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The Best Paint for a Deck to Renew Old Wood – A Review of Behr DeckOver

It’s time to start sprucing up our outdoor spaces again – including our decks! But what’s the best deck paint to restore old wooden decks? I’ve got you covered!

I’m going to tell you everything you could possibly need to know to restore your wooden deck using Behr DeckOver and why it’s still my top pick. Because two years later on my own deck that I swore was unsalvageable, it still looks and feels fantastic! 

best paint for a deck

I know that revamping your deck, whether it’s a pool deck, patio deck, or front deck, can be a big project – believe me! But we tackled the task, and I want to help you do the same!

How much does it cost to get a deck painted?

It’s hard to say exactly how much it will cost to paint your deck because many factors affect the final cost. Including where you live, the size of your deck, the prep work required, and what materials are needed for the job. Here are a few averages to give you a general idea for planning purposes though. 

When hiring a contractor to paint your deck, prices are based on square feet. The national average to paint a deck is about $2 to $5 per square foot. Due to cleaning, repairs, and prep work, these averages may increase to $3 to $9 per square foot to repaint an existing deck. The total cost, on average, to hire a contractor to paint your deck ranges from $600 to $2,000.

Vertical surfaces, like deck railings and spindles may add about $2 to $8 per linear foot to the total cost. The cost may also go up if you need any unforeseen repairs, or if there are any challenges to your project.  

The most deciding factor in determining the total cost of painting your deck is square footage. You can use a square footage calculator to help you as you start your project! 

What is the most durable paint for decks? 

We explored several exterior paint options and settled on Behr DeckOver. We chose this paint because it was one of the best reputable brands out there and had excellent reputation for being long-lasting on wood decks.

This 100% acrylic paint formula can be used on both wood and concrete surfaces. It’s thick, durable texture makes it a great option to conceal cracks and splinters up to ¼”. The finish creates slip-resistant and smooth surfaces. When appropriately applied, it also resists cracking and peeling.

It comes in 54 solid colors and works well on decks, railings, composite decks, patios, and walkways. Just a heads up, it is not recommended for surfaces where you drive, like your garage or driveway.

How long will paint last on a deck?

On average high-quality paint should last 10-15 years. You’ll get the most longevity out of it when you complete the proper prep work. But, your outdoor deck paint may lose quality if it’s exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Living in areas with extreme weather conditions, direct sunlight, and the underlying material of your deck will all affect how long the color on your deck will last.

Does Behr DeckOver peel?

This is tricky because all deck paint can peel, and there is no way anyone can 100% guarantee a deck won’t peel. However, from personal experience, I can say with proper application, Behr DeckOver will not peel, at least not for a long time. After two years, our deck still looks amazing!

Behr DeckOver is made to resist peeling. There are specific steps to take to properly prepare your deck for painting. Following the recommended drying times and applying a second coat will also help it last to to its full potential!

Does Behr DeckOver come in different colors?

Yes! Behr DeckOver, both Smooth and Texture, comes in 54 solid custom colors. With each color, you also have the choice of a smooth coating or textured coating. Both coatings are slip-resistant, so it all depends on your preference. 

If you’re like me, you get very excited about color options! We all want to customize our colors, mixing and matching, and adjusting percentages; however, color adjustments are not recommended for this particular paint. 

If you can’t decide on the right deck paint color for your deck, I have a few notes that may help!

Tips for choosing a deck color

Darker colors will show traces of dirt and oil and may start to look chalky. You may also get a chalky look from skin residue from touching, walking barefoot, leaning on railings, or different ways the deck comes in contact with skin. These marks happen more often than you’d think, and it’s important to consider as you search for the perfect color!

  • Think about your home’s exterior color palette, and choose a complementary color.
  • If you want to create a continuous feel from inside to outside, consider your home’s interior flooring color as you select your deck floor paint.
  • Direct Sunlight – if your deck receives many hours of direct sunlight, consider lighter colors. Darker colors will hold the heat. Darker colors may also fade quicker when in direct sunlight for many hours per day. 

Two-toned Deck 

best paint for a deck

As you search for the perfect color, you may decide that a two-toned deck is perfect for you! For our deck painting project, we chose a two-toned design. And while it made the project took longer than expected, it was well worth it! 

A one-color design adds a muted look making your house, and patio decor takes center stage. A one-tone painted deck can also help your deck blend in with your home or backyard and is an attractive, classic choice.

best paint for a deck

Choosing a two-toned look may include painting railings and trim a contrasting white. Two-toned designs can also be applied to the deck floor with a different color boarding the main floor. The options are limitless!

A two-toned plan does take more work and is not optimal for using a sprayer, but don’t be afraid to try it! We did, and I am so happy with it!

How much does DeckOver cost?

