What is the Best Deck Paint for Old Wood? (2024)

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Applying a fresh coat of paint to your weathered deck is a must to keep it attractive and functional. But let me tell you, picking the right paint for old wood isn’t always straightforward. Some formulas just don’t play nicely with aged lumber.

I’ve worked with my fair share of paints over the years, so here are my top recommendations that will not harm your delicate or vintage wood decking!

Premium Option
Rust-Oleum 206999
Editor’s Choice
INSL-X SU030809A-01
Budget Option
FIXALL Skid Grip Anti-Slip Acrylic Paint
Rust-Oleum 206999
INSL-X SU030809A-01
FIXALL Skid Grip Anti-Slip Acrylic Paint
• It is incredibly versatile.
• It has a vast color selection.
• It's a perfect option for old wood in general.
• It provides solid defense against skids and abrasions.
• The anti-slip formulation is great for wet conditions.
• It seamlessly highlights the natural grain of the wood.
• One of the best for resistance against fading.
• Slip resistance formula
• The pure acrylic formula offers durability.
Premium Option
Rust-Oleum 206999
Rust-Oleum 206999
• It is incredibly versatile.
• It has a vast color selection.
• It's a perfect option for old wood in general.
Editor’s Choice
INSL-X SU030809A-01
INSL-X SU030809A-01
• It provides solid defense against skids and abrasions.
• The anti-slip formulation is great for wet conditions.
• It seamlessly highlights the natural grain of the wood.
Budget Option
FIXALL Skid Grip Anti-Slip Acrylic Paint
FIXALL Skid Grip Anti-Slip Acrylic Paint
• One of the best for resistance against fading.
• Slip resistance formula
• The pure acrylic formula offers durability.

Reviews of the Top Deck Paints For Old Wood

1. INSL-X SU030809A-01 Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint

The INSL-X SU030809A-01 has a durable, skid-resistant finish that is anti-slip and versatile for interior or exterior applications. 

Its formulation has excellent color retention, abrasion, and water resistance, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor floors, stairs, walkways, and patios, among many others. This anti-slip paint comes in eight different shades and finishes ranging from neutral, solid, and low-opacity colors.

Moreover, the INSL-X SU030809A-01 is fast drying and easy to apply, covering 80-120 square feet per gallon. Its consistency makes filling cracks and flaws on previously painted surfaces effortless. 

What I Like

What I Don't Like

2. Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint

Rust-Oleum has been the go-to brand of veterans and beginners alike when it comes to paint. This paint, in particular, is weather resistant, and it is oil-based, so it allows flexible application and excellent leveling. 

Its durable coating resists extreme weather conditions, abrasions, and sun damage. Because it has been a household brand, they take pride in having superior quality deck paint for old and weathered wood. 

The Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint is available in many colors, so you can customize your deck by adding unique colors.

(To get the best results, you must understand more about woodworking painting for a successful outcome.)

What I Like

What I Don't Like

3. FIXALL Skid Grip Anti-Slip Acrylic Paint

Skid Grip adds better character to your old deck, asphalt, and other surfaces. Its pure acrylic resin formula enhances its quality by reducing peeling or flaking. It also reduces oxidation, allowing your deck to retain its color for years.

I was genuinely impressed by how well the FIXALL Skid Grip Anti-Slip Paint adhered, yet it remained simple to clean up. Whether you use a brush or a roller, a gallon of this paint can comfortably cover up to 80 square feet, even on woods with different levels of porosity. 

From my experience, I’d suggest two coats for optimal results. If your deck sees a lot of foot traffic and needs that extra layer of protection, this paint is a great option.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

4. Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint

If you want a cost-effective yet eco-friendly solution for repainting your old deck wood, look no further than the Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint

This water-based, low VOC product comes in 18 varieties of gray tones with earthy undertones, so it is sure to fit whatever you want. 

This brand is perfect if you wish to protect your old wood from mold, mildew, and even sun damage. The Montage Signature paint also has good, smooth coverage and even to apply. Its improved sealing technology makes it easy to clean and maintain.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

5. Thompsons Waterseal TH.043821-16

Thompsons WaterSeal has been one of the top options for best deck paint brands since the early 1920s. Its reputation for producing water-resistant pigments is one of its main selling points. 

