Should You Paint Your Deck?
May 14, 2019
Decks are, for the mst part, still made out of wood. When wood is being exposed to the elements every day, you need to protect it in some manner. There are three basic ways to protect it. You can paint it, seal it, or you can choose treated wood. Treated wood is used for outdoor purposes such as decks. It is treated with a copper and other chemicals that make it more water-resistant and resistant to mold. However, you can still paint or seal treated wood if you want to make it even more waterproof. You typically can’t stain treated wood very well because the stain won’t penetrate. So, for the purpose of wood designed for outdoor use, the best option would be painting. What are the benefits of painting your deck?
Protection From the Elements
The most basic benefit to painting your deck is protecting it from the elements. Wood, even treated wood, remains porous. It expands when it in moist environments and contracts in dry environments. When moisture seeps into the wood, it becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Also, termites and other boring insects tend to prefer moist wood. So, if you want to maintain the structural integrity of wood and protect it from insects, you’ll need to keep water from getting into the pores. A solid layer of exterior paint will do that.
A painted deck can last significantly longer than an untreated deck.
Wood is prone to wild temperature swings depending on the temperature outside. The darker the wood, the more light it will absorb and thus, the more heat it will absorb. If your deck is on a part of your house that gets a lot of direct sunlight, it can become hot enough that it’s unbearable during the day. To avoid that, you could paint the deck a lighter color. White would obviously be the coolest color you could choose. Several layers of white paint will stay much cooler than bare wood.
However, white wood could be too bright. A muted pale yellow or a sky blue could be a good option.
Finally, you need to decide what type of paint you will use and how you will paint it. Any sort of exterior paint will be appropriate. It’s usually easiest to apply with a paint sprayer but you can use a brush or a roller as well. There are also some kinds of paint that are specifically designed for decks; mostly, they’re designed to withstand direct perpendicular sunlight.