Spring is here and summer right around the corner and over the years, I have been wanting to do a post about the best paint to use on decks and exterior wood features like fences, bars, stairs, etc. that last. I mean, will really last and still look good after several years.
After living in the insane heat/sun of East Texas, I have learned the hard way what paints are pretty much a waste of money and what paints will last through extreme sun and temperatures. Nothing is more frustrating than to have to paint decking, stairs or other wood features each year. There is no reason to have to do this because there are some really great outdoor paints that can last beyond a year. However, it’s really important to note that when it comes to painting exterior wood, no product will last forever. Even something as permanent as wood stains need to be redone over time thanks to UV rays, weather and wear.
We have wood stairs and fencing in our backyard and our next door neighbors have this huge multi-level wood deck.
My neighbor’s deck has no covering and is full Texas sun exposure. This deck also sees lots of heavy traffic with kids swimming and year round daily use. Like us, they tried different paints and stains and nothing lasted.
A couple years ago, after being frustrated with other deck paint products, my neighbor’s and I both tried a product from Behr called “DeckOver” Coating Paint and the results were absolutely fantastic.
As you can see, the finish has held up beautifully (this deck was painted two years ago).
We could tell immediately when the first coat went on that this product was good because it covered so well and just looked more durable than paints/stains we had used in the past.
DeckOver is really more of a “coating” than paint, which is why I guess they call it DeckOver Wood Coating. It is 100% acrylic and it comes with a subtle non-slip texture already in it, which is great when it rains or near a pool. It’s also mildew resistant. You can get extra texture added as well. For some reason, DeckOver has come down in price this year and now it’s around $34.00 for a gallon at Home Depot or $158.00 for a 5 gallon.
It can also be used on stairs, outdoor wood bars or pretty much anything. In fact, my neighbor’s turned the upper deck railing into a long outdoor narrow bar top and DeckOver was used on that as well.
It is CRITICAL that you prep your deck or wood exterior exactly as the product suggests! If you don’t do the proper prep work, the coating may not adhere correctly and you could have some problems.
As far as application, we found that it’s best to paint DeckOver first thing in the morning before the sun gets to strong. The paint is already really thick and if the sun is out, you don’t get a lot of workable time to really get it on smooth because it will dry so quick. It needs to be applied with an extender roller.
The color choices are awesome(comes in 54 colors). My neighbors used Chatham Fog on their deck and the color is really stunning.
I took pictures of the color chart that I picked up at Home Depot to show you guys because they do not have a good online color chart for me to include for you to see both names and colors clearly.
Behr also makes a solid color stain and a gorgeous semi-transparent stain that is really good as well and if your decking is fully covered and you do not have extreme sun, this is another option.
Here is a great tutorial that includes preparation from Savings 4 six for using the Behr Semi-Transparent. Look at that pretty finish below.
I know I’m gushing a lot and sound like a Behr paint infomercial but I have not been compensated in any way. Really, I have found over the years with paint, if a brand makes an outstanding product in one area (like deck paint), the whole line of paint products are usually great as well. It’s the same way with Sherwin Williams exterior paints. Every product in the exterior line is the best.
Thanks for stopping by today!
We used Behr Deck Over when it first came out and we’re very disappointed on how it looks now. Where the nail heads are in the deck wood, there’s rust around it and parts of it is peeling off. We bought everything the company said to use for our Michigan deck and it looks terrible now. It looked great the first year but has gotten worse over time. The company knows about our deck and they are very willing in returning the money spent, but their suggestion for a fix was to completely sand down the entire deck and start over, which was a big no-go with my husband. He has said numerous times to me, dont paint something you walk on. That includes our garage we had epoxied 5 years ago and that too, is now a mess. Maybe it’s our cold winters that made this happen, but we wont use DeckOver or anything in that nature again. Glad you’re having better luck with it though.
