How much does it cost to paint a deck?
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Paint a Deck Cost Guide
Updated: August 16, 2022
A deck is a great addition to any home. Now that people are spending more time at home, it might be time to refresh the deck. While many people choose to stain or simply weatherproof their deck, others may decide they want to paint the deck to match the decor of the home or the exterior colors. Decks come in several sizes and can be made of different materials. They may require preparations like power washing, stripping, or sanding.
The national average cost to paint a deck ranges from $600 to $1,500. Most homeowners spend about $1,000 to paint a 200 sq.ft. deck with railings and lattice work or spindles between the posts, with only power washing required. On the low end, some people spend as little as $200 on painting a newly constructed 100 sq.ft. deck with no prep work required. At the high end, you could spend as much as $2,000 on stripping, sanding, power washing, and painting a 400 sq.ft. deck with premium outdoor paint and a protective coating.
Deck Painting Prices
|Deck Painting Cost|
|National average cost||$1,000|
Cost to Paint a Deck per Square Foot
The cost to paint a deck per square foot ranges from $3 to $6, depending on the type of paint used and the prep work involved. When painters do not charge by the hour, they typically charge by the square foot, making it easier to estimate how much you will pay for professional deck painting. The average cost to paint a large deck will be higher than the cost to paint a small deck. In the table below, you will find a list of common deck sizes and their average costs with labor included.
|8 x 10 (80 sq.ft.)||$240 - $480|
|12 x 12 (144 sq.ft.)||$430 - $865|
|10 x 16 (160 sq.ft.)||$480 - $960|
|10 x 20 (200 sq.ft.)||$600 - $1,200|
|12 x 20 (240 sq.ft.)||$720 - $1,440|
|14 x 20 (280 sq.ft.)||$840 - $1,680|
|16 x 20 (320 sq.ft.)||$960 - $1,920|
|20 x 20 (400 sq.ft.)||$1,200 - $2,400|
Average Cost to Paint a Deck by Material
The cost to paint a deck by material ranges from $3 to $6 per sq.ft., with options like wood, vinyl, composite, and aluminum or stainless decking. Typically, the material you choose for your decking impacts the cost of the painting project. The cost to paint a wood deck is usually the cheapest. Materials like vinyl and composite decking may cost more to paint. If you have aluminum or steel decking, you may require fewer coats of paint, but you will have to use a metal-approved paint, which could cost more. Several factors influence the kind of paint you choose and how much you spend on painting the deck. However, the decking material is something to keep in mind.
When it comes to wood decking varieties, people can choose between painting and staining a deck. Staining is nice if you want to keep the wood tone or prefer a clearer coating that allows the material underneath to show through. Painting, however, adds extra protection to the wooden deck material. It also enhances the style and exterior appeal of your home by coordinating with the home’s colors. Staining is less expensive than painting a wood deck because there is generally more work required with painting. Still, it is all a matter of preference for the homeowner.
|Material||Painting Cost per Sq.Ft.|
|Wood||$3 - $5|
|Aluminum||$4 - $5|
|Steel||$4 - $5|
|Vinyl||$5 - $6|
|Composite||$5 - $6|
Cost to Have a Deck Painted by Part
Painting a deck by part costs $3 to $6 per sq.ft. or $3 to $10 per linear foot, depending on the part in question. For example, if you add or replace handrails or stairs, you may only need to paint part of the deck, not the entire thing. Perhaps you already did the decking and now want to update the different parts of the deck with new paint. There are several reasons why you would only need the cost to paint deck railing or spindles. The table below shows a breakdown of how much it costs to paint each part of the deck.
|Stairs||$3 - $6/sq.ft.|
|Decking||$3 - $6/sq.ft.|
|Handrails||$3 - $10/linear foot|
|Posts||$3 - $10/linear foot|
|Railings||$3 - $10/linear foot|
|Spindles||$5 - $14/linear foot|
Deck Paint Cost by Type of Paint
Different types of paint are used on decks, ranging in cost from $20 to $60. Acrylic paints are common because they work well on wood decks and other materials. Also, they are easy to clean up. Some people use latex or oil-based paint for their deck, depending on the exact material being painted and the type of coverage and protection they need. Special lines of deck paint from leading brands help make the decision even easier. Oil-based paints protect the deck from potential spills and are also ideal for metal or aluminum decking. Latex paint offers easy application and affordable pricing for most deck materials. In the table below, you will see the average cost of deck paint by type.
