How To Paint A Deck With Peeling Paint

A well-kept and properly painted deck appears to be an excellent addition to any backyard, but what can you do if you have peeling deck paint? Rain, wind, sun, and snow all take a toll on decks and other outdoor surfaces and quickly lead to dreaded deck paint peel.

As a result, your deck shows signs of wear on any coating applied to them; thus, once you see your deck paint peeling, you know it’s time to have it painted properly. In our guide, you can learn all you need about how to restore a peeling deck. It isn’t too challenging and doesn’t need to be too time-consuming.

By the end, you’ll know how to prep the area and how to paint a deck with peeling paint to remove the old paint and give your deck a new lease of life. (Learn How To Get Spray Paint Off Concrete)

Tips in Painting A Deck With Peeling Paint

Why Is Deck Paint Peeling After One Year?

Peeling paint is when the topcoat of paint peels away from the deck floor.

The relationship between paint quality and adhesion principles is complicated, but a bond is formed between paint and wood or any other surface once specific requirements are met.

This bond can fail should one or more problems arise, thus resulting in flaking or peeling. Here are some reasons your deck surfaces paint may be peeling:


Like any outdoor surface, the number one enemy is moisture when you paint a deck. The paint is separated from the wood because of the water vapor, causing bonding on the old paint to fail.


You should already know that wood paint will not properly adhere to a dirty surface. As a result, before painting, make sure the deck is free of dirt, mildew, debris, and other contaminants.

Paint quality:

Low-quality paint or expired paint to paint a deck lacks the qualities needed to form a strong bond, making it more prone to issues like peeling from excessive exposure to the weather if you’ve had a leaking gutter.

Your pleasure with the finished product will be determined by how you put the paint on your deck.

Professionally applied high-quality paint, tools, and techniques will undoubtedly result in a finish that will last for many years. (Learn How Much Does A Gallon Of Paint Weigh)

How To Paint A Deck With Peeling Paint

Depending on how old your deck’s paint job is, the color used, and the location of the damage, you may find that repairing the peeling paint is a simple task.

According to professionals, here are some pointers on how to repaint a deck with peeling paint:

Overview of how to paint a deck with peeling paint.

Scrape off any loose or peeling paint from the deck

Scrape Loose Paint

The first step is to scrape off any loose or peeling paint from the deck surface. You may easily do this using a stiff brush or a scraping tool.

Sand the Affected Area

After that, lightly sand all of the peeling patches on the deck until you can smooth them out.

Clean the Deck Surface

After sanding, wipe the deck surface and make sure there isn’t a trace of dirt on it; remember that debris will impact the paint’s adhesion. Before proceeding, be sure that the surface is completely dry.

Using a power washer can remove all the dirt, yet it may need longer to dry.

Apply the Paint

You can now use a brush or a roller to refinish the deck’s surface with the appropriate paint. A decent paint sprayer can also suffice, making the job much faster and easier to apply a new fresh coat.

Let the Deck Dry

After you’ve finished painting the deck, let it dry completely before applying another coat of paint if needed.

NOTE: If the peeling area is extensive or the original paint has gone away, it’s best to repaint the entire deck. Repainting the entire surface will aid in the proper shade matching of the deck color. That’s all it takes to paint a deck with peeling paint.

A step-by-step guide to painting a deck with the paint peeling. (Learn How To Paint Over Chipped Paint)

Power Wash The Deck before painting

Power Wash The Deck

Cleaning is required to eliminate dirt on the surface and grime trapped between deck boards, mold, and mildew.

Pressure wash the flaking paint off the surface with high pressure.
Use a pressure washer with a rotating nozzle and an angled wand to keep the pressure from gouging the wood. Maintain a six to twelve-inch distance from the surface using sweeping movements.

Use an all-purpose deck cleaner. Apply with water and scrub using a firm brush to remove any debris. Use a mildewcide cleaning solution if you find mold or mildew on your deck.

Rinse your deck and allow it to dry for at least 48 hours if required. (Find the Best Pressure Washer For Home Use)

Scrape Loose Paint

Scraping tools can be used to remove more flaking paint. To take the shedding paint from the flooring, use a wire brush in light sweeping strokes.

Scrape them with a paint scraper or putty knife if no more paint comes off with brushing. Next, scrape the paint off the surface with the pointed and flat scraping instrument sunk slightly below the surface.

Sand the deck

Is your deck’s peeling paint consistent across an extensive area? Then, powered tools make more sense.

To speed up the paint removal process, use a power sander. You may buy it or hire it, which is an advantage.

Sand your deck using 60-100 grit sandpapers, lightly sanding along the wood grain. When the sandpaper becomes blocked, or the grits degrade, replace them. To thin the wooden floorboards, sand the surface uniformly but not too much.