For instance, the Thompson WaterSeal TH.043821-16 exceeds the industry standard (ASTM D-4446) [1] for waterproofing wood. Its formulation is made from advanced polymers that ensure its fade-proof abilities, and its coating provides protection against mildew and sun damage.

This variant is available in six shades, including woodland cedar, maple brown, coastal gray, acorn brown, sequoia red, and harvest gold—perfect finishes for your weathered deck wood.  

What I Like

What I Don't Like

6. Olympic Elite Advanced Solid Color Stain and Sealant in One

The Olympic Elite Advanced Solid Color Stain and Sealant has pigmented consistency and accurate coverage. It is a perfect combination of stain and sealer. 

It has waterproof abilities and provides a coating to prevent cracking, mildew, mold, dirt, and algae. It is versatile enough to be used for all types of wood, even for manufactured wood, and adds an efficient layer of protection to your old wood deck, may it be due to weather or sun damage.

A gallon of Olympic Stain can cover a small to medium-sized deck, spanning around 250-350 square feet. If you’re aiming for a solid color, I’d definitely suggest applying two coats.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

7. KILZ Low-Lustre Enamel Porch & Patio Latex Floor Paint

The KILZ Low Lustre Enamel Latex Floor Paint is built to endure scuffing, fading, cracking, and peeling under harsh conditions. If you want undoubtedly durable deck paint, then KILZ Latex paint is sure to deliver. 

It is easy enough to apply and is low maintenance. Its acrylic outdoor deck paint lines have a mold-resistant film that allows them to withstand extreme weather conditions.

The low-luster finish of this acrylic paint is just what you’d want for a porch or patio floor, especially on previously primed or painted old wood. And it’s not just limited to that – it works beautifully on trim, siding, and trellises too.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Deck Paint for Old Wood Buyer’s Guide

Type of Formulation

Deck paint formulations are typically oil-based or water-based: 


Water-based formulations are more common as they are easy to clean up and have fewer toxic chemicals that can potentially be harmful in the long run.


Oil-based deck paint is typically used with transparent deck stains and would need paint thinner or mineral spirits as prerequisites for cleaning up. Oil-based paints generally withstand higher temperatures better and can last longer.

Wood Type

When choosing paint or stain for a deck, also take into account the type of wood you’re working with. Hardwoods and softwoods each have their own needs when it comes to deck treatments. Softwoods, like pine, take well to both acrylic and oil-based paints. 

On the other hand, tropical hardwoods like ipe demand oil-based deck stains


Your wood deck will have different surface finishes depending on the number of ingredients used in the product. Consider the finish you prefer for your treated wooden deck paint or other projects, and choose among the following:

Finish TypeSheen PercentageSuitability
Eggshell10%Enclosed decks, indoors
Satin or Low Luster30%Outdoor wood deck, pool deck,
Semi-gloss or Enamel70%Garage floors, shutters, trim doors
High Gloss85%New deck planks


Comprised of 10% sheen, an eggshell finish delivers a soft and pleasant texture to your deck boards. Its low luster helps cover rough surfaces, nail holes, and other flaws. It is best applied in enclosed decks that are not usually exposed to wind and dust.

Satin or Low Luster

A satin finish is best used for exterior wood surfaces like outdoor or boat decks because of its reduced sheen, which is only about 30%. The surface can hide many flaws and is easier to maintain than other variants. With satin, sweeping is enough to eliminate unwanted elements like dirt.

Semi-gloss or Enamel

Semi-gloss is perfect if you wish for an easy-to-clean surface. Commonly referred to as enamel, it comprises 70% sheen and is ideal for doors, shutters, and trim doors.

High Gloss

Comprised of about 85% sheen, high gloss helps highlight flaws in a wood, which make it ideal for new deck boards. It is also easy to clean as dirt blows off on its own because of its surface.


When purchasing any deck paint for old wood, it is important to know the coating thickness to ensure that it is compatible and sticks well on the surface. Paints labeled with 4, 10, and 20 are thicker than usual paints you can find in the store.

Deck Area

Considering your deck area must be prioritized to know how much deck paint is needed to have enough coverage. Buying less paint than you should delay the paint restoration process.

