handyman painting a wooden deck with brush

How to Paint a Deck With Peeling Paint

Apparently, a deck that is neat and painted properly is an excellent addition to any backyard, but what can you do if your deck shows signs of peeling paint?

Decks and other outdoor surfaces often take a beating from harsh elements such as rain, wind, sun, and snow.

Because of this, any coating on them will need to be retouched and refreshed more often than any other part of the house.

Now, if the paint on your deck is peeling off because of one reason or the other, your best option will be to strip the paint and start over. In this article, we’ll show you how to paint a deck with peeling paint to bring it back to life.

Let’s get started.

What Makes Paint to Peel?

handyman painting a wooden deck with brush
handyman painting a wooden deck with brush

When the top layer of paint gets off for any reason, it is referred to as “peeling paint.”

The relationship between paint and the principles of adhesion are somewhat complicated, but to put succinctly, a bond is initiated between a paint and a wood or other surfaces when certain criteria are met.

If one problem or the other comes up, this bond can fail and flaking or peeling can take place. Here are some of the reasons why you may have peeling paint on deck surfaces:

Moisture: Moisture is the number one enemy of paint. Because of the water vapor, the paint is separated from the wood, which will make any attempt at bonding to fail.

Application of paint: The way you applied the paint to your deck will be instrumental to your satisfaction with the end product.

Using high-quality paint, tools, and tactics from the professionals will certainly create a finish that will last for several years.

Paint quality: Poor-quality or expired paint undeniably lacks the properties needed to create a very tight bond, and it’ll be more disposed to problems like peeling or inadequate coverage.

Dirt: You should already know by now that paint cannot properly adhere to a dirty surface. Therefore, you should ensure that dirt, mildew, debris, and other contaminants are eliminated from the deck before painting.

When Should You Repaint Your Deck?

Knowing when to repaint your peeling deck is important to avoid the problem getting out of hand. This also depends on the level of damage that has occurred on the deck.

For example, you want to determine if the peeling paint is consistent throughout the whole deck, or if it’s only present in one or two spots.

If the damage appears to be confined, then the first step should be to determine the source of the problem, such as excessive exposure to the sun, a leaking gutter, or high traffic.

Once you’ve figured out what’s causing the issue, address it to prevent further damage on the deck, then proceed to paint the affected area.

However, if the damage is consistent over the whole surface, a repaint will be necessary. Here’s how to paint a deck with peeling paint, step-by-step:

How to Paint a Deck With Peeling Paint

peeling deck

Depending on how old the paint job on your deck is, the color that was used, and the location of the damage, you may find it very easy at fixing the peeling paint.

Here are some tips on how to go about it, according to the experts:

Scrape Loose Paint

The first thing you should do is to scrape off every loose peeling paint on the deck surface. You can easily achieve this by using a stiff brush or a scraping tool.

Sand the Affected Area

Once that is done, the next step is to lightly sand all the peeling spots on the deck until you’ve been able to smoothen the area.

Clean the Surface

After sanding, proceed to clean the deck surface and ensure that there is no iota of dirt present on it, remember that dirt will affect the paint’s adherence. You also need to ensure that the surface is totally dry before moving forward.

Apply the Paint

You can now repaint the surface of the deck with the matching paint using a brush or a roller. A good paint sprayer will also do the job, and that will even make it faster and easier.

Let the Deck Dry

Once you’re done painting the deck, you have to allow it to completely dry before applying another coat of paint if necessary.

NOTE: It’s advisable to repaint the entire deck if the peeling area is very large, or if the original paint has faded away. Repainting the whole surface will help to match the deck color with accurate shade.

Now, that’s all it takes to paint a deck whose paint is peeling. As you can see, it’s not a difficult task, it will typically take you a few hours to complete the project.

Here’s a short video that also shows how to fix flaking and peeling paint on deck:

Can you paint over peeling paint on deck?

The best way to deal with a peeling painted surface would be to completely remove the paint and stain the deck. In the example you have cited, we will need to remove the paint from the damaged portion of your deck, sand the surface and then repaint. Use a chemical stripper solution mixed in a garden sprayer to start.

Can you paint over peeling paint?

Yes, you can paint over peeling paint, but it is not as simple as just painting directly onto the peeling paint. Step 1: brush away as much of the peeling paint as you can, use a paint scraper to get rid of any of the more stubborn patches. Step 2: use a high performance sealant primer on the affected areas.

How do you remove peeling paint from a deck?

  • Removing Peeling Paint/Stain From Your Deck
  • Scrape. Scrape the old paint/stain with a paint scraper.
  • Strip and Scrub. Cover any nearby siding, bushes, or grass around the deck and then use a deck stain remover.
  • Sand. Sand off the tough spots with a coarse stripping pad on a grinder or drill.
  • Condition And Stain.

Do you have to remove paint from deck before painting?

You only need to remove old deck paint that is failing, before repainting with a new coat of paint. Removing any paint that is showing signs of failure, such as cracking, peeling, bubbling, or blistering. Reason not removing all old paint, is that it’s adhering, acts as a good primer, for a new fresh coat of paint.

How do I stop my deck paint from peeling?

So how do you stop your deck from peeling? You have to dry the timber out and paint all sides of the decking boards. In most cases this is just a ridiculous option, here’s what I recommend instead. Remove all of the peeling deck paint and apply a decking oil.

How do you prep a deck for painting?

  • How To Refinish A Painted Deck
  • Inspect deck surfaces for paint failures.
  • If deck paint is holding, no need to strip old paint.
  • Remove all peeling paint down to bare wood.
  • Scuff sanding is good, even for old deck paint.
  • Rinse off using low pressure garden hose.
  • Let dry couple days.

How do you seal peeling paint?


  • Scrape Away the Loose Edges. With a paint scraper or 5-in-1 tool, scrape away loose edges of the painted area.
  • Remove the Loose Paint by Brushing.
  • Apply the Wood Filler.
  • Allow the Wood Filler to Dry.
  • Sand Down the Wood Filler.
  • Check for Smoothness.
  • Apply the Primer.

How do I remove peeling paint from wood?

Removing Paint with Heat

A heat gun or an infrared paint remover will heat up the paint so it peels effortlessly away from the wood. This is a great technique if you want to avoid sanding after scraping paint or you don’t want to use chemicals. However, caution should be taken when using a heat gun.

Why is my exterior paint peeling?

Poor wall preparation, moisture accumulation within walls, incorrect rolling techniques, painting in adverse weather conditions, adhesion failure caused by poor-quality products or incompatibility between primer and paint types, and normal wear and tear are some of the reasons for peeling paint.

What is the fastest way to remove paint from wood?

Use a Heat Gun

Heated air from the tool is directed onto the painted surface. This causes the paint to loosen, blister and bubble from the wood, making it easy to remove with a metal scraper. Heat guns are also effective at taking off varnish and other finishes.

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