To eliminate all sanding dust from your deck, wash it with a garden hose. Then, allow another day or two for your deck to dry completely before painting it.

Prime and Paint

To prime your deck, use a high-adhesion primer like KILZ Adhesion High-Bonding Interior and Exterior Primer. Apply two to three coats of primer, ensuring that the surface is evenly coated. Allow an hour or two between each primer coat.

Some paints come in a single can that includes both priming and paint. So you won’t need a second deck primer if that’s the paint you choose. But first, double-check that the paint is made for horizontal surfaces.

Prepare for the deck painting process now. You will require a paint roller, paintbrush, or deck paint sprayer.

To apply the paint evenly and gently, use a roller with an extension pole. Next, apply paint between the floorboards with a crack and groove brush. If you don’t, your work will look incomplete.

Alternatively, spray paint the entire deck. This method is quicker and allows you to get paint where a standard brush or roller can’t reach. Make sure the spray paint is uniformly applied to the deck planks by back rolling or brushing.

Final Details

Apply the second paint coat once the first paint coat has dried, using the same tool. Allow this coat to sit undisturbed for the appropriate time, plus another day or two before utilizing your deck.

Then, to keep it in tip-top shape, schedule monthly maintenance activities.

Can You Paint Over Peeling Paint?

You can paint over peeling paint. However, whether you should repaint or repair the peeling deck depends on the amount of damage.

First, scrape and lift the flaking paint using a putty knife or a wire brush. Next, scuff sand the entire surface, then wash the dust and debris off. Prime the bare spots and paint a fresh coat to your old deck.

Here’s how to repaint a deck without stripping:

Painting over peeling paint on wood is doable. Because existing paint or damaged areas are small, they won’t show through the new paint coat.

Check the failing deck paint

Assess the damage to the old deck paint. Then, scrape the loose paint with a putty knife, paint scraper, or wire brush. Countersink nails and splintered wood. Wood filler for cracks.


A light scuff sanding is required on the raw wood edges and painted areas.

Clean the entire deck

Use a garden hose and leave enough time for it to dry: a few hours or overnight, depending on your region’s humidity levels.

Prime bare wood

Apply the appropriate primer to the current and new paint on the deck.

Best deck paint

Paint the entire deck

Paint over a larger region in half the time with a paint roller or sprayer. If you don’t mind brush strokes, you can also use a paintbrush.

Let the first paint coat dry completely before applying the second.

This will maintain the integrity of your paint layers for many years.

Allow two days for the deck to sit undisturbed following the last final new coat. After that, you may relax and enjoy your freshly painted deck.

Do You Have To Remove Paint From Deck Before Painting?

You simply need to remove old, failing deck paint before a fresh coat of deck painting. Removing paint that is cracked, peeling, bubbling, or blistering on your wood deck is all you need. (Learn How Long Does Deck Stain Take To Dry)

Any old paint sticking only needs light sanding as it already sticks to the wood and offers excellent preparation for a new second coat of paint.

How Do I Stop My Deck Paint From Peeling?

So, what’s the best way to keep your deck from peeling old paint? First, you must dry the wood and paint the decking boards on all sides.

In most circumstances, you are better to remove all the peeling deck paint and coat the wood with decking oil or a natural wood deck stain.

How Do You Prep A Deck For Painting?

  1. Examine the deck surfaces for paint failures.
  2. There’s no need to strip old deck paint if it’s still holding up.
  3. Remove all peeling paint to bare wood.
  4. Even with old deck paint, scuff sanding is beneficial.
  5. Use a low-pressure garden hose or pressure washer to rinse off.
  6. Allow a couple of days for drying.
  7. Remove any loose wood.
  8. Fill up the gaps with wood filler.
  9. Allow the Wood Filler to dry before proceeding.
  10. Wood Filler should be sanded down.
  11. Examine for smoothness.
  12. First, apply primer to the bare wood spots and the remainder of your deck.

How To Remove Peeling Paint From Wood?

Use a heat gun or an infrared paint remover to remove paint from a wooden deck. This is perfect if you don’t want to sand after scraping paint or using chemicals.

Why is Exterior Paint Peeling?

Defective products or mismatches between primer and paint types are some of the causes of old paint peeling.

Fastest Way To Remove Paint From Wood?

Hot air blowers blow hot air onto the painted surface. This loosens, blisters, and bubbles the paint off the wood, making it easier to scrape off. Heat guns can also remove varnish and other finishes.

Annual Maintenance

This is required for deck paint and opaque deck stains but not for semi-transparent deck stains and comparable products.

Annual maintenance is more accessible than doing nothing for years and then scraping the peeling paint, repainting, etc.

  1. Look for cracks on a dry day and pressure wash off loose paint.
  2. Sand using coarse grit and apply primer.
  3. Let this dry, and add two coats of your final paint, stain, etc.

How To Paint A Deck With Peeling Paint

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