Workability and Ease of Use

The best paint for treated wood decks usually comes with a formula that is cost-efficient. It also ensures that the paints have even coverage and are easy to dry. Note that the key to application lies in the preparation. So ensure your old wood is primed and ready for the wood deck paint.

Deck Surface

Choosing the best deck paint for old wood can be daunting as there are many options to choose from, especially when dealing with vertical surfaces. For old deck paint, pick one that goes well with horizontal surfaces, as it is most likely to be efficient in outdoor conditions.

Color Choice

There are various options for choosing the best deck paint for concrete, wood, or metal surfaces. A rule of thumb is to avoid colors that look conflicted with nearby landscaping. Instead, it is best to pick colors that complement the overall surroundings. 

You might want to choose from any of these deck paint colors for a pleasing overall look. 

Weather Resistance

When choosing old or weathered deck or patio floor paint, opt for those formulated to withstand harsh weather conditions. This will ensure that you are investing in quality paint that would allow your wood decks to be protected and presentable for a longer time.

Foot Traffic

Frequent foot traffic would challenge your deck paint for old wood. When deciding, opt for good quality paint to ensure you will not have to worry about your deck wearing down easily.

How To Paint an Old Deck

To prep deck paint, you must first sweep and free the deck of debris and accumulated dirt. Use a deck cleaner and remove any loose paint to ensure proper coverage, allowing time to seep through the surface and do its job. 

Rinse it afterward using a pressure washer and let the wood completely dry. After which, you may start priming the deck to increase its longevity and overall durability. The final step is to coat it with a deck stain or any finish deck paint to your choosing.

What You’ll Need

painting materials and tools

Step 1: Sweep away dirt and debris.

Adequately clean your deck by weeping dirt and debris. A wood cleaner can get the job done, but a power washer will be more efficient in cleaning built-up elements from your deck.

Step 2: Fix any damaged areas.

It is important to thoroughly check for any damages and fix them before working with paint. You can start by repairing splintered wood and checking the pillars and footings to confirm that they are stable. Check the areas exposed to grass or dirt since they are more susceptible to rot.

Step 3: Remove old paint.

It is important to strip chipping paint from your old deck before applying a fresh coat. This step is critical to ensure an efficient and flaw-proof paint job.

Step 4: Sand it off.

Remove the peeling paint using sandpaper, a sanding machine or a paint scraper to smoothen the surface. This will ensure that the paint will coat smoothly and evenly.

Step 5: Apply primer.

While some might see priming as optional, it’s a step I wouldn’t skip, especially if longevity is a concern for your deck. Priming not only tackles those porous surfaces but also amplifies the effectiveness of your paint coverage.

Step 6: Start painting.

Once you have performed the above steps, your deck is ready for painting. Using a deck stain/paint applicator, begin painting from the railing and the balusters before heading to the other sections. Do at least two coatings for any exterior wood surface to ensure it is thick enough to last. 

You might be interested in:

What Are the Benefits of Painting an Old Deck?

Fills in Holes and Gaps

Your deck quality will deteriorate over time and have several issues, like gaps, cracks, etc. Repainting a deck can resolve this by filling in these flaws, and its wide coverage should be able to repair them effectively.

Aesthetically Pleasing

As times progress, the range of deck paints comes in a better variety. May it be in colors, sheen levels, and textures—they will be able to deliver the perfect tone or finish you wish for your old deck. 

You can either maintain its original appearance by using transparent paint or give it more character by using another color.

Efficient Cleaning

Top-tier paint is a good investment in the long run. When applied correctly, your deck’s paint automatically keeps it free from dust particles. If it has a hard and even finishes, it will be easy for you to sweep and maintain the surface.

cleaning deck

Protection from Rot and Dirt

Paints and stains provide an additional layer of protection to your wooden decks, which can, in turn, increase their longevity. 

Harsh weather conditions and UV rays may deteriorate wooden decks easily, but coating them with paint can give them ample resistance. This also applies to other factors like mildew, rotting, and sun damage.

Property Investment

Continually maintaining your deck with high-quality paints will alleviate weathering issues and increase its overall value. Properly treated properties will be easy to sell, while unmaintained properties will eventually degrade and become a financial liability.

Top Deck Paint Brands


Rust-Oleum ultra cover

Rust-Oleum is a trusted brand in the paint and primer industry. They specialize in oil-based paints that shield against UV rays and drastic weather shifts. Their high-quality pigments are built to last, making them suitable for both commercial and residential projects.