Sold exclusively at Home Depot, Behr Advanced DeckOver is listed as $36.98 per gallon and $168 per five-gallon bucket online. But, the prices can vary by location. Check your local Home Depot store or look online for current pricing. 

How do you prep a deck for painting?

Prepping a deck for painting is the most time-consuming part of the entire process, but it makes all the difference in the success of your project.

Giving your time and attention to each step is key, even if it feels tedious. Resist the temptation to hurry through or skip steps or drying times!

Step 1: Cleaning the Deck

This step is necessary even for brand new decks. Great prep work brings the best results! Washing the deck is different from pressure washing (you will see that in step two). Cleaning the deck involves using a deck cleaning solution. An all-purpose deck cleaner will remove dirt and grime and loosen debris from the deck. 

For older decks with signs of mold or mildew, choose a cleaner with a mildewcide. Not sure if you have mold? Do a visual inspection! It may be mold if you see greenish spots, white or darker spots.

best paint for a deck
best paint for a deck
best paint for a deck
best paint for a deck

Remember to follow all manufacturer instructions when using any cleaning products.

Step 2: Pressure Washing

Following cleaning and rinsing per manufacturer instructions, you may think, what’s the point of pressure washing? I just washed and rinsed my deck! The purpose of pressure washing is to clean and clear any dirt and debris left behind from the cleaning process.

If you don’t own a pressure washer, you can find them available for rent from most home improvement stores or tool rental outlets. 

Understanding how to adjust the power of the pressure on the pressure washer you are using is critical to avoid damaging your deck. A pressure washer can shoot water out powerfully enough to etch stone! It can also be gentle enough to wash softer surfaces, like wood surfaces, without causing damage.

Too much jet pressure or holding the tip too close to the surface of your deck can deeply etch the wood or potentially cause splintering. Using the broadest spray pattern is recommended while keeping the tip at least 24 inches away from the deck’s surface.

best paint for a deck

Drying time is the key after pressure washing. Painting the deck before it is completely dry will interfere with the paint bonding to the deck. This may cause the paint to bubble and then peel. You can move on to scraping and sanding but recommended drying time before applying paint is one to two days.

Hopefully, full days of warm sunshine!

Step 3: Scraping and/or Sanding

Some of your old paint may have come off your deck surface during the cleaning and pressure washing process. That’s great! It gives you a little head start with visual cues for the next step – scraping and sanding to remove old paint. While you do not have to remove all the paint from your old deck (whew!), you do need to remove any peeling paint and sand down paint that is cracking or pulling away from the deck.

You can start with a wire brush to loosen old paint, then follow with a scraper. Wherever you have leftover paint in areas, you may notice the edges of the paint create a little bump. This is where you want to sand. The purpose of sanding is not to remove all the old paint but to smooth the edges between the stuck paint and the wood. You can use a power sander or sand by hand.

Step 4: Filling cracks

Use wood filler to fill in any cracks in the deck that are ¼” or less. Completely fill cracks so they are level with the deck. Because of expansion and contractions, pay careful attention to how the filler responds after application. Follow all manufacturer instructions regarding application and drying times.

For cracks or holes larger than ¼,” you may want to use patching compounds, additional wood filler, or caulks.

Make sure the product is paintable when using any wood filler, compounds, or caulks. You can find this out by looking at the product label! 

A quick note. Decks are often built right against the house. This means you will need to mask off walls, windows, doors, railings, or anything near or touching the deck that you want to protect from the paint. 

Now you get to the fun part! Applying your beautiful new deck paint. Remember to check to make sure your deck is 100% dry before painting.

Can I paint over old deck paint?

A big question when using Behr DeckOver is “can I paint over old deck paint?” Good news! You can paint over a painted deck. As long as your paint is still in good condition and free from peeling, cracking, bubbling, or blistering, painting over old paint is okay. 

If areas of paint are damaged on the deck, focus on those areas. Remove the damaged paint using a scraper, putty knife, or blade to scrape it away by hand. 

When dealing with larger areas of damaged paint, you may need some power tools. Remember, it is not necessary to remove every speck of paint from your old deck, only paint that is damaged. What a time saver!

Should I pressure wash my deck before painting?

Any surface you are painting should be cleaned during your prep process. This applies to indoor or outdoor jobs. Pressure washing is a recommended step in prepping your deck for painting. Before pressure washing, though, cleaning the deck with a deck cleaning concentrate will help loosen dirt and remove algae. 

When pressure washing, you’ll need to understand your equipment and how to adjust the water pressure. When using a heavy-duty gas-powered pressure washer, you can change the amount of pressure you are using with different colored nozzles. Each nozzle attaches to the spray gun. Choose the correct one for the job you are doing. 

How long should I wait to paint my deck after pressure washing?

The deck must be 100% dry before moving on to the next steps in your deck painting project. Allowing the deck to try for two full days in warm, dry conditions should be enough time. Check the deck thoroughly to ensure it is dry after two days.

