Best deck paints: Top 5 buys for a deck refresh

Spruce up your deck with the best deck paints.

Deck Paints: BEHR Premium Advanced DeckOver
Best deck paints
(Image credit: Home Depot)

The best deck paints can update your deck in as little as a couple of hours. Go for a bold, vibrant shade for a big change, or a more subtle color that enhances the natural shade of the deck's wood.

While you'll find plenty of hues to choose from for your deck makeover--Just as interior paint offers a wide selection of trendy colors, from eggshell pastels to bold and bright shades, so too does deck paint--color is only one part of the equation. You'll also want a deck paint that's DIY-friendly, stands up to elements, and won't peel or fade in a few short seasons. 

With that in mind, we set out to find the very best deck paints. The ones that made our list offer the best coverage, value, and long-term durability.

We also have buying guide for the best deck stains should you need more advice and how-to on your deck makeover. 

The best deck paints 2020

KILZ Interior/Exterior Enamel Porch and Patio Latex Floor Paint

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1. KILZ Enamel Porch and Patio Latex Paint

Best deck paint: enjoy a stylish deck with all the benefits of a scratch-resistant coating

Specifications
Size: 1 gallon
Quick drying?: Yes
Anti slip?: No
Reasons to buy
+Mildew resistant film+Resistant to scuffing, fading, and cracking+Can be used on trim, siding, and trellises too
Reasons to avoid
-Not anti-slip -Requires multiple coats

What can we say, KILZ kills it on the deck paint front. They keep it simple with two acrylic paint colors -- slate gray and silver gray -- that give decks a neutral but attractive visual boost. It requires two or more coats, but it's worth the effort because it makes your deck resistant of mildew, scuffing, fading, cracking, and peeling in all weather conditions. 

What do we like about it?

The first coat dries in one hour, so you can apply another coat 4-6 hours later and be done with deck painting in a day. It covers 200-400 square feet, depending on the surface type, and can be utilized on other outdoor house elements like trellises, siding, and trim. 

What does it do well?

Not only is it easy to apply but you can use it on all previously primed or painted surfaces from wood to masonry.

Rust-Oleum RockSolid 20X Deck Resurfacer

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2. Rust-Oleum RockSolid 20X Deck Resurfacer

Best decking paint for old decks: for a fantastic finish no matter the condition of your deck

Specifications
Size: 1 gallon or 4 gallons
Quick drying?: No
Anti slip?: No
Reasons to buy
+One coat coverage+Available in 60 colors+Fills 1/4-inch cracks
Reasons to avoid
-Takes 4-6 hours to dry

If you’re looking for a quick fix with absolutely no compromise on quality, Rust-Oleum's RockSolid Deck Resurfacer is perfect. This paint is 20 times thicker than normal paint, allowing you to give worn decks and patios a new look with just a single coat.     

What do we like about it?

With 60 different colors, you have a lot to choose from to give that sad and tired deck a new life. Before using, just clean and prime the deck -- there's no need to remove your previous deck coating. UV resistance and waterproofing protection are extra perks to this amazing product. 

What does it do well?

Covers pesky cracks (up to 1/4 in. wide), nail holes, and any other imperfections that drive you mad. 

What to watch for

This paint is super thick so the application can be tricky and needs to be done quickly. 

Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint

Best eco-friendly deck paint: make your deck look new, the responsible way

Specifications
Size: 1 gallon and 5 gallon
Quick Drying?: Yes
Anti-slip?: No
Reasons to buy
+Eco-friendly upcycled paint+Interior and exterior use+Semi-gloss, eggshell, and low-sheen finishes
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't give anti-slip protection-Requires at least two coats-Expensive

Montage is perfect for those who want to paint their deck in an affordable and eco-friendly way. It has three different finishes -- semi-gloss, eggshell, and low-sheen -- and comes in 24 colors, allowing you to achieve that colorful shade you've always envisioned.

What do we like about it?

It's hard not to love a paint brand that saves the planet and makes your deck look great at the same time. Montage upcycles raw and post-consumer latex paints (that would have otherwise been dumped out). Better yet, the process gives their paint a stronger hold than most, while saving 115 pounds of carbon dioxide and 13 gallons of clean water a year, and keeping old paint out of landfills and water supplies.

What does it do well?

It may require two coats to cover your deck, but if you'd like to match it with other exterior elements -- or even use it inside -- you can because it's an interior and exterior paint.

What to watch for

A 10-year warranty is a pretty good way to build customer loyalty, while the mold and mildew-resistant aspect is an extra, much-loved perk.