Thompson’s WaterSeal

Thompson’s WaterSeal Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Wood Stain

Thompson’s WateSeal started in the early 1920 and has been a household brand for paints. Their line specializes in water damage resistance, especially for exterior functions. This brand also offers a solid deck stain line that follows this legacy.


Sherwin Williams

Sherwin-Williams is a top-rated brand for both interior and exterior quality paint by J.D. Power. It provides a cost-effective, high-quality paint job for outdoor paint projects. What I particularly appreciate about this brand is the variety in their exterior paints – from different sheens to formula bases, ranging from solid stains to more robust paint types.

Liquid Rubber

Liquid Rubber

The Liquid Rubber Polyurethane has smooth, textured color options that are perfect as base deck restore paint. 

It has a seamless membrane that is easy to apply and is neither tacky nor complicated to coat. It has brush, roll, and spray options that are better for creating a solid stain than ordinary paint.


Kilz Primer

KILZ has been among the prime options for weathered wood and old deck restoration paints for over 45 years. 

This brand is known to deliver even for a previously painted deck because of its high-quality pigments that do well for any deck or patio. KILZ also has an all-in-one paint and primer perfect for wood restoration paints and projects.

Ready Seal

Ready Seal 512 Semi-Transparent Wood Stain And Sealer

Ready Seal may be for you if you are looking for low maintenance, a cost-effective brand that needs no primer and is water-resistant. 

This product requires no back brushing and does not leave unwanted runs, laps, or streaks, even on vertical surfaces. It also has a UV-blocking formula that makes it excellent for painting wooden decks or any surface in your outdoor space.

Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore is among the best deck paint for old wood that have delivered services for over a century. It also provides exterior paint solutions through its other operated brands, including INSL-X. 

Benjamin Moore’s line for exterior decks and concrete surfaces like asphalt, metal, tile, and wood ensures that your outdoor areas have good coverage.

Olympic Stain

Olympic Stain

Olympic Stain has a wide range of colors that vary in consistency and opacity for wood decks and vertical and horizontal surfaces. The beauty of their product range lies in the varying levels of consistency and opacity, with each color offering a unique transparency. Plus, their offerings come in an assortment of convenient sizes.

Among the shades I’ve personally found appealing and have seen gain popularity are Navajo Red, Ebony, Timberline, Coffee, Oxford Brown, and Canyon Brown, to name a few.


Is it better to paint or stain an old deck?

Staining is better for an old deck. It will fill gaps and seal imperfections and can last longer than painting.

How thick should I coat my deck?

The thickness of your paint depends on the kind of deck you have and what it needs. What I would recommend is to measure paint thickness before application.

Should I paint over the old paint on my deck?

If your deck has a stain that still does the job, there is no need to paint over it. However, removing peeling paints or any signs of deterioration like cracking, bubbling, chipping, or blistering is best.

Do I need to pressure wash my deck before painting it?

Pressure washing your deck before painting is highly recommended as it will remove dirt and grime, as well as old or chipped paint that may cause flaws in your new paint job.

Do I need to prime my deck before painting it?

I highly recommend priming your deck before painting it for better adhesion. Given the frequent exposure to elements like moisture and humidity that can rapidly wear down paint, priming offers an extra layer of defense. 

The benefits of this preparatory step have proven time and again to be invaluable for achieving durable and aesthetically pleasing results.

How often should I stain my deck?

Your deck should be stained every 2-3 years as an estimate. This depends on factors like your area’s humidity levels or weather conditions.

How long do usually deck paints last?

Your paint’s longevity depends on time, surface condition, and shade. It can last up to 10 years, granted that it will not be exposed to harsh conditions. However, an estimate is recommended to check and repaint it every 2-3 years.

My Top Pick For a Deck Paint for Old Wood:
INSL-X SU030809A-01 Sure Step Anti-Slip Coating Paint

In terms of durability, texture, sheen, ease of application, and versatility, INSL-X SU030809A-01 takes the win. 

It’s not just user-friendly for beginners but also ranks top in terms of weather resistance compared to the other paints in the market. If you’re looking for the best deck paint for old wood, this one definitely gets my nod.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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