Should I prime my deck before painting?

Great news! Behr does not recommend applying a primer before using Advance DeckOver.

What is the best time to paint a deck?

Exterior painting and weather conditions go hand in hand. When planning an exterior painting project, it is essential to check the projected forecast, consider the time of year, and plan accordingly. The ideal temperature range for outdoor painting is 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If temperatures aren’t ideal, the next best choice is shooting for a range of 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Professional painters suggest painting between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. The morning dew will have time to evaporate, and wrapping up at 3 allows paint time to dry before the cooler temperatures and dampness of nightfall.

Can it be too hot to paint a deck?

Absolutely, and it’s not recommended to paint in extremely hot temperatures. When we repainted our deck, it was sweltering! It made the paint extra thick and challenging to work with. In extremely high temperatures with high UV rays, the paint may even blister. 

Behr Premium Advance DeckOver also has a few weather tips:

  • Avoid applying in high-moisture, cool temperatures, or foggy conditions.
  • Do not apply if rain is predicted within 24 hours.

How do you use Behr DeckOver?

Using Behr DeckOver is a multi-day process that includes pre-work and multiple applications. 

Step 1: Prep Day

  • Wash the deck
  • Pressure wash
  • Inspect old paint and remove any damaged or compromised paint
  • Make any necessary repairs
  • Sand the deck

After sanding, you may need to rinse the deck again to remove sanding dust. This will depend on the amount of sanding you need to do.

Step 2: 2-3 drying days

  • Allow the deck to dry completely from pressure washing. Recommended drying time is two full days following pressure washing.

Step 3: Application Day

  • Fill in any cracks on the deck and allow drying time according to manufacturer instructions
  • Apply 1st coat and allow 4-6 hours for drying
  • Apply 2nd coat and allow 4-6 hours for drying

How many coats should I use of Behr DeckOver?

You may be wondering “how many coats should Behr DeckOver have?” Two coats are required for maximum durability and to ensure an even finish. It is not recommended to apply more than two coats.

How long does it take Behr DeckOver to cure?

Paint drying vs. paint curing. Did you know these are two completely different things? When the paint is dry, that means it is dry to the touch. It may be wet below the surface, making it a tiny bit soft still and therefore not 100% cured. Cured paint is 100% dry through and through. It is at maximum hardness.

Understanding the difference between dry and cured paint is critical to your deck’s finish. For example, loading your deck with a heavy grill and deck furniture without allowing enough time for curing may result in dings and dents in your finish.

Drying time for Advance Behr DeckOver is 4 – 6 hours. At this point, your deck is ready for some light foot traffic. You can walk on it and check out your beautiful work. Allow up to 72 hours for your deck to fully cure. Cooler temperatures or high humidity may add time to the curing process.

After your deck is fully cured, it can have more high-traffic areas, furniture and fun!

Tools for Deck Painting Project

Part of any big project is collecting all the tools you need to complete your project. Behr has a few recommendations for using Behr Premium Advanced DeckOver. Behr suggests using a ½″ nap roller. If you don’t have a ½” nap roller, a brush or ¼″ nap roller would be a better option than others.

Behr also says that you can use a ¾” nap roller, but it will take longer for the paint to dry, and it’s recommended to avoid a honeycomb roller. 

Aside from Behr’s recommendations, I also made my own list of supplies you’ll need to get started:

  • Behr Advance DeckOver in your choice of color(s)
  • Deck cleaner
  • Hose
  • Pressure washer
  • Wire brush
  • Paint scraper
  • Sanding tools: paper, electric sander, sanding sponge
  • Wood filler
  • Drop cloths
  • Painters tape
  • Sunscreen (for you!)

Using a Paint Sprayer with Behr Advance DeckOver

If you have experience spraying paint, Behr recommends using an airless paint sprayer. Here’s the one I use for all of my larger paint projects, and it’s super affordable and DIY friendly. But you can also rent one from your local home improvement store or tool rental store.

Behr DeckOver Lawsuit – A Personal Note From Me

In recent years a class action lawsuit was filed against Behr and Home Depot, alleging the Behr Deckover product is prone to cracking, premature peeling, and chipping. 

I have not experienced any of these issues and am very pleased with my deck and the performance of Behr DeckOver. On that note, it is vital to say I am not being paid to promote this product. All information in this post regarding Behr DeckOver is my own personal opinion. I am sharing my experience with the product to help you make the most informed decision.

Tackling a deck refurbishment is a big job! Time, money, blood (hopefully not!), sweat, and tears will go into beautifying your outdoor space. So when we took on this task a couple of years ago, I spent hours researching the right products for the job.

If you are reading this, you are probably in the middle of your research and planning phase! I hope this detailed post helps you and saves you some time as you plan!

I’d love to hear about your deck project!

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