Restore Your Timeless Decks With The Best Deck Paint For Old Wood

Patina on a deck can give a timeless appeal, but exposure to light and WDO have undesirable effects. Every deck, by virtue of location is exposed to UV light, wood destroying organisms wind and rain. Sprucing up your deck can add years to its life, transforming into a visual masterpiece. Painting, quite clearly, is the most important dimension in restoring the lost glory of an old deck. You obviously know that, but this is where you are likely to hit the first roadblock. Do you know which paint is good for your old deck wood?

A large number of people wrongly assume that any deck paint would do. Far from it, you actually need to make an informed choice to restore your deck’s glory. We’ve compiled all the information that you need to make the right choice of deck paint for old wood. A review section also features the top selling paints, which will help you compare features. Make an informed decision after you have understood and checked out the features. Without much ado, let’s drill down to details.

Features that you need to look for in the best deck paint for old wood

The paint that you pick for your worn out/aged deck needs to have certain non-negotiable features. This is important if you need to transform your deck and give it a visual appeal that belies its age.

Type of paint – As touched upon above, the paint that you need for your old deck is not just about any paint. It needs to be either acrylic resin or acrylic latex in addition to being long lasting. This will ensure that it fills the cracks and crevices in your worn out wood, to give it a smooth finish.

Splatter resistance during application – Unless you are using a professional for your restoration, you surely could do with some help here. Paint that splatters can be messy and this will make your task difficult, and the wood stain finish appear awful.

Adhesive qualities – On old decks there is every possibility of a light patina on the deck. After you have prepared it for painting, your paint needs to have strong adhesive qualities to stay on the wood. Choose paint that will stay on your wood for long and not peel away.

Cracking resistance – The thicker the paint or the more number of coats, the higher the probability of cracks. Now, this is a problem when it comes to painting your old deck. You need thick paint, and certainly a recoat or two to get the ideal smooth finish. This means that the paint should not only be thick, it needs to be cracking and peeling resistant for long lasting qualities.

Waterproofing, fading resistance – As an outdoor area, your deck will be exposed to rains and UV light. Therefore your paint needs to be waterproofed and fading resistant. This will keep the deck looking smart and new for a long time.

Viscosity – This needs to be on the higher side, to ensure filling of all cracks and worn out areas. Choose a paint with high viscosity and you will get a good finish. It needs to be of the right viscosity, so that it fills in the gaps smoothly, for an ultimate finish.

 Mildew resistance – The paint needs to have properties that make it mildew resistant. While some varieties of wood are naturally resistant to WDO, some are not. It is therefore necessary to choose a paint that offers as much protection as possible.

Comparison of 8 of the Best Deck Paint for Old Wood

#1 Olympic 79705/01

Paint features relevant for old wood

·        Self priming

·        Waterproofed, fading proof

·        Combination of resurfacer + primer + sealant

·        Slip resistance

·        Fills cracks

This paint has five important features that are required for paint job of old wood. As a combination resurfacer, primer and sealant it fits the bill perfectly. The self-priming option is extremely useful for individuals who are professional painters. All that you need to do is recoat the deck for self-priming action.

3 Standout qualities that make this a great choice

The 3-in-1 combination, crack filling quality and water proofing are 3 standout features that make this a good choice for painting your old deck and get your decks stained right.

What’s not so good with Olympic 79705/01

The wood needs to be prepared properly before applying any coat of this paint. Olympic paint on poorly prepared wood will result in the formation of bubbles, and possible peeling after a short period. You will need a little more quantity than other paint when you utilize this to cover a similar area. This is because of the high viscosity and the combination quality.

#2 CABOT SAMUEL 25200-07

Paint features relevant for old wood

·        Thick paint, fills up cracks

·        Water proofed, can be cleaned with soap and water

·        Suitable for use on other surfaces also

·        Dirt resistant finish

·        Mildew resistant agents

This paint is impressive as it can be used on other surfaces in addition to wood. Therefore you need not hunt for a different paint for other surfaces that need to be matched in color. It offers easy maintenance and is fully water resistant, especially considering that you can also utilize soap and water for cleaning – this makes it perfect for staining decking. It cures in 48 hours into a hard finish, that is dirt and mildew resistant.

