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Paint a deck or outdoor wood structure

  • Difficulty: hammer hammer
    Close Difficulty
    Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
    Intermediate Do-It-Yourselfer - Moderate
    Experienced Do-It-Yourselfer - Difficult
    Professional - Expert
  • Completion Time : Week-End Project

In one weekend, revive your dreary and dirty deck or other outdoor wood structure with a new coat of paint. Whether you’re looking to enhance with a bright hue or simply update with a subtle shade, the fresh paint will add curb appeal and value to your home. The procedure is easy: remove the old paint and apply the new. Depending on the structure, though, the process can be time-consuming and tedious.
Save yourself time, energy and maybe even a few dollars by reading the tips below to help your project move along quicker. Decide on the proper paint for your project, and soon you’ll be enjoying your freshly painted deck (or other outdoor wood structure).


Tools and materials required


  • Paint brushes (large and small)
  • Belt sander
  • Broom
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sanding bloc
  • Scraper
  • Steel wool


  • Chemical or water-based paint remover
  • Electric paint striper
  • Paint
  • Paint thinner
  • Primer (if needed)
  • Sand paper

Before Assembly


  • Make sure the structure is solid and stable, and adjust if needed.
  • Tighten any screws, anchors and nails.
  • Replace any parts that are damaged with the same type of wood.


Treated wood should be handled with precautions.

  • Wear gloves and long sleeves when handling treated wood to avoid skin contact with the treated material and to protect against splinters.
  • Wear dust mask, eye protection, gloves and long sleeves when sawing, sanding or shaping treated wood to avoid skin contact with or inhalation of sawdust, to protect against splinters and to protect eyes from flying particles. When making cross cuts, use a cut sealer as the factory-treatment rarely goes to the heartwood.

During construction:

  • Use nails, screws, bolts, connectors and other hardware resistant to corrosion: stainless steel, hot-dipped galvanized, yellow zinc or other hardware specially coated for outdoor use. Ordinary fasteners will rust, causing unsightly stains as well as weakening the structure and ultimately causing it to fail.
  • Make certain the wood is thoroughly dry before painting or staining, and follow the coating manufacturer's recommendations. Use only good quality oil or acrylic coatings on water repellent pressure treated wood.
  • Do not dispose of treated wood remnants or sawdust in compost heaps, wood chips, or mulch. Do not use it as animal bedding or litter.
  • Never burn treated wood.


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Helpful Information

Fresh paint will make your outdoor structure look like new.
Paint a deck or outdoor wood structure