So, with a move-out date approaching, we are slowly renovating the interim house for our future renters. Last weekend we tackled the deck. It was a hot mess full of cracks and splinters but I didn’t want to replace it right away because I knew that if we painted it with Behr DeckOver, I’d get another 5 years out of it before having to bite the bullet and replace the deck boards. I’ve used this product to extend the life of another rental unit deck and it’s amazing!
DeckOver paint has gritty pieces like sand in the paint and it fills in all those splinters and cracks to make the deck boards smoother and more protected from the elements.
There are a bunch of colors to choose from and the ones that are most popular have a little heart next to them.
I choose Wood Chip which is a neutral brown with no red to it.
What we started with was a deck that had some splintered wood, a little bit of rotten wood, and deck boards that were weathered.
But like with any paint job, preparing is the most important step especially if you want to extend the life of a deck. This part normally takes the longest but it’s worth the effort to get the best looking result. Tip- DeckOver paint is extremely thick and opaque and because of that, it’s really forgiving. But, like with any paint job, you do have to remove all the dirt, grime, and old stain so that the paint can have the most grip on the deck boards to prevent future peeling.
Prepping the Deck
Step One: Sweep the deck. This seems pretty obvious but it’s a good place to start to see what you’re really dealing with.
Step Two: Scrub the deck boards with deck cleaner. Our deck had a ton of algae growth and slime so we used a product that I’ve used before that is so easy to use and really works.
Wet your deck first then scrub the diluted cleaner (1:1 ratio with water) into the deck boards with a scrub brush and let the cleaner do its magic for about 10 minutes. Then scrub again and wash off with water. Easy!
If you have old stain on your deck, you’ll also want to use a stain stripper. Luckily, all the old stain had worn off my deck so I didn’t have to do this step, but I’ve had to in the past and this product works great.
Don’t, I repeat DON’T, use a pressure washer to get the stain off of your deck boards, especially if your boards are at all weathered. I’ve made this mistake before, and I was left with gouges in my wood and I ended up undermining the integrity of the wood. You’ll end up shortening the life of your deck instead of extending it if you use a pressure washer.
Step Three: Fill in Holes. After cleaning the deck and letting the wood dry out, I prodded any holes with a screwdriver to see if there was any rotten wood (the screwdriver goes right through the wood if it’s rotted). There were a few patches of rotten wood so I dug out as much of the rot as I could then used wood filler to fill in the holes. I also filled in holes and gaps even if there was no wood rot to prevent water from building up in those spaces and causing damage.
I love using this wood filler because it turns from pink to beige as it dries so you know when to sand it.
Note that if you have a lot of wood rot, I would say more than a half dollar size, you should just replace that board. You don’t want someone’s foot to fall through the deck!
After sanding the wood filler, I also sand any spots that feel too rough or that are uneven.
Step Four: Tape off anything you don’t want painted (side of your house, deck rails, etc.).
Alternatively you could cut a piece of cardboard and cover what you don’t want painted. I used this method only because we’re in the middle of packing and I have a ton of cardboard laying around. But if you don’t have cardboard, tape makes the job of protecting your surfaces mess free. Now it’s time to start painting!
Painting the Deck
Even though I think Behr DeckOver is an amazing product, it takes some getting used to because the paint is the consistency of pudding. Also, it’s best to paint when it’s not the hottest part of the day because the paint dries out really quickly then you have chunks of dry paint in your paint can to deal with. I painted early in the day then again in the late afternoon when the sun wasn’t beating down on the paint (or on me!).
The product comes in 3 coverages going from “smooth” (least amount of protection and used for decks that are still in great shape) to “textured” (for decks that are splintered but not in terrible shape) to “extra textured” (for decks with cracks up to 1/4″). The textured and extra textured paint come in the same can. The only difference is the roller that you buy to roll the paint. I wanted a textured finish so I used a roller with a 1/2″ nap as recommended.
If you want an extra textured finish, you should use an Extra Textured roller cover.
Note that because the paint is so thick, it’s the opposite of “a little goes a long way.” It’s more like “a lot goes a little way,” so when in doubt, get more paint that you think you’re going to need. My deck is pretty small and I used 2 gallons of paint.
Step Five: Paint Spindles. Before you start painting the deck though, if you have deck spindles that need painting, paint those now. I had a bunch of metal spindles to paint so I just spray painted them black first and didn’t worry about overspray because the DeckOver covers all that.
Step Six: Cut in. I like to cut in first so I did that in sections then followed up with rolling so that the cut-in paint and the rolled paint would blend into each other. Tip- Because this paint is super forgiving, you don’t have to worry about paining one whole deck board first then moving on to the next so as to not create streaks like you would if you were staining a deck. I worried about this at first, then realized that I could paint in sections and there would be no streaking or line marks going from board to board.
Step Seven: Roll the Paint. When you roll, make sure to really get the product into the nooks and crannies as much as you can. You should use a brush for this if you have to. The purpose of this really thick paint is to fill in all those cracks so really get in there!
Step Eight: Brush on Paint. After I rolled once, I went back with a paint brush and painted in all the cracks that didn’t get covered the first time. I personally don’t think there’s a need to paint a second coat since the first coat should’ve covered 95% of your boards and your 2nd round with a paint brush should get the rest.
When you fill in those cracks the second time around, don’t be afraid to go against the grain. Like I said, the product is really thick so it’s almost like you’re filling in cracks with spackle. I fill in the cracks going against the grain then finish by lightly brushing with the grain to give it a smoother finish.
I like to wait a day before stepping on the deck and 72 hours before moving items back onto the deck. But, after that, you’re good to use your rehabilitated deck.
I hope this tutorial was helpful! Any questions, leave them in the comments. Happy deck restoration!