How Long Should You Wait to Paint a Newly-Built Deck?

Don't paint a newly-installed deck.

Paint soon after construction

Most residential decks are made from pressure-treated wood. The chemicals in this wood need to dry prior to deck painting. The drying process can take place rapidly, depending on the environmental conditions. The best way to check if the deck is ready for painting is to pour a cup of water on the deck and see if the water is absorbed. The deck is ready to paint if the wood absorbs the water.

Wait at least 90 days

Decks should be thoroughly dry before painting. Decks can take at least 90 days to adequately dry for painting. After waiting 90 days the homeowner should cut a small piece of wood from the deck with a saw. The deck is ready to paint if there is no moisture on the saw blade.

Bottom Line

Most experts agree that decks should be dried prior to painting. Some of these experts feel the deck requires at least 90 days to be dry enough for painting. Others think the deck and can be painted much more quickly after construction. Homeowners should wait until a new deck appears dry and check it by pouring water on the deck. The new deck is ready for paint if the water is absorbed.