseboards and indoor or outdoor floors. That is why it is considered to be the best deck restore paint by many.
There are multiple routes you can go on to choosing the perfect color and texture of this stain. You can pick from four elegant shades like saddle brown, neutral beige, stone gray and misty gray.
Each of them comes in either a smooth or textured version to suit your overall interior or exterior decor flawlessly.
It is available in two standard sizes of one gallon and five gallons. You can also order it in a sample size of 6 oz. if you are not sure yet.
Remember to stay away until the new coating has dried completely since wet polyurethane can release potentially toxic chemicals leading to respiratory issues.Highlighted Features:
8. RTG Anti-Slip Outdoor Deck Paint
RTG is a renowned brand among enthusiasts of wood finishing products. So it comes as no surprise that they made it to our list!
The eco-friendly paint is made with a water-based formula of polyurethane. It can last for a long time by withstanding heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions. The shade won’t fade either because of its UV stability.
The most attractive aspect of this paint is its anti-slip properties. While most of us, if not all, would love to have a smooth finish on our decks, it can also lead to accidents because of its slippery surface.
Some paints have attempted to solve this problem by making an anti-slip formula that prevents such accidents without taking away the beauty of deck paints.
They contain lightweight traction additives which increase slip resistance in the paint with negligible alterations to its original color.
However, abrasive additives can make the surface too rough to walk on without shoes. RTG stands out among all these anti-slip paints by making their traction additives non-abrasive!
This means you can walk on the deck barefoot comfortably after the paint has dried. This is what makes it the best paint for old deck.
You will find this textured paint in four neutral shades of white, sand, light gray and clear or amber. Each quart can cover 80 to 100 square feet.Highlighted Features:
9. INSL-X SU092209A-01 Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint
INSL-X is a brand owned by Benjamin Moore which focuses on manufacturing primers and specialty paints. One of them is the Sure Step anti-slip coating meant for making your deck surfaces safe for movements. Its finish resists skids and therefore prevents possible accidents for the people visiting the area.
Along with protecting your loved ones from skidding and slipping, the paint also protects their feet from abrasive surfaces. It can resist abrasion and ponding water ensuring proper texture for the surface. The paint can last for a long time since its formula allows excellent color retention.
You can find it in eight interesting shades of desert sand, gray pearl, light gray, pine green, saddle brown, tile red, white and clear. As you can see, the paint allows you to pick from vibrant, neutral or transparent colors, which in turn gives you more creative freedom for designing the deck space.
Once you have applied this paint on the interior or exterior surface, it will not take up much time to dry and allow high traffic. The stain is made of acrylic copolymer which fills up the cracks and also seals them later. Each gallon can cover an area of 80 to 120 square feet.Highlighted Features:
10. #1 Deck - Advanced Solid Color Wood Deck Paint
The brand called #1 Deck has an entire line of premium wood deck paint products including wood cleaner, brightener and stain stripper. Among the stains, you can pick between four semi-transparent tones or six solid colors.
In order to retain the original appearance, there are natural, cedar, light walnut and dark walnut shades. For those who want to completely change the look of their decks, the paint comes in neutral solid colors like white, driftwood gray, light walnut, dark walnut, classic taupe and dark cocoa.
#1 Deck is not only about giving you elegant color options. It also promises to provide maximum protection against fading and graying caused by UV rays. The stain also prevents possible damages like mildew caused by water penetration.
This premium wood stain is made with an eco-friendly water-based formula that scores low in both VOC and odor. If you need to clean it up, you can do so easily with just soap and water.
You can use it on both vertical and horizontal surfaces built with any kind of weathered softwood materials. So in addition to decks, feel free to apply it on fences, gazebos, outdoor furniture and more. It is safe to use in both interior and exterior spaces. Each gallon of the stain can cover 100 to 150 square feet.Highlighted Features:
Top Paint for Old Deck Comparison Chart
Coverage (sq. ft.)
