How to Paint a Deck with Peeling Paint? Steps

A deck with peeling paint is not only unsightly but unsafe and difficult to clean. Paint coating usually helps in protecting the wood against elements such as moisture, UV rays and pests. In this guide, learn how to paint a deck with peeling paint the right way.

A well-done deck painting should last over 10 years without need to repaint. Peeling paint is one of the reasons why you would want to repaint your deck. When painting a deck or staining, you should take necessary preparations from the very beginning to enjoy a lasting outcome.

How to paint a deck with peeling paint

Repainting a deck with peeling paint can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Since you are painting your deck to last, every important step need to be followed.

What you’ll need the following

  • Power washer – for cleaning the deck
  • Paint sprayer or roller – for applying paint
  • Paint scraper or putty knife – for removing the peeling paint
  • Sandpapers (60-100 grit) – for stripping off paint
  • Wood primer – for evening out imperfections
  • Oil-based or water-based exterior deck paint

Deck Repainting Steps

Late spring is the best time to paint your deck. Plan to your renovation when day temperatures are between 60°F and 85°F and the nights are cool.

1. Clear your deck surface

Create a clear view of the whole deck floor by removing everything from the deck. This include any furniture, flowerpots, and patio umbrellas.  If you are only dealing with few visible spots, you can simply cover your items with a large cloth to protect them from any accidental paint spills.

2. Scrape the peeling paint

Use a paint scraper or putty knife to remove all the loose paint from the deck. You may need to use a power sander to remove the flaking paint if you are dealing with a large area. With 60 -100 grit sandpaper, you can easily remove the paint. Power sander can be rented if you don’t have one in your store.

When sanding, move your equipment along the wood grain without much pressure to avoid thinning the wood. Be sure to replace the sandpapers when they lose their grit or when they get clogged with sawdust.

3. Power wash the deck

Power wash your deck to remove all the dirt including the removed paint and wood dust. Alternatively, sweep the deck with a bristle broom to remove all the debris and hose it. Once done, let the deck dry thoroughly before repainting.

4. Prime your deck

Apply a primer on the bare wood spots before painting. Water-based or oil-based wood exterior wood primer helps in evening out imperfections and also make the wood to easily accept the paint. Let the application dry as recommended on the label instructions.

5. Paint the deck

Using a paint sprayer or a roller, paint your deck. Using a paint brush may leave some ugly strokes that will dry in your paint. Let the first paint coat dry to the touch before applying the second coat. Once done, allow your deck enough time for paint to completely cure and dry.

Why does my deck paint peel off?

There are number of reasons why your deck paint is peeling off the wood. They include the following:

Poor preparations

Painting a deck need to be done in the right weather. As said, late spring is a suitable time to paint a deck when the weather is warmer. In addition to this, preparation is key to success of a project. Before painting, a deck need to be sanded, cleaned and primed. If this is not done, expect your paint to peel off.

Low quality paint

The quality of a paint is an important factor especially when dealing with outdoor surfaces. Using indoor paint on exterior areas will turn catastrophic. If you use anything else apart from oil-based or water-based exterior deck paint then expect short lasting results.

Excess moisture

Moisture is the leading cause of paint problems. Paint peeling off the wood can happen if the application was done on a wet surface. Further, painting in a humid day can also lead to similar problems. Spills and water standing on a surface of the deck can also result to paint peeling.

Dirt build up

Painting on a dirty surface will typically lead to a peeling paint. Further, dirt build up over the deck surface can also affect the performance of your paint. Hard dirt particles can also scratch or cause openings into the paint coating where moisture can penetrate through to cause paint peeling.

Improper cleaning

Improper cleaning techniques can affect the paint on your deck. This has mainly to do with using incorrect cleaning products or improper use of a pressure washer when cleaning a wooden deck. High powered pressure washers are known to damage paint on wood similarly to harsh cleaning chemicals.

Can you paint a deck over old paint

Painting a deck over old paint is allowed as long as the existing paint is not peeling, cracking, bubbling or blistering. However, scuff sanding of the old paint should be done to help it adhere well with the new coating. You do not need to apply primer as the old paint will act as one.

When should you repaint a deck?

Deck paint can last for many years without need to repaint. Typically, a well-done paint finish should last over ten years without any problem. However, you may need to repaint your deck if you desire to change its color, fix spots of peeling paint or if your deck is visibly looking old.

Final Thought

Peeling deck paint is much inevitable especially when the coating was applied over 10 years ago. It may also happen prematurely if proper painting procedures were not followed. Fortunately, you can remove the peeling paint and repaint your deck to look new again. Simply follow the steps in this guide and you will be right back on track.

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