Painting or staining your deck is an essential maintenance project that can also dramatically update outdoor living spaces. Regardless of whether your goals are practical or aesthetical, protecting your deck with paint, stain or sealer is an important step in preserving the integrity of its wood. Paint or stain should be reapplied regularly to provide consistent coverage and preserve the quality of your deck, usually at 2-5 year intervals.
While both types of finishes provide protection, the frequency of recoating varies depending on your selection.Your choice of paint and stain should be influenced by your style preferences as well as the condition of your deck, type of wood it’s composed of, usage and weather conditions.
An experienced pro can help you determine the best finish for your needs. They will take the right steps to prepare the surface of your deck and apply finish products so you can enjoy lasting beauty and protection.
PLAN AND DETAILS
Prices for deck painting and staining run about $2-$5 per square foot, depending on the size and condition of your deck. The type of paint or stain you choose will also affect the overall cost. Most projects average between $300-$1,200.
The size and condition of your deck will determine how long your project will take. Prep work may take as little as a day or as much as a week depending on the circumstances of the job. Applying paint or stain will take a few hours for each coat, with a day allowed in between for drying time. From start to finish, it could take three days to complete a small deck and up to two weeks for a larger, more complex job.
A good finish does more than improve your deck’s appearance. It protects your deck from wear and weather exposure. Your maintenance goals and personal preferences should help guide your decision on whether to paint or stain your deck. Transparent and semi-transparent wood stains let the character of your deck shine through, while paints and solid stains offer longer-term protection and a larger color selection.
Your deck is continuously exposed to the elements. Over time wind, sun and moisture exposure will take their toll, causing deterioration of its surface and structure. Periodic painting or staining is essential to your deck’s upkeep and will keep it looking its best. In general, you should plan on applying transparent sealer and semi-transparent stains every year or two. Solid stains and paints may last five years or more.
Decks can be protected with sealers, stains or paints. Deck sealers and wood stains may be clear or tinted, allowing the character of the wood to show through. They protect your deck by penetrating the wood’s surface to help preserve it from wear and exposure. Paints are used with primer to form a protective barrier on top of the wood’s surface. They are opaque and come in a variety of colors. Most deck products are available in both water and oil-based formulations. A pro can help you select a finish and product that is appropriate for the condition of your deck, the type of wood it’s made of, and how much abuse it endures from the elements and regular use.
A pro can ensure your deck will be painted or stained quickly and efficiently with minimal mess. Before getting started, a pro will inspect your deck, explain available options and help you select the best product for your lifestyle, weather conditions and maintenance preferences.
You can get your deck ready for staining by removing furniture and belongings, cleaning the area and securing any loose nails or screws. If your deck needs carpentry repairs, schedule them before painting is set to start. Depending on the requirements of the job, the pro may also pressure wash or sand your deck before beginning the project.
If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance that lead paint was used in its construction. Scraping, sanding, or removing old paint can release toxic lead dust which can cause serious illness in children and pregnant women. Special handling is required when working with lead-based paints. If lead paint is present in your home, you will need to hire a lead-certified painting contractor or lead abatement contractor. Before getting started with your painting project, consult your local building authority or visit www.epa.gov for more information.