When it comes to deck construction, there are a few different types of paint that can be used. Oil-based paint is a popular choice as it dries more slowly, making outdoor application easier and error-free. Acrylic paints have fewer strong-smelling volatile organic compounds and are more easily cleaned. Another option is solid color dyes.
Water-based (acrylic) and oil-based paints both have their advantages and disadvantages. Acrylic paint is easier to apply and clean, and is often more durable. Oil-based roofing paint isn't as durable as water-based paint, but it can be cheaper. Any paint with a non-slip finish adds safety to the platform. Epoxy paint can slip when wet, so if your deck isn't yet textured, be sure to choose a non-slip paint for added protection against falls.
If you have a hardwood deck made of tropical wood such as ipe, you should choose an oil-based floor dye. For example, if an old deck has oil-based paint, use oil; if your deck has water-based paint, choose water-based paint. The best paint for an old deck depends on the material and whether or not the deck already has a coat of paint. Oil-based roof paint has been around for decades and, until recently, was considered the best option for roofs and other outdoor projects. This type of paint is also suitable for concrete paving stones instead of deck boards because it is used for pool covers, which are usually (but not always) made of concrete or brick.
When testing different brands of roof paint on deck boards, I applied one coat after another to see which one would last the longest. Oil-based roofing paint is most commonly seen with clear roofing dyes and requires mineral alcohol or paint thinner to clean brushes, sprayers and tools. A cover that is frequently exposed to the sun will fade more quickly than a cover in deep shade, even if the paint contains UV protection. Painting the deck is a time-consuming project, so it's a good idea to choose a paint that will last for years, which will make the deck maintenance routine much more manageable. Semi-transparent roof paint is another option, ideal for decks that are only a few years old and show minimal signs of aging or chipping.
With the cost of building materials at an all-time high, it's worth protecting a backyard deck so that it has the longest possible lifespan. Although technically a dye, this roofing coating imparts a solid opaque color, creating a full-coverage coating like roofing paint. Solid paint for roofs is the most common option, since it better hides the effects that climate and aging have had on the deck. To prepare a deck for painting, first screw in any screws that may have loosened and sand the platform.