6th Dec 2022 -

Whether looking to mask dated or worn decking or simply looking for an exciting look for your garden, decking paint can be used, offering long-lasting performance under water and foot traffic. In this guide from Building Materials Nationwide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of painting your decking, look at the types of patio decking paint sold in the UK, and give a quick overview of how to paint decking.

paint decking

Should You Paint Your Decking?

Painting your decking is an option whether they are pristine or starting to wear. It can offer a variety of looks to your garden space, letting you opt for a range of browns, greys, or creams. Paint will obscure wear and tear and decay, and can be an effective way to spruce up older decking planks. If you use paint that is designed around exterior decking it should also boast good durability and be easy to clean.

There are some drawbacks to consider. Paint will obscure the look of your wood in a way that varnishing or decking stain would not. Those options could be less appealing in ageing decking boards, but for brand new boards many opt for a protective coating that preserves the look of the natural wood grain. Something else to consider is that paint is forever. Once you’ve painted your decking boards they will always need to be painted, and while you can change the colour you will not be able to revert to the natural timber.

What Colours Can You Paint Your Timber Decking?

Traditionally people will opt for subdued paint options for their decking, with colours like brown, grey, and beige. While most decking paint manufacturers will stick to these colours, if you are looking for more vibrant or unusual colours they can be found online, with blues, reds, and greens giving a distinctive look to your garden. 

What Paint to Use on Decking

When looking to buy paint for your garden, you’ll find several options available, with specific benefits. You will need to use a paint specifically designed for exterior decking, as it will have to perform well under water and repeated contact.

Water-Based Decking Paint

Water-based patio decking paints will offer a range of colours for your decking, with specific paints designed to offer protection outdoors. Compared to oil-based options these won’t offer the same strength, with reduced durability, though there will be more sheen options.

Oil-Based Decking Paint

You’ll also find oil-based decking paints. Oil-based options can offer superior performance against both moisture and contact, although they tend to offer a shinier finish and can’t perform as well in high heat, which is unlikely to be too big of an issue in the UK.

Anti-Slip Decking Paint

These heavy-duty paints will contain wax to help repel water and ensure your decking is slip-resistant. This can be useful in areas with high levels of rainfall and will be near essential for decking installed around a hot tub or endless pool. Alternatively, non-slip strips can be purchased and added to decking.

How Long Does Deck Paint Take to Dry?

Depending on the paint type and brand this could be anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. You should always seek out the manufacturer's recommendations for drying time when using decking paint. For faster options look for a quick dry product.

Is Waterproof Decking Paint Available?

While the term is sometimes used informally, these hard-wearing paints will not be 100% waterproof, but rather water-resistant, and will need to be repainted over time. Weatherproof is sometimes used as a description, but the same issues will apply.

How to Paint Decking

Painting your decking boards is a project that most DIYers would be able to do themselves. Below are some quick tips to ensure a consistent, durable finish.

  • Clean and Prep: Clean your boards thoroughly, removing all debris. You can buy deck cleaning liquid to use. If your boards are flat you can smooth them to remove any uneven or splintered areas. You can also use a sealer for gaps. You also need to ensure the weather is clear and will remain clear. Do not prime or paint during rain.
  • Prime: You’ll need to use a wood-preserving primer to properly seal your timber and allow it to be painted. Your primer will need to fully cover the wood to avoid serious issues with rot.
  • Paint: You’ll need to apply either 1 or 2 coats depending on the paint you’re using. Paint along with the grain to give the best look. You can paint with a brush or roller, or you can use a paint sprayer for most elements, touching up difficult areas with a brush.

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Building Materials Nationwide aims to be the one-stop shop for builders, offering a comprehensive range of building supplies, delivered across the UK at great prices. For those in the industry, our trade accounts will gain you access to a dedicated account manager, a real person who can help you to order whatever you need, be that patio decking paint or any other building materials, through our network of suppliers. Trade account holders also get express delivery options and competitive trade pricing. 

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