If you’re fortunate enough to have room in your garden for a decking area, then what are you waiting for? With a gorgeous summer beckoning for the UK and a relaxing of the lockdown guidelines to allow for outdoor gatherings, you’d be amiss not to immediately get thinking about back garden barbecues! There’s really never been a better time for getting a few friends together, having some food and drinks while chilling out on your decking.
Even if you already have decking, you’re still hopefully aware of the importance of treating the wood properly. Not only does it contribute to the aesthetic, but it does have a very functional use as well. While it would be very simple to lump all types of outdoor woodwork into the same category, fences and sheds have different requirements to decking.
Primarily, you have to consider what’s coming into contact with decking. Above all else, that’ll be your feet and/or shoes. However if you don’t treat the decking properly, it’ll be the rest of you on it as you come tumbling down. Decking paint has the extra requirement of providing a non-slip surface to make it usable in its context. To make your purchasing decision a little easier, we’ve compiled the best decking paints and stains available on the market today.
|Name||Anti Slip||Coverage||Dry Time||Cost|
|Cuprinol Anti-Slip Decking Stain||Yes||8 m2 /l||4 hours||£££|
|Ronseal Decking Rescue Paint||No||10 m2 /l||1.5 hours||££|
|T.A. Paints Multi Purpose||No||8 m2 /l||2 hours||££|
|Paintpeople Firmtread Deck Coat||Yes||8 m2 /l||4 hours||£|
|Trade Paints Garden Timber Non Slip||Yes||13 m2 /l||3 hours||££££|
This Anti-Slip Decking Stain from home and garden decorating mainstays Cuprinol offers a rich and glossy semi-transparent colour, paired with a tough and durable finish designed to withstand the rigours of the British climate. It’s available to buy in 13 varied shades that range from woody browns and greens to more contemporary greys and darker reds for a beautiful veneer that’s as protective as it is pretty.
The non-slip aspect comes thanks to some interesting and invisible technology integrated into the stain’s formula. Invisible anti-slip microbeads are incorporated into the formula to add a layer of grip that is somehow smooth to the touch while making decks safer than untreated wood. An algicide also works to help with algae and mould resistance. Ultimately, this is a long-lasting and quick drying formula (touch dry in 2-6 hours depending on conditions, showerproof in 1 hour) that offers great looks and great protection.
- Quick drying
- Anti-slip microbeads
- Algicide formula
- Colour options
Is your decking looking a little sad, tired and grubby? It’s exactly those kinds of scenarios that Ronseal’s Decking Rescue paint seeks to address, promising to truly transform decking into something clean and looking like new. Offering you 10 different colours, from wooden shades to greens and blues, you’re bound to find something that fits. One of the major advantages of this paint is the reparative element – the formula is designed to fill in any small cracks that might be present to prolong your decking’s life.
The quick drying formula is rainproof in just 90 minutes, however for best results it will need to be left for 48 hours between coats, and another 48 before furniture and the like can be replaced onto decking. It offers a long-lasting finish that’s also very scuff resistant to even the heaviest foot traffic. So, for deep and long-lasting colour that will bring your old decking back to life, you can’t go wrong here.
- Colour options
- Filler element
- Slow to fully dry
This multi-purpose garden paint from T.A. Paints is a quietly brilliant option for decking paint. T.A. Paints are a low-key supplier to many industrial and trade applications in the UK, and their paint is the high quality you’d expect from such a company. This is a polyurethane-based oil paint which offers exceptional protection – polyurethane is a common component of things like garage floor paint, which creates a hard shell-type layer once dry for massive protection to impact and scuffs.
With some 37 colours available in a range of gloss and matt finishes, you’re certain to find something that helps your decking stand out in just the right way. It’s touch dry in around 2 hours, and ready for extra coats in between 12 and 24 hours. The durable finish makes it strong against even things like chemical spillage, so moisture and damp proofing is handled with ease.
