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We painted our deck! It took forever, but it was worth it. Now check out the before and after and my step-by-step guide for this modern farmhouse deck reveal!
We finally did it – we painted our deck! I wanted to do this from the moment we moved into the house as we knew would be painting the outside of the house too, and the deck was so old and dingy and blah looking. After much debate (and lots of help from y’all on insta story, as well as calling on advice from our two favorite interior designers, El and Michelle!), we finally settled on a color and spent a weekend power washing the deck and the following weekend painting. Here are the results, including our step-by-step guide!
Step 1: Get some inspiration!
Our “before” deck was pretty blah:
So I went in search of some major inspiration thanks to Pinterest, of course! Including:
Step 2: Clean the deck!
We spent the better part of a Saturday power-washing our deck. This helps remove any grimy buildup and any loose paint chips. You can also choose to sand the deck to help smooth any rough patches, but we only did this in one section. Because. . . look at the size of this deck. The pregnant lady here was not sanding that whole thing, and hubby said “skip it!”.
Step 3: Gather your painting supplies.
You’ll need the obvious items, including:
- Paint. Click here for how to calculate how much you’ll need. I would recommend overestimating, especially for a deck, because the railing takes up a lot more paint than you’d think. (Also if you plan on using paint sprayers like we did, these tend to use paint more quickly – but also make the project go faster, so it’s a tradeoff.) We chose to use Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint + Primer after a lot of research
because we found that some of the “deck over” types of paint are too thick to use in a paint sprayer and are much more expensive. So we opted for two coats of the exterior paint instead!
- Paint mixing stick. Free at the store – just ask if there isn’t a bucket of them out on the counter!
- Paint sprayer. We used this one by Wagner, and let me say – it makes the job much quicker!
- Paint brushes and paint rollers. We opted not to tape up the side of the house with plastic and instead we cut in the first 3-4 feet of the deck by the house with paint brushes and rollers. (Note, we did need to go back and do a few touchups after, but in my opinion that took less time [and wasteful plastic] than it would have if we had decided to tape everything. So it’s personal preference here! If your deck is pretty rough, I would recommend the rollers that are labeled “rough” or “high density” to help with coverage.
- A respirator mask. Because pregnant ladies need protection – but really anyone painting something this large should probably wear one (we both did).
- Safety glasses. These aren’t totally necessary if you aren’t using a paint sprayer. But if you are, you’ll definitely want a pair because the spray can get everywhere.
- Latex gloves. Personal preference, but didn’t feel like ruining my mani 😀
- Painting clothes! Yep those scrubby ones that sit in the bottom drawer of your guest bedroom dresser. 😀
Step 4: Check the weather!
Seriously. Check it! It was oh-so-rainy the month that we decided to do this project, but we managed to find a weekend where it was dry all day on Saturday and not set to rain until Sunday night. Your deck needs about 2-3 hours to dry enough to wear the rain won’t affect the finish. Unfortunately, for us it sprinkled twice during the very end of the process and so I had to go back over a couple of days later to touch up some areas.
Step 5: Clear all the furniture and items from the deck.
Kind of obvious, but an annoying step if you have a lot of stuff on your deck like we do! I do not recommend painting part of it, letting it “dry” for the 2-3 hours, and then moving items onto that side to paint the rest. The deck needs to cure for at least a full week before replacing your furniture items!
Step 6: Blow or sweep the deck off.
Don’t skip this step – you don’t want gross spider webs or leaves or debris in your finished paint coat 😀 We had to re-sweep throughout the process as it was a little windy, we have a large deck, and a lot of trees in our yard!
Step 7: Tape off the house with plastic (optional).
See above, but basically if you want to avoid sprays or splatters on the house at all costs, you can tape it off with some painters tape and lightweight plastic. We opted to skip all the plastic usage and just do touchups afterwards, and made sure to spray away from the house. We also cut in the first 3-4 feet around the house with just a roller and paintbrush instead of the sprayer. If you don’t plan to use a paint sprayer, you likely don’t need to tape off the house.
Step 8: Paint!
The fun and time-consuming part! I recommend doing any cut-in work first and then following up with a sprayer. For our railings, we rolled the spindles and then sprayed the rest, cutting in the corners with a brush. If you have two people (and one sprayer), you can have one person go ahead with the brush and roller, and the second person can come up behind with the sprayer. Last tip: Don’t spray/roll/brush yourself into a corner!
Step 9: Patience is a virtue!
No really, wait at least one week before putting items back on the deck. Even if it doesn’t feel tacky when you walk on it with bare feet, I promise it will be worth the wait! You may even want to wait longer for really heavy items like BBQ’s, firepits, or heavy furniture.
Anyway, without any further ado, here are the finished photos! I absolutely love our outdoor seating set with the new deck color (and can’t wait to pick out some new dining set furniture next summer – stay tuned!)
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