No. of Shades
1 gallon, 5 gallons
125-185 per gallon
1 gallon, 5 gallons, 1 quart
250-350 per gallon
1 quart, half pint
120 per quart
1 gallon, 5 gallons
100 per gallon
80-100 per quart
Deck Paint For Old Wood Buying Guide
The formula is one of the most important factors when buying deck paints. Almost all formulas used for manufacturing deck paints can be divided into two categories- water-based and oil-based.
This type makes the best paint for deck wood when it comes to safety for you and your loved ones. It has lower amounts of volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Using these compounds is discouraged in industrial products since they can lead to respiratory issues.
These particular chemicals can cause breathing difficulties, nausea, eye irritation, nerve damage and in some extreme cases - cancer. However, all of these can be avoided by keeping their ratio low or negligible in the product. Water-based deck paints do exactly that to guarantee such safety.
They can last four to eight years while fighting against fading. You can clean it up easily using soap and water. They usually come in a wide range of colors and dries up within 4-6 hours after application.
The oil-based formula of deck paints offers a little lower durability since its protection against moisture is less effective than water-based ones. Nevertheless, it is still a pretty tough and durable option which many pros prefer to this day.
Its VOC content is pretty high which means its fumes can make you suffer from watery eyes, sore throat or respiratory issues if inhaled. You will need to use a paint thinner, turpentine or similar solvents to clean it from rollers and brushes. After application, it requires up to 24 hours to dry enough for the next coat.
The thickness of a paint matters if your deck already has a number of spots where the coating needs to fill up or cover its damages. Common issues that require thicker paints than usual include cracks, bubbles, splinters and scruffs.
In order to get rid of these problems and restore the original beauty of your deck, you may need 4, 10 or 20 times thicker paints than usual. You will know which product can deliver such thickness by checking their container. It should have corresponding labels like 4x, 10x or 20x on the body.
However, remember that this solution comes with its own little problems! The thicker the paint is, the harder it may get for you to apply it on the surface. You may need to work with two brushes at once for ensuring effective application.
While thinking of durability for a deck paint, take the climate of your area into account. If the location deals with extreme weather conditions quite often or has unpredictable weather patterns, you must settle for a paint that can withstand such situations.
The usual guidelines in this matter include going for a UV-resistant paint for the hot areas and choosing a paint with built-in grips for the rainy areas.
Buying more paint than you need is a bad investment and an inconvenience since now you have to find a proper way to store all that excess paint. In contrast, getting less than you need is also an obvious issue since you will have to keep the job incomplete until you get more paint.
That is why you need to figure out how much paint you actually need before going on the hunt. Most renowned finishing brands tell their consumers exactly how much area can each gallon of their product cover. Measure your deck area in square feet and then check their coverage details to make an accurate estimate.
This will probably be the easiest factor for you to remember. Who would want to paint their deck in a color that doesn’t complement the rest of that space? The deck paints come in all kinds of shades nowadays. It can be subtle like the wooden and gray tones, or vibrant like red, green and blue!
You can also opt for clear or transparent paints if you want to keep the original texture or appearance of your deck intact.
Deck paint can be from the impressive array of versatile finishes to suit all kinds of aesthetic preferences and necessities. Among them the most common ones include:
Recently built decks
Exterior trim work
The high-gloss decks are the easiest to clean and maintain since dust particles - solid or liquid - can be wiped off from the surface.
However, it will make the flaws pretty visible including each nail hole and empty spots. So you should choose them for recently built decks with no flaws.
Choose semi-gloss or enamel paints for doing the exterior trim work since they can ensure an exact match and are easy to clean. Satin or low luster options work well as an outdoor deck paint since they hide most flaws while keeping the surface free from dirt and dust.
Eggshell deck paints guarantee pretty good cover-up for the defects by providing a shiny soft finish. However, keeping dirt particles away from it is quite a challenge. So make sure to use it only for indoor decks.