|Type||Cost per Gallon (Materials Only)|
|Latex||$20 - $50|
|Acrylic||$25 - $40|
|Oil||$35 - $60|
Deck Paint Prices by Finish
Although the costs do not vary greatly, you will spend between $20 and $60 on deck paint based on its finish. Different finish options have pros and cons to consider. High-gloss paint is ideal because it is the easiest to clean but shows imperfections much easier than other finishes. Semi-gloss paint adds to the coverage and reduces the sheen. Satin finishes hide imperfections better. Eggshell is the hardest to clean. Although it hides the most flaws, it may not be ideal for keeping it in good condition without additional work. In the table below, you will see a breakdown of the costs per gallon for each finish.
|Finish||Cost per Gallon (Materials Only)|
|Eggshell||$20 - $40|
|Satin||$20 - $40|
|Semi-Gloss||$25 - $50|
|High-Gloss||$30 - $60|
Deck Paint Prices by Brand
The brand is another important consideration when choosing deck paint. You will spend between $20 and $75 per gallon based on the brand you choose. Sherwin Williams is a popular choice, as is Benjamin Moore. However, when painting a deck, you may be better suited to use a product like KILZ or Rust-Oleum that allows you to protect and cover the wood entirely to ensure that nothing gets past the coat of paint. They prevent and reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth, making these two brands preferred for basement and outdoor use. In the table below, you will see each brand and its average cost per gallon.
|Brand||Cost per Gallon (Materials Only)|
|KILZ||$20 - $50|
|Rust-Oleum||$25 - $65|
|Benjamin Moore||$30 - $70|
|Sherwin Williams||$40 - $75|
Labor Cost to Paint a Deck
A large portion of what you spend on painting a deck is on the labor, which is charged at $40 to $60 per hour by painters. Some painters charge by the square foot or linear foot when painting certain elements. However, they typically charge hourly and based on the amount of effort involved in the project. The costs may vary depending on the size of the deck, what type of paint is used, and whether any preparation work is needed.
The process of painting a deck starts with preparation. The deck will be cleaned, sanded if necessary, and swept clean to get rid of all debris and sawdust. Then, the paint will be applied, followed by a second coat if necessary. Some people finish painting by adding a top clear coat that protects the paint from the elements. Several deck paints are designed to include this protection, saving steps and money. Of the average labor cost to paint a deck, the deck painting cost per hour makes up more of the total than the cost of the paint itself.
Cost to Repaint a Deck
Repainting a deck costs between $3 and $6 per sq.ft. for the new paint and application and $40 to $60 per hour for any prep work your painter has to complete. This includes power washing, sanding, and other duties. The cost to remove paint from deck materials is included in this project since it is a necessary step in the process. Deck painting usually lasts about ten years. However, some people repaint more frequently if the paint wears off or if they are selling the house and want to freshen up the look of the deck. The biggest difference between painting a new deck and repainting is the amount of preparation involved and the potential need to remove old paint before starting the new paint job.
Deck Paint Preparation
You can expect to spend between $2.25 to $9 per sq.ft. with preparation steps added to the deck painting job. Preparation work may or may not be required, depending on the existing deck and its condition. However, it may be necessary to clean, power wash, or even sand and strip the deck before painting to ensure that it is ready to paint and will create a long-lasting finish. Composite and metal decking may not need to be stripped or sanded, but every deck should be washed and inspected before painting begins. If you have metal decking, check for rust spots before repainting. In the table below, you will see a list of the common preparation steps and their costs, including individual costs and their price when added to the painting project. You may also need to inquire about the cost to repair and paint deck materials if you have damage.
|Process||Prep Work Step Cost per Sq.Ft.||Prep Work Step and Staining Cost per Sq.Ft.|
|Cleaning||$0.25 - $0.50||$2.25 - $5.50|
|Power Washing||$0.30 - $0.40||$2.30 - $5.40|
|Stripping||$1 - $3||$3 - $8|
|Sanding||$1 - $4||$3 - $9|
How Much Paint Do I Need for My Deck?
