How to Paint Wooden Decks

Paint your wooden deck to revitalize the exterior of your home. A wooden deck creates an outdoor living space that can improve the value of your house. Over time, the condition of a wooden deck will deteriorate due to outside elements. With the use of paint, your wooden deck will be transformed into an attractive area to enjoy nature. When painting your deck, choose exterior paint that is manufactured for high traffic areas and is mildew resistant.

Update a wooden deck with paint.
  1. Clear the deck. Remove furniture and objects from the area. Cover plants in close proximity to your deck with plastic sheeting to protect them from damage. Sweep your deck with a broom to remove loose dirt.

  2. Use painter's tape and plastic sheeting to protect the surrounding area from paint splatter. Place plastic sheeting over the bottom half of the exterior wall of your home to avoid paint overspray. Secure it to the wall with painter's tape. Cover all areas you do not wish to paint.

  3. Apply stripper to remove old paint, stain or varnish. Start in the corner farthest from the exit. Apply a generous amount of stripper to your deck. Use a pump sprayer or long-handled paint roller to apply an even coat. Allow the stripper to stand for at least 15 minutes. Do not allow the stripper to dry. Sprinkle water onto the surface to keep the stripper moist. Use a pressure washer to rinse. Allow to dry.

  4. Remove dirt and stains with a deck cleaner. Start in the corner farthest from the exit. Apply a generous amount of deck cleaner with a pump sprayer. Allow the cleaner to stand 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse the area thoroughly with a pressure washer. Allow the deck to dry for 24 hours.

  5. Sand the surface with 120 to 150 grit sandpaper. Sand with the grain. Remove all sanding particles thoroughly. Use a leaf blower for the quickest cleanup time.

  6. Apply paint with a paint sprayer. Start in the corner farthest from the exit and apply an even layer of paint. Work in 6-square-foot sections. Use a long-handled paint roller to touch up uneven areas. Allow to dry 24 to 48 hours before applying a second coat, if needed.

  7. Apply a waterproof sealant to increase the longevity of the paint by following the application method in Step 6.


  • If you are uncomfortable using a pressure washer, contact a professional. Improper use of a pressure washer can cause damage to wood.
  • Wear protective clothing, gloves and eyewear.

About the Author

Liana Christianson is a freelance writer. She has experience with a wide variety of writing styles and subjects. Christianson has worked as an editor and a researcher. She contributes her writing to several different websites.