BEHR Premium Advanced Deckover

(Image credit: Behr)

4. BEHR Premium Advanced Deckover

Best deck paint for concrete or wood decks: a smooth or textured look in 54 colors will give your deck an attractive new look

Specifications
Size: 5 gallon
Quick Drying?: Yes
Anti slip?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Seals and fills cracks on weathered wood and concrete decks+Waterproof and anti-slip protection+Available in 54 colors 
Reasons to avoid
-Can only apply when conditions are between 50 and 90 degrees-Super thick paint

Most deck paints are designed for wood, but this BEHR paint can offer some pizazz to concrete decks too. Though the paint is thick, it's designed to cover splinters and cracks giving your deck a polished and even look. Choose between 54 colors and a smooth or textured paint to get your deck exactly how you want it. 

What do we like about it?

This formula is waterproof, slip-resistant, and mold and mildew-resistant meaning it's the right choice for those decks that are exposed to rainy weather. 

What does it do well?

This decking paint really does make an old deck look brand new, delivering on its promise to fill in cracks and smooth over surfaces that have become uneven. 

What to watch for

Though it requires a bit more prep to use than some of the others on our list, you can't beat a deck paint that you can use on porches and patios made of concrete or wood, sidewalks, pool decks, railings, and boat docks. 

INSL-X SU099809A-01 Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. INSL-X Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint

Best deck paint for anti-slip: this deck paint will keep you safe on rainy days

Specifications
Size: 1 gallon
Quick drying?: Yes
Anti slip?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Available in seven colors  +Fills and seals cracks+Skid-resistant
Reasons to avoid
-Requires some prep work-Color may be lighter than it appears online

You shouldn't have to worry about slipping and falling on your own deck, no matter the time of year or weather conditions. Give your deck the anti-slip protection it needs by opting for this Sure Step Anti-Slip floor paint. There’s a range of shades available, from Pine Green to Desert Sand, allowing for some creative, colorful freedom with your deck. 

What do we like about it?

The paint's selling point is the anti-slip feature but it's also skid-resistant, making it the perfect solution for a deck that gets a lot of foot traffic. 

What does it do well? 

You can't beat this decking paint for its versatility. Use it on wood, concrete, or metal, stairs or decks -- heck even sidewalks, pool decks, and tennis courts can get a fresh new look with this product. 

What to watch for

If you need to apply a second coat, wait 8 hours and keep high or continuous foot traffic at a minimum for at least four days. 

What is the best decking paint?

We think the best decking paint you can buy is the KILZ Enamel Porch and Patio Latex Paint. It's available in a few different colors, resistant to peeling and fading, and it's dry to the touch in one hour.

How to buy the best decking paint

Color choices and finish

Whether you’re looking for Mustard Seed or Sage, Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint takes the top spot thanks to its ability to bring a new lease of life to an old deck; it's eco-friendly to boot, too!

For one coat coverage, Rust-Oleum RockSolid 20X Deck Resurfacer is a great choice, especially for its affordable price tag, while those with a mix of concrete and wood decks should look at BEHR Premium Advanced Deckover.

Non-slip properties

INSL-X Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint has a non-slip coating that helps to ensure a sure foot all year round – something to look out for if your deck leads directly off your French or back doors.

Deck paint, deck oil, or deck stain: which do I need?

Think of deck paints as being best suited to a proper backyard deck transformation: a quality deck paint is ideal if you want to change the color of your deck, say, to match the shutters or a new door. It's also a good choice if your wooden deck is towards the end of its life and you want to get another season or two out of it, since thicker deck paints can often seal in cracks and provide weather-proofing. 

If your deck is currently stained and you want to maintain the natural look and the beauty of the wood grain, you might try a decking stain: it will subtly enhance and deepen the color of the wood but will look more natural than a paint. Finally, if you're completely happy with the color of your deck, but want to protect it against the elements and perhaps give it anti-slip properties, go for a decking oil. 

How eco-friendly is my decking paint?

If the environmental impact of your decking paint is a concern, look for a product that have low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) content. Basically, the fewer fumes, the better. Water-based paints also tend to be more eco-friendly than oil based ones. Then again, there is always the Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint which upcycles old paint to create a higher-quality, environmentally-friendly product. 

How to prepare a deck for painting

While some products can be applied directly on top of old paint, you'll get a much better finish from most decking paints if you follow the following steps: 

  1. Give the deck a thorough brush to remove dust, debris, and large buildups of moss or mildew.
  2. Use the same stiff brush, or roller, and apply a deck cleaner. Make sure you cover the whole surface evenly.
  3. Leave your cleaner on for the time specified on the cleaner packaging. For organic cleaners, this may be as long as a couple of days.
  4. Wash off, preferably with a pressure washer. Let dry.
  5. Sand with a sanding tool, then use primer. Let dry. Your deck is now ready for painting. 

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