Feb 18 2012

Why Paints Do Not Work on Decks

English: IPE Deck Stain

Penetrating Wood Deck Stain

Wood decks have always been very popular. They add extra outdoor living space to your home, increase your home’s value, and provide a great place for family outings or just relaxing. Wood decks however, do need to be protected from the environment if they are expected to last many years.

To protect a wooden deck you have several choices. Deck stains and sealers come in many different textures, tints, colors, and varieties. Deck stains are certainly the best option for providing adequate protection from the weather and the sun’s harsh UV rays.

Many people ask if painting a deck is a good option. Most experts will agree that paint will not work well for protecting a wood deck. If you have ever seen a painted deck that has failed you probably noticed the paint was cracking and peeling.

Wood expands and contracts naturally with changing temperatures and weather conditions. Paint also expands and contracts but not at the same rate as wood. This indifference in fluctuation causes the paint to crack over time.

Because the bottoms of the deck boards are normally not coated with paint, moisture will still penetrate the wood. Unlike a more breathable deck

stain, paint traps this moisture in the wood which causes the paint to peel and flake. Normally the peeling and flaking is first noticeable near the edges of each board.

Reasons Not To Use Paint on a Wood Deck

  • Paint requires time and labor intensive methods to maintain.
  • Requires 2 coats to be more effective in the elements.
  • To have any duration of protection with paint, a primer should be used first which adds to the cost.
  • Paint will inevitably fail by cracking and peeling, and when it does, it’s costly to have it removed and replaced.

If you want the solid color look of paint, a solid colored deck stain is a better option. Semi-transparent deck stains can have tint and color added to them as well. Deck stains penetrate the wood as opposed to creating a film on top of the wood like paint does. Deck stains and sealers are a much better choice over paint for protecting your wooden deck for years of enjoyment.


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