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How To Paint a Deck With Peeling Paint


Your deck once had a pristine paint job, but the paint is now worn and peeling. What you need to know is how to paint a deck with peeling paint. Check out what’s involved in repainting a deck — maybe even without stripping the old paint first — so that you can make a plan to fix yours.

How to Paint a Deck with Peeling Paint

The steps that you take to repaint a peeling deck will depend somewhat on its current condition. As a general rule, though, you’ll prepare the surface, wash the deck, and then begin painting.

1. Assess the situation.

What does your deck look like right now? Has the old paint worn away, or is it coming off in flaking, peeling pieces?

Chipped or loose paint will keep a new coat from adhering properly. Trying to add a new layer of paint right over it will be a waste of your energy. It will soon show the same problems as the previous coat.

On the other hand, a worn deck that doesn’t have peeling, bubbling paint may need less prep work. In that case, you may be able to skip ahead to Step 3.

2. Remove paint as needed.

In any areas where the paint is cracked, loose or blistering, take the time to get rid of the previous paint coat. You can use a paint scraper to lift it away. You can also rub a stiff brush over the surface to knock away the flakes.

If you have a big job ahead of you, consider applying a chemical paint stripper first. It will cause the paint to bubble up so that it will be easier to scrape off.

3. Sand the deck.

It’s always a good idea to sand the deck before putting on a new coat of paint. Scuffing the surface with sandpaper will improve how well the paint adheres. You can do this by hand or with a power sander.

4. Wash and dry.

Next, use a garden hose to rinse off the deck. Allow it to dry for two days before painting. Residual moisture will keep the paint from bonding properly.

5. Apply the paint.

Finally, you can start to apply the new paint. Use a high-quality paint or stain that’s designed for use on decks. In places that require cutting in, use a brush for the job. You can use a roller to cover the rest of the deck.

Once the paint is dry, add a second coat if needed.

When Only a Small Area Is Peeling

If the peeling is happening in only a few small spots, you may be able to do local repairs instead of a full repainting job.

Before beginning, consider why those areas are losing their paint faster than the rest of the deck. If there’s a drip from overhead, for example, fix it before starting on the painting project.

Once you’re ready to begin, use a scraper or a wire brush to take up any loose paint bits. Next, sand the entire area, and sweep away the sawdust. After that, you can use a brush to apply one or more coats of paint.

This approach is best for small areas. Otherwise, it might be hard to hide the color difference from one half of the deck to the next. That may be especially true if the original paint has faded before you begin your repair process.

Best Tips for Painting a Deck with Peeling Paint

By now, you’re in the know about how to paint a deck with peeling paint. Before you get started, take a look at these three expert tips. They’ll help you complete your paint job successfully and produce long-lasting results.

  1. Wash your deck ahead of time so that the paint will have a clean surface to which to bond.
  2. Choose a paint that’s specifically rated for decks and fences so that it will have better durability.
  3. Wear safety gear, such as eye goggles and sun protection, while you work.

Repainting a deck can be a big job, but skipping the stripping step can save you time and effort. No matter what steps you need to take, though, your deck will surely look better in the end.

Learn more how to paint other surfaces.