Best decking paints: give your deck a brand new, colourful look

These best decking paints will give your deck a brand new look in no time at all

best decking paints: Cuprinol Garden Shades decking paint
(Image credit: Cuprinol)

Wondering which are the best decking paints to transform your garden this summer? If you want to give your deck a whole new look, then you should definitely consider one of the products in this guide. From completely opaque, colourful finishes to products that gives decking wood a 'natural but better' look, there is plenty of choice out there. We've gathered the very best products for quality of finish, ease of application, and quick drying times. 

Jump down the page to find out how to buy the best decking paint – and to find out how to prepare your decking for painting. For more ideas and advice, don't miss our garden ideas hub page.

What is the best decking paint?

We think the best decking paint you can buy is the Firmtread Anti Slip Coat. It's available in several different colours, features a non-slip coating, and it's touch dry within two to four hours. No time to read? These are our top picks and favourite retailers:

  • Best decking paint: FirmTread anti-slip deck coat
  • Best decking paint for old decks: Owatrol Decking Paint
  • Best one-coat decking paint: Cuprinol Less Mess Fence Care
  • Best decking paint for touch-ups: Ronseal Rescue Paint
  • Best decking paint for colour choice: Cuprinol Shades decking paint

The best decking paints

best decking paint: FirmTread anti-slip deck coat

(Image credit: Paint People)

1. Firmtread Anti Slip Coat

Best decking paint: enjoy freshly coloured decking with all the benefits of a non-slip coating

Reasons to buy
+Small particles in the paint provide slip resistance 

When it comes to giving your decking some attention, Firmtread is, indeed, a firm choice. There are four colours to choose from, including Silver Birch, Rick Teak and Light Oak, and there’s also the option of a clear version if you’re looking to give your decking’s existing colour, or natural colour, a boost. All colours contain fine particles that give you a surer footing, and it only requires two coats, so your new decking will look just like new in no time. 

What do we like about it?

The quick drying time: at 15°C , this deck coat will dry in just two to four hours, making the whole process of painting your deck much quicker. This product is also very sympathetic to the natural grain and colour of your wood, and won't obscure it like some other products.

What does it do well?

The anti-slip particles in this product are really tiny, and you won't feel them even with bare feet. Firmtread is also economical, as you only need to apply a thin coat. 

Buy more deck paint at Amazon

Best decking paint for old decks: Owatrol Decking Paint

2. Owatrol Decking Paint

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

Reasons to buy
+ Paint over peeling or flaking surfaces 

If you’re looking for a quick fix with absolutely no compromise on quality, Owatrol is perfect. The brand promise that the paint works well as a cover up for wood of all conditions, whether your decking is brand new or showing the marks of time. Thanks to the addition of the brand’s own Emulsa-Bond formula, it’s very adhesive, making it great for high traffic areas and, with just two coats, it is guaranteed against peeling for up to five years.   

What do we like about it?

The ease of use on any type of wood, whether it's bare, previously coated, or old. This means you don't have to put in the extra work of removing your previous deck coating. And the choice of 35 colours is amazing (we especially like the trendy duck egg shade). We also like that the Owatrol is water-based, making it more eco-friendly than many other options.

What does it do well?

Covers any deck surface very well; you won't know what's underneath.

What to watch for

If you do choose to use this product on previously treated wood, the result may not be as long-lasting as if you apply it on bare wood. The brand has a 15-year warranty, but only if it's been applied on bare wood. Some users report some peeling and flaking after a while when used on old and previously treated wood, but that could be said for most decking paints.

Shop more decking paints at Ebay

Best one-coat decking paint: Cuprinol Less Mess Fence Care

3. Cuprinol Less Mess Fence Care

Best one-coat decking paint: a cost-effective decking paint that looks great after one coat

Reasons to buy
+Quick drying +Affordable

With its one-coat wonder and fast-drying properties, Cuprinol's Less Mess Fence Care is perfect for those short on time. It works best on new wood, and with Autumn Red, Rich Oak and Rustic Brown as the colours of choice, it enhances the wood’s natural colours. 

What do we like about it?

The more coats you apply, the darker the effect, and with such a large tin for such a great price, you can afford to paint your shed and fence, too.  

What does it do well?

Exactly what it says on the tin, if we may steal that phrase. Easy, one-coat application with very little mess and great coverage, as confirmed by many happy users.

What to watch for

The colour range is limited.

Buy more shed and fence paint at B&Q

Best decking paint for touch-ups: Ronseal Rescue Paint

4. Ronseal Decking Rescue Paint

Best decking paint for touch-ups: make old decking look like new

Reasons to buy
+ Seals and fills 

Once you’ve had your decking a while, it can start to appear tired and worn, but with Ronseal Decking Rescue Paint on call, you can soon have it looking like new. The paint works to fill small cracks and splinters, ensuring a smooth finish. Ronseal recommend that you apply two coats to achieve the desired effect, with the paint being both long-lasting and scuff resistant once dry.  

What do we like about it?

The fact that this paint is rainproof after only 90 minutes means that you don't have to wait until the summer to use it. We also like the understated but versatile colour range.

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. As such, it will save you on labour and deck prepping products.

What to watch for

Not as long-lasting as some of the others on our list, this decking paint will need to be reapplied every other year or so.

Buy more decking paints at Uk Tool Centre

Best decking paint for colour choice: Cuprinol Shades decking paint

(Image credit: Cuprinol)

5. Cuprinol 2.5 Litre Garden Shades

Best decking paint for colour choice: apply your eye for colour outside, too

Reasons to buy
+ Over 25 colours available to buy 

If you’re looking to give your decking a personalised touch, Cuprinol’s Garden Shade range is the best. There’s a huge range of soft shades available, from Berry Kiss to Jungle Lagoon, allowing you complete freedom to use your artistic flair around your garden. While the paint dries opaque, it still allows the texture of the wood to show through, and once dry offers up to six years' protection. 

What do we like about it?

Not only does this paint give gorgeous results, but it's also Eco Compliant, making it an environmentally friendlier choice. We also like the fact that a single coat is enough with this paint.

What does it do well? 

You can't beat this decking paint for the quality of the colours. Users love the soft, modern shades that work particularly well in smaller garden decks.

What to watch for

Because of its eco standard, this paint is more watery than many others, so will drip. It's best to apply this one with a roller. 

Buy more wood care products at UK Tool Centre

How to buy the best decking paint

Colour choices and finish

Whether you’re looking for Rich Teak or Sage Green, Firmtread Anti Slip Coat takes the top spot thanks to its ability to bring a new lease of life to an old deck; it also brings out the wood’s natural grain.

For ease of use and a superior quality finish, Owatrol Shed and Fence Paint is a great choice, especially if you can justify its expensive price tag, while those not too sure of the colour they want to use should look at Cuprinol 2.5 Litre Garden Shades for a huge range of ideas.  

Non-slip properties

Our top pick adds 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 doors or back doors.

How eco-friendly is my decking paint?

If the environmental impact of your decking paint is a concern, look for a product that has 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. 

How to prepare a deck for painting

While some products, notably the Owatrol, 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 lichen/moss.
  2. Use the same stiff brush, or roller, apply a decking 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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