I’m so glad you left a note Mila with your thoughts! I am so sorry your deck is a mess and your garage is as well. 🙁 However, I do have to say that I do not live in the frozen tundra (although I’m originally from Minnesota) and can’t speak to how this paint holds us for long extreme winters. We do have about 2-3 hard freezes in Texas but that doesn’t compare to Mich. winters. Although, I do know there has been a formula change in the last two years (we painted some fencing last year and I could tell a difference). Also, it is possible to get a bad batch of paint. Not saying that happened with you but I do know that if paints stand too long in frozen (or hot) trucks, paint can go bad really quick. It could be that DeckOver holds up beautifully in heat but not the extreme cold.
I hope that you can resolve the decking issues. I know that it wouldn’t be pleasant to have to sand down to the wood but hopefully, there is an easier way for you to resolve and restore. Thank you again for you note and thoughts!
Hello, I’m in France, do you know if there’s resellers here ? This grey paint is simply gorgeous!
Hi Val! I’m not sure where you can get DeckOver in France but here is the link to submit an email to Behr to check:http://www.behr.com/consumer/expert-product-issue. I hope you can find it! Thanks for your note!
Vickie Ross says
Living in Fort Worth, I know how the Texas sun can really be hard on decks and outside wood…I just now tried the Behr Deck Over and really liked how it went on and how I looks. Thanks for your input…..
Thanks for your note Vickie! So glad to hear that you liked the finish and the product so far. I think you will be very impressed a year from now when it still looks the same and how it holds up to that Texas sun. 🙂
Thanks for this helpful and very timely info! Could you please comment on the best way to prepare the deck before painting? I have had “professionals” who over pressure washed my deck leaving splinters on the railing ?. Then it was stained but was sticky to walk on even after a week…. I live in NC (not as hot as Texas but not as cold as Minnesota) and would like to be done with deck maintenance for several years too! Thanks so much!!!
I just had a new fence put up, and so I am looking forward to painting it. I really like all that you had to say about the Behr product, but I’m not sure if that is the color that I’d want to have. Personally, I’d probably choose Chatham Fog like your neighbor. However, is there any way that I should chemically treat the fence before painting it? I just want to make sure that I do everything exactly as I should to make the paint job last longer.
As a professional painter, Artist, and Refinisher. I can only advise against using any of these new “Restore ” deck stains and paints. They will Not last, and will in Most cases, peel up in large pieces before a year under hot and wet climates and conditions.
Behr has already accumulated many lawsuits, as well as Rustoliums restore, and others that claim to restore and protect unsightly decks. I personally have had to sand and strip there products and it’s extremely costly. The problem is that it’s Latex, and it’s thick or contains sand or ground plastic to fill cracks and weathered wood. Latex always peels, so when these paints do fail, as all coatings do eventually, it peels in large pieces. And yes, it’s a costly Mess!
Do the research. Read the reviews on Behr and Rustolium. And use a trusted durable brand such as Sikkens, or even Ben Moore, (oil based)
Sikkens is very expensive, but once it’s on, all that’s needed is a maintenance coat every couple of years. Wash, and coat.
The others will be off the market soon as they just do not adhere or last.
Marissa T says
Doug, we strongly disagree with you. We had previously used the brands you recommended and have had to completely replace our deck. Since then we have used Behr and the results are remarkable. After reading your notes here, we logged into our Consumer Reports account to see how Behr is reviewed by CR. The top opaque and semitransparent stains in Consumer Reports wood stain tests are both from Behr and sold at Home Depot. The best clear finish is from Thompson’s.
Thanks for your note Marissa! Yes, we too have been very impressed with the Behr Deck Over and even years later,it’s held up. Not surprised about the CR. Thank you! 🙂
Diana Henley says
Doug you are so right. I used restore and now my deck is ruined. Its a big mess. Do not use.
Hi there. All of these posts are very informative so I first want to say thanks for all the perspectives. We painted our very large deck 3 years ago with Restoleum Restore in late Spring. We used a complementary stain (Thompsons) on the railing. We were so proud and it looked awesome – got rave reviews on Facebook from our friends. We don’t use the deck much – so low traffic. We followed all the rules and within 8 months (Fall) – peeling started – in big chunks. It’s a hot mess now. The only thing that endured was the railing that was stained – it still looks as good as day 1. Just sharing – I’m just not sure about painting anything on wood…we live in Arlington, Texas
Loving all your posts. Earlier the paint can labels and now this. You are hitting all my pet peeves for sure. I can not even begin to explain the saga with painting our deck EVERY year. It never lasts and I have never been happy with the paint durability. It looks good when it’s painted but it doesn’t last. Especially if we have a tough winter. But I find mostly it just doesn’t adhere well to the wood. Thanks again for these suggestions!!