3 Standout qualities that make this a great choice

Good viscosity for filling cracks, simplified maintenance and mildew resistant hard finish make this a good choice to paint your deck.

What’s not so good with Cabot Samuel 25200/07

The paint is known to peel, especially if the wood is not prepared properly. You need to ensure that both the coats are just right and not too heavy. The paint works best only on horizontal surfaces. Therefore, despite the all surface quality making it perfect as decking paint, it is suitable only on horizontal surfaces.

#3 Rust-Oleum Restore 10x

Paint features relevant for old wood

·        The second thickest among all deck paint material

·        Easy maintenance

·        Slip resistant

·        Fills cracks perfectly

·        Suitable for use on wood and concrete

In addition to being suitable for use on wood as well as concrete the paint is possibly the second thickest of all. This makes it perfect to fill up the cracks easily. It is easy to maintain with soap and water, which also makes it water proofed. By virtue of the viscosity, it naturally irons out all cracks when painting decking, offering a polished smooth finish.

3 Standout qualities that make this a great choice

Thickness that is possibly the second highest among all choices, suitability on multiple surfaces and simplified maintenance makes this is one of the great products to have for painting your old deck.

What’s not so good with Rust-Oleum Restore 10x

By virtue of its thickness, you will require more of the paint to cover area that would have required lesser quantity in other paint. For best finish, you need to rely on a roller, which means that you cannot just do it with zero handling experience.

#4 Kilz Over Armor

Paint features relevant for old wood

·        Suitable for weathered, worn out surfaces

·        Fast drying formula

·        Fully slip resistant texture

·        Acrylic resin dispenses with need for priming

·        Fills cracks efficiently, for ultimate smooth finish

This paint dries real fast, which gives you the advantage of using the deck faster. It is suitable for use in decks that experience higher footfall, though not suitable for driveways. The finished texture is fully slip resistant and the acrylic resin fills in all the gaps and cracks properly. With one gallon of paint you can cover 75 square feet easily, with the right finish, making this one among top choices for per gallon coverage.

3 Standout qualities that make this a great choice

Fast drying action, all weather suitability and the absence of a need for priming make this a great choice for painting your deck. This will rejuvenate and restore your old wood to ultimate visual appeal.

What’s not so good with Kilz Over Armor

The matte texture is designed to give complete grip, however, this may deprive you of a glossy finish if it was your choice. This needs to be applied with brushes and rollers, calling for some basic exposure to painting.

#5 Rust-Oleum 319556 RockSolid 20X

Paint features relevant for old wood

·        Superior adhesion

·        Thickest paint

·        Tackles all cracks and worn out areas

·        Extremely low maintenance

·        Suitable for extremely weathered deck

As the thickest paint among the eight profiled here, this paint is ideal for filling gaps and cracks on the deck. You can use the paint on even the most weather beaten and cracked up deck. This high viscosity paint smoothly fills in all the gaps, giving a perfect finish. The extra adhesive properties makes this last longer, giving you value for your money.

3 Standout qualities that make this a great choice

The thickness of the paint is an unbeatable quality, which combines with the adhesion and the low maintenance requirements to make this a winner. This will be perhaps the best choice for decks that are max worn out.

What’s not so good with Rust-Oleum 319556

The thickness of the paint means that you will get lesser coverage for the quantity. By virtue of being a thick paint you will also have to pick a suitable roller as any roller would not be suitable.

#6 Anvil Deck

Paint features relevant for old wood

·        High quality wood resurfacer

·        All weather suitability

·        Deep crack filling paint

·        Acrylic resin, slip free texture

·        Suitable for areas with heavy footfall

The paint is suitable for areas where there is heavy footfall. Effectively this means that the paint will not peel off from areas where heavy footfall is experienced. As a superior wood resurfacer, this paint fills in all the cracks thoroughly, giving a superior finish. Unlike other thick paints, this covers more areas.

3 Standout qualities that make this a great choice

Its suitability for use in surfaces that are exposed to inclement weather, its proven wood resurfacing quality and the slip free texture makes this a strong choice. For superior quality finish of your deck painting needs use Anvil Deck to get a finish that you will like.

