Painting decking can help protect and beautify outdoor living spaces. While specialized decking paints are ideal, some may wonder if regular masonry paint can also work on wooden decking. Using the wrong type of paint can lead to peeling, flaking, and other issues. This comprehensive guide examines using masonry paint on deck boards.
Can You Use Masonry Paint on Decking?
Yes, masonry paint can technically be applied to wooden decking. However, it is generally not recommended as the best option compared to premium exterior decking paints formulated specifically for use on wood.
Masonry paints are designed for concrete, stucco, brick and other solid masonry surfaces. They may not offer the flexibility, adhesion and breathability needed for optimal performance on exterior wood that naturally expands, contracts and flexes.
Considerations when Using Masonry Paint on Decking
There are a few factors to consider when deciding whether to use a masonry paint on deck boards:
- Flexibility – Masonry paints are thicker and less elastic than decking paints, potentially leading to cracking and peeling as the wood moves.
- Breathability – Decking needs to properly release moisture. Masonry paint may block evaporation, trapping water against the wood.
- Grip – Textured masonry paints add slip resistance. But decking paint offers superior grip with woven-in grit particles.
- Longevity – Quality exterior decking paints contain UV filters, mildew resistance and durability enhancements a basic masonry paint likely lacks.
- Appearance – Masonry paints come in limited colors while decking paint offers tons of attractive hues and translucent stains.
With proper prep and application, some masonry paints can work on decking. But for best results, go with a top brand exterior decking paint.
Using Masonry Paint on Deck Boards
If you do opt to use masonry paint on your decking, follow these tips for success:
Select the Right Masonry Paint
Not all masonry paints are suitable for exterior wood. When choosing a masonry paint for decking:
- Verify it states “exterior” use on the label. Never use an interior only masonry paint outdoors.
- Ensure the product specifically says it can adhere to and be used on exterior wood surfaces.
- Choose a higher quality premium masonry paint from a leading brand designed for optimal outdoor adhesion and performance.
- Consider special exterior wood masonry paints like Keim Granital formulated to flex with wood movement.
- Be sure the paint offers UV and mildew/mold resistance for outdoor durability.
- For decks, focus on masonry paint colors well-suited to wood tones for the best appearance.
Proper Surface Preparation
As with any paint project, proper prep is vital to achieve great results painting decking with masonry paint:
- Clean the wood thoroughly with a deck cleaner to remove mold, mildew and other dirt. Rinse well.
- Allow the deck boards to fully dry before painting. Wood moisture content should be below 15%.
- Fill any cracks or holes with exterior wood filler designed for decks.
- Sand the decking lightly to improve masonry paint adhesion and smooth old surfaces.
- Remove any loose splinters, peelings, flaking or chipped paint.
- Apply a quality oil-based exterior wood primer to cleaned and sanded decking before the topcoat.
Careful Paint Application
When applying your chosen masonry paint to decking, follow these tips:
- Check weather and do not paint in direct sun, high humidity or temperatures below 50°F.
- Use a high-quality nylon/polyester brush made for exterior paint. Maintain a wet edge.
- Apply in the direction of the wood grain to ensure proper penetration and coverage.
- Add multiple thin coats allowing proper drying time between rather than one thick coat.
- Get paint into any grooves, nail holes and imperfections for protection.
- Paint the ends of deck boards and top rail surfaces for comprehensive coverage.
- Allow new masonry paint on decking to cure for 2-3 days before regular foot traffic.
Regular maintenance helps any deck paint job last longer. For masonry paint on decking:
- Inspect the decking paint yearly for any developing cracks or peelings that allow moisture under the coating.
- Plan to re-apply a fresh coat of masonry paint about every 2-3 years depending on wear. Lightly sand and clean first.
- Keep the deck surface clean and dry. Sweep away debris and do not allow water to puddle.
- Consider using a breathable wood preservative annually to protect decking between paint jobs.
Proper application and care allows quality masonry paint to protect and beautify decking for years before needing touch ups.
Why Decking Paint is Preferable
While masonry paint can work, specialized exterior decking paint is actually the best option for wooden decks. Why?
Decking Paint Flexibility
Quality deck paint contains elastic polymers that flex as wood expands and contracts through seasonal moisture changes. Rigid masonry paint is more prone to cracking.
Breathability and Moisture Control
Decking paint allows optimal vapor transmission. Masonry paint can trap moisture against the wood leading to damage.
Specialized Grip Particles
Decking paint contains intermixed grit for superior slip resistance even when damp. Masonry paint relies only on surface texture for grip.
Top deck paints incorporate UV filters, mildew resistance boosters and advanced polymers for longer-lasting outdoor performance compared to basic masonry paint.
Attractive Finish Options
Decking paint offers far more colors and translucent stains specially formulated to enhance wood tones.
Thinner decking paints go on easier with less risk of brush strokes, uneven finish or dripping.
While masonry paint can work in a pinch, premium decking paint designed specifically for exterior wood use is truly the best option for decking.
Using Dulux Masonry Paint on Deck Boards
Dulux is a leading paint brand with a wide range of quality exterior masonry paint options. Can Dulux masonry paint be used on exterior wood surfaces like decks?
The answer is yes, some Dulux masonry paints can adhere to and protect exterior wood if the surface is properly prepped first. Always check the specific usage guidelines on the product data sheet before applying.