Dave Himbert says
Thanks for a wonderful and descriptive review! Our deck is over 15 years old, redwood, and we are getting the house ready to sell. I’m in the middle of cutting off the bad ends and replacing boards as need on our 420 sq ft. deck. We live in a very hot summer climate in far northern California and most reviews I’ve are mostly negative on using deck paint. IMO, the decks are not carefully prepped prior to painting. I’m going to use Restore-a-Deck after the boards are screwed back into place and use my power washer to thoroughly clean it. I’m thinking then, after it dries, to use a belt sander to roughly go over the deck – I’m not sure if this step is really needed!
A question I have for you is: how did you roll the paint out when the instructions say to only roll in one direction, which would be away from you. How do you stay off the wet paint? I also have to coat under the existing railing and the larger roller will not fit under it. Should I use a smaller diameter roller around the perimeter first then coat the main area?
Thanks for your input!
james G says
What is the color of the deck over pant used in first 3 photos? Thanks!
I live in a very hot and humid climate. I’ve read a lot of negative reviews but was wondering if Behr has corrected the problems of peeling. What do you think?
I haven’t had any problems with peeling and neither have my neighbors and it’s been at least 3-4 years since both of us applied the paint. I live in East Texas, where the weather is extreme in the summer and in the winter, we get at least 3-4 hard freezes. Part of the issue is that people do not do the necessary prep work on the front end that is recommended by the product to ensure solid application (power washing and cleaning prior to application). Also, it’s important that the temperature during application is within BEHR’s recommended window. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it again. I hope that helps! 🙂
Hi Cyndy, thank you for sharing your story!
Do you mind sharing which gray color you used on your deck?
Thanks again, Erica
I live 45 miles east of San Francisco. I used the Deck Over paint, on a concrete deck, 4 years ago and have not had any problems with the paint. Our summers are hot our winters vary, since we are in or out of droughts. We do get some cold freezing weather, not as cold as the mid west.
Sue Miller says
We used Rustoleum Restore 2 years ago. Followed the directions exactly. My husband was critically ill last year. When I contacted Rustoleum and said that nearly all of the product had peeled off and what did they do about their warranty?They replied if I had my receipts or empty paint cans, they would refund my money. Since I expected the product to last more than 1 year, I expected a better response. Since Deckover is about the same product, I would sy don’t throw way the extra money. Very disappointed. I have been told by a couple people in the area that they experienced the same problems.
Veronica Volpi says
Hello there, I am desperate and I really hope you can help me: I live in Miami Florida and have built a brand new deck around the pool, made with pressure treated pine, let it dry for almost 2 months and now painted with Behr Primer and Stain, flat. The color I want is White. My handyman chose this because at Home Depot, is the best product they said. The problem is that the paint look like wall paint, very flat, very covering BUT the problem is that EVERY stains remains: landscaper boots, dog walking in the grass…..there is no way to clean it and the stains do not come off even with pressure cleaning. Now my question is: I will have to sand it and then what can I use? I the perfect world, I would like to have a white deck that I can wash with the hose. Am I asking something impossible??
Thank you in advance!
Marilyn Kirby says
Cyndy, I am researching deck refinishes for the climate in Wichita, KS, with Texas heat and Michigan cold extremes. How has your deck held up through another year?
Robyn Thompson says
We also had a negative experience with this product and do not recommend. We followed the directions to a T especially after spending quite a lot of money on the paint. It rusted around nails and peeled up before even one year. We live in Indiana so we certainly get our share of weather but we would have expected it to have lasted longer than it did. We’re actually working on it again, now with the extra work of removing the mess the Deck Over left and will use a different product all together.
Hi! Would you mind sharing the gray color you used for your deck? Beautiful!