What’s not so good with Anvil Deck

The surface needs to be prepared thoroughly, unlike some of the other paint which do not require priming. There is a difference between acrylic resin and 100% acrylic and this could be a problem at times when dealing with extreme weather.

#7 Behr Premium Advanced Deck Over

Paint features relevant for old wood

·        Thick paint with good viscosity

·        Fills in all cracks and imperfections beautifully

·        Suitable for horizontal as well as vertical surfaces and solid stain

·        All weather paint

·        Simplified maintenance

This is perhaps one of the few paint types that can be used for painting both horizontal as well as vertical planes. In other words, thick paint types are typically intended for use on horizontal surfaces only. The paint covers up all cracks and imperfections efficiently offering a superior finish.

3 Standout qualities that make this a great choice

Thickness that is four times that of regular color solid stain, makes it suitable for weathered, worn out wood. Suitability for both planes and easy maintenance are standout features that make it a great choice for painting deck.

What’s not so good with Behr Premium

The paint is not the best choice where heavy footfall is experienced – it tends to crack and peel under contact. The paint takes a little longer to cure and dry, which means that you need to set aside a day for the task.


Paint features relevant for old wood

·        Highly durable paint

·        Suitable for patio, deck, and porch

·        Acrylic enamel paint for low-lustre finish, ideal for old wood deck

·        Protection from mold, mildew

·        Waterproofed

This is another easy maintenance paint type that is suitable for use outdoors. The waterproofing and protection from mold/mildew makes this a great choice. It is best suited for painting old wood deck as the low lustre finish perfectly covers all the imperfections in the material.

3 Standout qualities that make this a great choice

As paint exclusively meant for outdoor use, this is the ideal paint type. The low lustre finish and the suitability for porch/patio, permits you to match colors. Protection from mold, mildew and waterproofing standards combine to make this one of the great products for painting old wood deck.

What’s not so good with KILZ L573611

The wood needs to be properly primed and prepared, failing which the paint may begin to peel or crack. The amount of paint that is required increases with the coarseness of the prepared wood, therefore it is necessary to prepare the wood properly.

Buying guide for deck paint for old wood

Here are a few additional tips that will help you to choose the most suitable eco friendly paint for your deck for a finish that you will like.

Types of paint

There are two types of paint formulations – water based and oil based deck paints It is important to know the difference between both the formulations and the suitability for painting deck. Here is a look at some of the key differences that matter especially when it comes to painting old wood with the best deck paints.  Oil based paint are known to last for as long as one decade and are durable in nature. Oil based paints are preferred by professional painters and are a great choice to protect the underlying wood concrete surface from moisture. Oil based paints can only be used when mixed with thinner or turpentine and brushes that are used for the purpose of painting need to be thoroughly cleaned up solvents. Repeat layers can typically only be applied after a gap of one day that is required for the paint to dry. Water based paints are known to last for close to 8 years depending on the surface, footfall, wear and tear. Water based paint with more acrylic content last longer, and offer superior fading protection. By virtue of the acrylic in the paint, water based paint is known to have lesser cracking/peeling, Cleaning of this paint material is easy and can be achieved with soap and water. The paint dries up quickly, and consequently, two coats or recoats can be applied on the same day.

Exterior paint

Choose paint that is specifically intended for outdoor use (deck coating or exterior paint). Paint that is intended for use indoors may offer superior finish, or combinations of shades, but will not have the important qualities that are necessary for a finish that you like.

Type of shine required

The type of shine that you require depends on the categories of paint finish that you like to have. Here is a quick look at the categories – eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss. The high gloss category is typically not suitable for old deck as it highlights underlying flaws with great clarity. The superfine finish makes it difficult to mask deformities. The best option is to use either satin or semi-gloss, as these categories of paint are easy to maintain.  Eggshell finish is also muted, however, cleaning can sometimes be a problem, hence it is a good idea to use either satin or semi-gloss for the desired finish in old wood.

Additives in paint for protection

Your choice of the best deck paints should offer additives for protection from WDO, UV light and inclement weather conditions. Check for specific labelling about additives for protection from the three conditions.

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