Here are tips for success using Dulux masonry paint on decking:
- Choose Dulux exterior masonry paints specifically formulated for use on wood like Dulux Weathershield Multi-Surface Paint. Avoid interior only masonry paints.
- Follow all surface preparation recommendations including cleaning, sanding, priming and drying time.
- Opt for Dulux masonry paint colors complementary to the tone of the deck wood for optimal aesthetics.
- Apply in thin, even coats allowing proper drying time between coats according to the product specifications.
- Maintain proper maintenance and reapplication schedules for lasting performance.
With the right prep and product selection, Dulux masonry paint can deliver excellent protection and color for decking. For best bond, durability and aesthetics, a dedicated Dulux exterior wood paint is the top choice.
What Happens When Using Masonry Paint on Wood?
Using the wrong type of paint on exterior wood like decking boards can cause a variety of problems over time.
Masonry paint not specifically made for use on exterior wood may:
- Flake or peel away from the decking surface due to inadequate adhesion and elasticity.
- Crack as the wood naturally swells, shrinks and flexes but the paint film stays rigid.
- Bubble or blister as moisture gets trapped between the impermeable paint and wood.
- Enable faster wood rot as water cannot properly evaporate from the deck boards.
- Fade, chalk and degrade faster than quality exterior decking paint when exposed to sun, moisture and weather.
- Appear unattractive as improper masonry paint colors look unnatural on wood tones.
- Wear down rapidly with foot traffic due to lack of grip particles in the paint.
Always check that any masonry paint product can properly adhere to, expand and contract with, and allow moisture evaporation from exterior wood before applying to surfaces like decks for the best performance.
Specialized exterior wood paints provide optimal protection, longevity and aesthetics on decking. But if using masonry paint on deck boards, proper prep and application is crucial.
Using Sandtex Masonry Paint on Decking
Sandtex is a top UK brand offering a variety of interior and exterior masonry paints. Can Sandtex masonry paints be used to coat exterior wood surfaces like decks? The answer is some Sandtex masonry paints can be suitable and effective for painting decking, while others are not designed for exterior wood use.
Always check the specific product details before applying any masonry paint to deck boards. Verify the paint:
- States it is formulated for use on exterior wood surfaces.
- Specifies exterior decking as one of the suitable applications.
- Is an exterior grade paint, not intended just for interior use.
- Contains agents to resist UV rays, mold, mildew and other outdoor exposure threats.
Provided the right exterior product is selected, Sandtex masonry paint can protect and decorate exterior deck boards when properly applied. Follow all preparation, priming, application and maintenance recommendations for success.
For the very best results, a dedicated Sandtex exterior woodstain or paint designed specifically for decking is ideal. But with proper prep and care, Sandtex exterior masonry paints approved for wood use can also deliver attractive, protective color to decking.
Using Masonry Paint on Wood Fences
In addition to decks, many homeowners also have exterior wood fences that require periodic painting or staining. Can standard masonry paint be used to coat wooden fence boards?
The short answer is yes, masonry paint can provide color and protection when applied correctly to exterior wood fences. As with decking, proper preparation is key along with using an exterior grade masonry paint approved for wood surfaces.
When painting a wood fence with masonry paint:
- Select a high quality exterior masonry paint specifically made for use on wood.
- Clean fence boards thoroughly with a wood cleaner and brightener to remove dirt, mildew stains and loose paint.
- Allow the wood to fully dry before painting. Moisture content should be 15% or lower.
- Make any necessary repairs to damaged boards, posts or rails before painting.
- Apply a compatible exterior wood primer to promote adhesion before adding the topcoat.
- Use a brush to carefully apply the masonry paint, following all drying time recommendations.
- Plan to repaint the fence every 2-3 years depending on exposure and wear.
With proper prep and using the right exterior wood masonry paint, fences can take on a like-new colorful appearance that lasts. But specialized wood fence stains or paints are still the optimal choice.
Repainting Painted Wood with Masonry Paint
Many decks, fences and other exterior wood structures have existing paint that needs re-coating over time. Can previously painted wood be repainted using masonry paint?
In most cases, yes, exterior wood that has been painted before can be repainted using masonry paint provided the existing paint is still firmly adhering to the wood.
To successfully repaint previously painted exterior wood with masonry paint:
- Remove any cracking, peeling, flaking or otherwise loose existing paint using sanders, scrapers or wire brushes.
- Sand the surface to smooth and scuff the existing paint for better adhesion.
- Clean away all dust and debris before repainting.
- Make sure the surface is completely dry. Test moisture levels if recently wet.
- Apply a compatible primer to the existing paint if needed before repainting.
- Use an exterior-grade masonry paint approved for wood surfaces.
- Follow all typical proper application procedures for best results.
With proper surface preparation to re-coat cleanly over well-adhered existing paint, masonry paint can refresh the look of worn exterior wood surfaces. Evaluate the current coating carefully and remove any unsound paint before repainting.
Properly applied masonry paint can deliver attractive, protective color to exterior wood. But specialized decking, fence and wood paints provide optimal performance and aesthetics. With the right prep and product, masonry paint can work but decking formulations are most ideal for wood decking. Follow all manufacturer guidelines and reapply every few years for a long-lasting finish.