Wooden decks often look great and shiny at first, but after years of exposure to the elements, you might start seeing signs of wear and tear. The most common indicator of such damage is paint peeling off from the wood.
Here are 11 things you can do to stop the paint on your wooden deck from peeling:
- Determine why the paint is peeling.
- Protect the paint from moisture.
- Consider the conditions to which your deck is exposed.
- Select the correct paint for your deck.
- Repair any damages before painting.
- Apply paint properly.
- Make sure the paint sticks to the wood properly.
- Repaint your deck properly.
- Watch out for paint blisters.
- Maintain the deck suitably.
- Clean the deck regularly.
This article will discuss why all of these steps are important in preventing wooden deck paint from peeling.
1. Determine Why the Paint Is Peeling
When you first see signs of paint peeling off from your wooden deck, you must check why it is peeling. In some cases, only the topcoat may peel, which could be a sign that the most recent layer of paint was not applied properly. If the paint has been peeling from the bottom, this could mean that moisture has accumulated within the wood.
2. Protect the Paint From Moisture With Sealer
One of the main reasons why paint peels away from wood is moisture. When water gets trapped inside the wood, it may attempt to escape by using pressure to push against the layers of paint. Use deck sealers, proper staining techniques, and water-repellent chemicals to protect your paint for moisture-related peeling.
3. Consider the Conditions to Which Your Deck Is Exposed
Aside from moisture from rain, you will also have to protect your deck from the other elements to which it may be exposed. It has been noted that abnormal conditions are one of the leading reasons why paint gets damaged.
For instance, if you plan to have frequent gatherings on your deck, the constant footsteps may wear it out. Thus, you might want to consult with experts and see that you choose heavy-duty paint that could resist this type of stress.
4. Select the Correct Paint for Your Deck
There are many different types of paint, and you cannot randomly select one and decide that it is good enough for the job. Paints have their properties and advantages.
For instance, acrylic paints are recommended because they are UV-resistant; thus, they’re suitable for maintenance and exposure to the sun. Oil-based paints are suggested to be used as primers as they help keep the deck water-repellent. They also fill gaps in the wood.
5. Repair Any Damages Before Painting
Gaps and damages make the wood more vulnerable to moisture and other elements, making the paint susceptible to damage. These may also lead to uneven coloring, which does not look good and will be hard to maintain. Thus, repair any damages before painting – fill gaps with wooden fillers and replace rotten wood (source).
6. Apply Paint Properly
Proper paint application is crucial in making sure that paint will not peel right away. Here are the steps to follow to ensure you’re painting correctly:
- Sand the deck you’re about to paint.
- Clean and dry your deck.
- Put down a water-repellent sealer or coat for your first layer.
- Allow that first coating to dry fully before doing anything else.
- Choose either an oil- or latex-based primer and apply it on top of the water-repellent layer.
- Allow the primer to dry, but don’t wait too long before moving onto the next step.*
- Apply your topcoat.
- Let it dry completely.
- Add a second topcoat.
- Let it dry completely, and you should be done.
*Note: Waiting for too long after the primer dries to add your topcoat may allow dirt and moisture to seep in, which could get trapped when putting on the topcoats. Two layers are also recommended for longevity.
7. Make Sure the Paint Sticks to the Wood Properly
Paint can easily peel if it didn’t stick correctly to the wood in the first place. To ensure it adheres well, sand the wood properly. Make sure the surface is even and dry.
Then, make sure the surface is clean. There must be no dust, dirt, grease, wax, or anything that may prevent adhesion to the wood.
8. Repaint Your Deck Properly
If your deck has been repainted previously, it is vital to remove as much of the old paint as possible before repainting. If only certain areas had paint peeling off, you might do just spot painting. Spot painting works the same as regular painting (source).
9. Watch Out for Paint Blisters
After applying fresh paint, blisters may appear after a few hours or days, which may be a sign that the paint was not applied well. They may also occur later on when moisture accumulates in the wood and then evaporates into vapor trapped in the paint.
Thus, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for them, for they indicate the status of your deck paint. Not all blisters lead to paint peeling, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
10. Maintain the Deck Suitably
Proper deck maintenance allows your paint to last as long as possible.
Regularly inspect for any damages, blisters, peel, or discoloration. Repair damage as soon as possible. Protect your deck during harsh seasons and weather.
11. Clean the Deck Regularly
It may be a good idea to invest in suitable cleaning materials for your deck, like a hose. Accumulation of dirt may also lead to paint peeling and damage.
Do an all-out cleaning session before winter or periods when your deck will be closed. This will help keep its condition throughout the season. Also, make sure the deck is adequately sealed before hosing it down with all that water (source).
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As a homeowner, I am constantly experimenting with making the structure of my house more energy-efficient, eliminating pests, and taking on DIY home improvement projects. Over the past two decades, my family has rehabbed houses and contracted new home builds and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I share my hard-learned lessons so that you can save time and money by not repeating my mistakes.