- Fairly quick to dry
- Great colour selection
- Excellent protective layer
- Not water-based
This coating and stain for decking from Paintpeople has user-friendly design at its core. The two main points of focus for Paintpeople with this decking stain are to keep you, the user, from hitting the deck while giving the decking surface a full makeover with colour and protection. They offer 5 different shades for this semi-translucent stain, which enhances the natural finish of the wood while giving it a face lift with some lovely colours.
It benefits from microbeading technology, with particles so small that they maintain the smooth finish while keeping you on your feet. It’s also very quick to dry, achieving touch dryness in 2-4 hours. Paintpeople do recommend two coats for optimum results, and a second coat should be applied after 8. Nonetheless, that’s not likely to be too tricky with an easy to apply consistency as well as being great value for money.
- Value for money
- Anti-slip microbeads
- Good colours
- Not the best weatherproofing
The 13 different colour options for Trade Paints’ non slip decking paint offer you a wide range of hues to perfectly match your outdoor area’s aesthetic, all of which comes in a gorgeous med sheen satin finish. The paint is also reinforced with a polyurethane component that, once dry, forms a protective layer on top of the paint. This achieves multiple things, including a sealing reaction that protects the wood from moisture and spills.
The polyurethane also has a secondary benefit which creates a non-slip layer, ideal for the heavy foot traffic that most decking will receive. The drying time for this paint is around 2-4 hours, while a second coat should be applied after around 12-16 hours. A couple of coats is the recommended amount for optimal colour and protection. The consistency of the paint also makes it very versatile, allowing it to be used on grooved decking as well as filling small crack to prolong the life of decking.
- Lots of colours
- Polyurethane protective layer
- Fills in grooves/gaps
- Fairly expensive
Which Decking Paint To Go For?
Decking paint is far more than just a pretty colour to match the rest of the garden, although that definitely comes into it. The best decking paint will help to create a non-slip surface to make it actually usable, while looking great and offering a degree of protection – it is outdoor woodwork after all. Here are our picks for the best voerall decking paint as well as the best value choice.
Best Decking Paint – For overall quality, you’re best going for Cuprinol Anti-Slip Decking Stain. The range of colours is an obvious plus, but it’s the quality of the finish as well as the protective element of the stain that helps protect against the onset of algae and mould in the decking that sets it apart. An added bonus is also the non-slip microbeading which makes it truly outstanding, and well worth the investment.
Best Value – For value, go for Paintpeople Firmtread Deck Coat. With the majority of decking paints and stains coming in at a 2.5-litre volume, this simply represents the best relative value for our selection. It’s good quality non-slip for decking, has a range of colours and is easy to work with.
Decking Paint FAQ
How to paint decking
The ideal times to protect your decking are in spring and autumn, ahead of summer and winter when it will receive the harshest conditions. Clean the surface thoroughly, using a stiff broom first to clear out as much dust from any gaps. Go over all the panels with a screwdriver to make sure nothing’s loose, then sand it down only if the decking is a flat surface, not a grooved one. Then using a different brush and specific decking cleaner, give it a thorough scrub to remove any mould and algae. Once done, clean with fresh water and leave it around 24 hours to fully dry before going ahead with the painting. This can be most easily achieved with a roller on an extension pole, or even a paint sprayer (check the paint can be used with a sprayer first).
How to remove paint from decking wood
The easiest solution is to use a specific decking cleaner/stripper solution. Once applied and left, usually for around half an hour, the paint should be easily scraped off. Just make sure to protect yourself and any plants around before you start, as well as cleaning the surface.
What colour should I paint my decking?
This is entirely down to your preference! However, a broad guide is that greens and browns will naturally blend in more with the existing garden colours, while greys and blues complement the garden by standing out without being ostentatious. Of course, you can always pick a much brighter colour in a paint not specifically for decking, but it will need coating with a (clear) non-slip and weatherproof layer.
What is the best decking paint?
Broadly, the best decking paint will meet three main criteria. Firstly, it should be non-slip so you can actually walk on it. Secondly, it should be weatherproof, as outdoor wood is exposed to the elements and should be resistant to damp and moisture. Finally, you’ll want a good colour that fits you and your garden aesthetic.