7. Ease Of Use
If you’re thinking about what is the best paint for an old deck, the answer is simple. Choose the one that offers you most convenience during application. While applying most deck paints doesn’t take much expertise, there are some which can be a little tricky.
So make sure the paint you have chosen is easy to apply in terms of even coverage, application time and drying time. Prepare the paint properly keeping the weather conditions in mind for safety.
8. Foot Traffic
The amount of foot traffic your deck usually has is also an important factor to keep in mind. There are many paints manufactured especially for high-traffic areas. They are capable of drying up sooner and accommodate for such high foot traffic immediately.
Top 5 Deck Paints Brands on the Market
Rust-Oleum is one of the most popular brands in the wood finishing industry. It has been here since 1921 providing transformative coating solutions for different surfaces. They made the first rust-preventive paint in the world and now focuses the most on ensuring high durability for the surface through their paints.
2. Olympic Stains
The brand of Olympic Stains started its journey in 1938 with a mission to deliver innovative and durable products for years. They make stains, resurfacers and wood cleaners for both interior and exterior surfaces.
If you are confused about making the right choice of deck paints, use their wood stain visualizer for finding the perfect color!
3. Liquid Rubber
Liquid Rubber is another common choice of people who work with wood finishing projects frequently. Since its inception in the early 2000s, this brand has focused on making products with water-based formula and low VOC content. They will even ship the deck paint directly to your door if you prefer it that way.
4. Ready Seal
Ready Seal promises to stain and seal any wooden surface at the same time. It focuses on making the product convenient and effective simultaneously. That is why its deck paints can seal the wood from moisture in a single step! As a result, you can attain a high-end finish while also saving a lot of time!
5. Thompson’s WaterSeal
Thompson’s WaterSeal was established in the early 1920s by the polymer chemist named Edward Addis Thompson. Even though they initially focused on concrete applications, the brand has extended its surface compatibility range much further with time. It now creates specialized items for wood, fabric and concrete surfaces.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Is It Better to Stain or Paint a Deck?
Answer: Painting the deck is almost always a much better idea than staining it. Paints tend to be thicker and more durable than stains.
They can last as long as ten years or even more, depending on the surrounding environment and maintenance.
You can keep your deck protected from extreme weather conditions, moisture and UV rays using one or more coats of paint. So there will be fewer chances of fading and rotting in the long run.
2. If A Deck is Already Stained, Do I Need to Put The Same Kind of Stain on It?
Answer: It is recommended to use the same kind or brand of stain over a layer of the previous coating. There are many deck paint and stains available in the market which may not work well with each other.
Even though they offer similar features, their formula may differ quite a bit leading to such incompatibilities.
So the safest route to go would be recoating your tainted deck with the same brand and model of paint you used on it the last time.
3. How do You Get Paint to Stick to Old Wood?
Answer: In order to make the paint stick to old wood, you should use primer on the clean surface before applying the paint.
This step is essential for both interior and exterior decks. Along with sticking the paint better, the primer also helps with ensuring proper coverage and therefore improving the entire appearance.
4. Can Weathered Wood Be Painted?
Answer: One of the major reasons why people turn to deck paints is that a paint for weathered deck can make it look brand new!
In order to do so, you can either strip off the old paint on your deck before applying the new one or just apply it over the older one if they match.
5. Can You Use Bleach to Clean a Deck?
Answer: Bleach is not recommended for using on wooden decks since it can be too harsh for the wood substrate and can lead to vegetation growth around the area.
It is better to use cleaners specialized for using on wood since they can do the job without any harmful side-effects.
Get ready to marvel at your rejuvenated deck and get praise from your friends!
The ten choices we discussed here to find the best deck paint for old wood cover a good number of common protective measures, shades and finishes available. You can decide which of them you want or need the most for your home.
Make sure to invest in an amount that will be sufficient for your deck area - not more, not less - in order to prevent wastage and a second run to the shop.
Measure the area to find out the coverage details. Find a paint that will suit the weather conditions in your location to ensure high durability.