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Do it yourself

Paint or stain the deck or another outdoor wood structure

Set aside a weekend to revitalize your deck or another wood structure outside. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders! Spruce up the deck and you’ll enhance both the value and the appearance of the whole house. There are practical reasons as well, since paint provides an even, protective finish. The project is quite simple: begin by removing the old paint, then apply the new coat. Choose your paint according to the deck materials. It can become long and tedious, however, and the steps we’ve outlined below will help you save time and energy, and maybe even some money. Choose the right paint and materials for the job and get started!


Check the wood structure

  • 1.1 - Examine the support structure, such as the pillars, rim joists, and intermediate joists and ensure that everything is in good repair.
  • 1.2 - Check for rot in wood that is in contact with the ground. Repair or replace damaged pieces where necessary.
  • 1.3 - Ensure that the joists are sound.
  • 1.4 - Replace any decking that is moldy or damaged boards if necessary.
  • 1.5 - Check that all railings are solid and repair if necessary.
  • 1.6 - Be sure that all bolts, nails and screws are tight. Replace loose or proud nails with screws.

Strip the surface

  • 2.1 - Scrape and roughly sand flat surfaces with an electric sander and 80-100 grit sandpaper.
  • 2.2 - Sweep clean.
  • 2.3 - Apply a thick coat of paint stripper with a silk-bristle paintbrush.
  • 2.4 - Let the stripper penetrate until the old paint starts to pull away.
  • 2.5 - Scrape the surface with a wood scraper, a hard brush, and steel wool or a finishing pad.
  • 2.6 - Use a pressure washer to clean the surface.
  • 2.7 - Apply an additional coat of paint stripper if necessary.
  • 2.8 - Sand horizontal surfaces with 80 grit sandpaper and vertical surfaces with coarse 120 grit sandpaper to remove all residue.
  • 2.9 - Rinse, then clean surfaces with a broom or a shop vacuum.

Clean unpainted surfaces

  • 3.1 - Hose down the surface of the wood structure.
  • 3.2 - Apply cleaner using a sprayer. Do not let the product dry.
  • 3.3 - Brush surfaces; stains and high-traffic areas in particular.
  • 3.4 - Follow the manufacturer's instructions and wait for the product to act.
  • 3.5 - Clean and rinse surfaces with a pressure washer.
  • 3.6 - Liberally rinse plants, shrubs and other surfaces close to the structure.

Running out of paint in the middle of a project can be frustrating!

Make sure you have the right quantity of paint or stain by using our calculator.
Paint calculator

Apply the primer and paint

  • 4.1 - Make sure that all surfaces are prepped, clean and dry.
  • 4.2 - Check the weather forecast and choose a period of more than 48 hours without rain. Do not paint when it is very hot.
  • 4.3 - Protect surfaces that will not be painted, such as the vinyl cladding on the house and deck accessories, with a tarp and masking tape.
  • 4.4 - Apply a coat of primer-sealer with a brush, roller or spray gun. Apply the stain with a brush or a sponge.
  • 4.5 - Allow to dry thoroughly, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • 4.6 - Use a brush to paint off-the-floor elements, such as the rails, handrail and caps.
  • 4.7 - Apply paint in the direction of the wood grain.
  • 4.8 - Paint the decking and large surfaces with a roller in two to three-foot sections. Start with the area farthest from the door.
  • 4.9 - Paint the rim joists and stairs.
  • 4.10 - Apply enough paint to penetrate into cracks and knots, but not to excess. Saturate the ends of boards.
  • 4.11 - Check the time you'll have to wait before applying a second coat.

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