The amount of paint needed to paint your deck depends on how big the deck is, the type of paint you choose, how many additional features or parts need to be painted (railings, steps, etc.), and other factors. Fortunately, there is a rule of thumb that you can follow to help you get the right amount of paint to get the job done: one gallon of paint covers around 300 to 400 sq.ft. Remember, you may need additional coats, which adds to how much you use. In the table below, you will see a breakdown of the most common deck sizes and the amount of paint needed for each.
|Size in Feet||Gallons Needed to Cover Surface|
|8 x 10 (80 sq.ft.)||1 - 2|
|12 x 12 (144 sq.ft.)||1 - 2|
|10 x 16 (160 sq.ft.)||1 - 2|
|10 x 20 (200 sq.ft.)||1 - 2|
|12 x 20 (240 sq.ft.)||1 - 2|
|14 x 20 (280 sq.ft.)||1 - 2|
|16 x 20 (320 sq.ft.)||2 - 3|
|20 x 20 (400 sq.ft.)||2 - 3|
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Some people choose to have their fence painted at the same time as their deck, which costs an additional $1,800 to $4,000, depending on the length of the fence, its type, materials, and other details. If you paint the deck to give it new life or match the home’s curb appeal, it may also be a good idea to update the fence to give it a new look. Not only that, but then they will both wear at the same rate, and you will be able to refresh them together instead of having two separate projects all the time. Plus, your deck painter can likely do the fence, too, which might result in discounts on your total bill.
Patio painting is another way to enhance the backyard along with a newly painted deck and costs $4 to $6 per sq.ft. This assumes that you have a concrete patio and are painting it with specialty concrete paint. In some instances, you might want to choose paint with textures or special finishes, which adds a premium to the cost. Although plain concrete is fine, painting the patio to match or complement the deck takes the exterior of your home to an entirely new level.
Outdoor lighting costs about $2,000 to $4,000 and is a great way to enhance and show off your new deck and enjoy the space once it gets dark outside. There are several different types of outdoor lights that you can find. You can create a custom lighting design to give you the perfect look. You can install motion lights, designer lights, and even solar lights, making it easy for you to enhance your deck and create a more user-friendly space.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Permits. Be sure to check and see if your municipality requires permits for deck painting before you get started. Your painting contractor can assist with this.
- DIY. You can save a little money by painting your own deck. But, because of the prep work involved, it is often best left to a professional.
- Home value. Updating your deck with a fresh coat of paint increases your curb appeal and home value.
- Spray paint. Today, some advanced spray paint products can be used to paint certain types of decks. However, these are not always the best choice. You should use whatever paint your painter recommends for the best results.
- Drying time. Once you have painted your deck, allow four to six hours before walking on it. It will be dry to the touch within an hour or two but still needs more time to set. If the weather is cold or humid, drying takes longer.
- Weather. It’s best to paint a deck when it isn’t too cold or too humid, so summer or fall is better than winter or spring, depending on where you live. If it is too hot, that could also make the job more difficult. A temperate environment is best.
- Colors. Many people choose blues and reds for deck paint, but browns are also popular. Most people will not choose white because it is too difficult to clean. However, you can paint your deck any color you prefer as long as it fits with the rest of your decor.
- Is it better to paint or stain a deck?
Painting a deck provides better coverage and protection from the elements, but staining is a little easier and more affordable. Ultimately, it is a matter of personal preference.
- Should I prime my deck before painting?
Typically, unless you are trying to paint a light color on a dark deck, outdoor paint should be enough to cover the deck with one or two coats without a primer.
- How long does deck paint last?
Depending on the type of paint used and whether a top coat was applied, deck paint lasts about ten years before needing to be redone.
- Can you paint over old deck paint?
You can paint over old deck paint if it is not peeling or cracking. But, it is best to at least sand the surface so that the new paint adheres properly.
- Why does my deck paint keep peeling?
Deck paint can peel if the deck surface is not properly prepped for painting or if you do not use a top coat to seal the paint. You may also have used the wrong kind of paint, which can lead to faster deterioration and peeling.