This post was updated on January 30, 2023
Can you Paint Over a Deck Stain?
No, you should never use paint on a deck as it will lead to peeling and will be a huge burden to fix. If you want a solid opaque appearance, then use a Solid Color Deck Stain on your deck. Solid color deck stains are designed to penetrate and adhere better to a horizontal deck surface but will at the same time, give a full opaque appearance to the wood.
Prepping for a Solid Color Deck Stain
When applying a solid color deck stain over a previously coated deck, the key is to remove any dirt, mildew, and old peeling stain. The best way to do this is to use a deck stain stripper and pressure washing. Take note that you do not have to fully remove the old coating when using a solid color stain. You can cover any intact and non-peeling stain with your new solid stain. Make sure to use a wood deck brightener after to neutralize the stain stripper.
Have any questions? Ask in the comments below.
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.
We have added on outside and now want to finish. The old area has three coatings of merbau ( dark ) can I paint over that and bring the whole area to the one colour
If you want a solid stain to cover all wood so it matches, see this for prep advice: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-to-reapply-a-solid-color-deck-stain/
I just stained my decks one month ago (6/22) with Sherwin Williams Superdeck in Riverwood. This was the same product and color that was used by the previous owners 3 years ago. I pressure washed first and allowed to fully dry before application. It was very hot outside at application (88-90 degrees and sunny). The problem is, the front porch dramatically shows every footprint and even after a heavy rain, sandy muddy residue is left behind where footprints fell that will not sweep off or come off without actual scrubbing. One, why is this sticking to the deck and two, can I repaint with a different water-based product with better ability to shirk off dirt? Or seal it better in some way?
The issue is related to SW products in general. They are not very good. You should be able to apply another solid color deck stain over it. You should never sealer over a deck stain.
Could you please recommend a product that would work best over the top of the Sherwin Williams Superdeck? Should I use a water-based similar color transparent stain to try and let the color I have already painted show through (and hopefully not have to repaint every square inch of railings and side walls)? I painted two large decks, some deck walls and a walkway as well. These photos are right after completion and then a shot of how the floor boards are looking dirty/stained after one month and rain. To say I’m frustrated with Sherwin Williams performance is an understatement.
You can only use a solid color deck stain over a solid color and you will have to cover all the wood unless you want a two-toned deck. That means the rails are one color and the floors are another color. That would be easier of course as you would just redo the floors. Any of these solid stains would work. https://www.deckstainhelp.com/what-are-the-best-solid-color-deck-stains/
Thank you for your advice.
can you use water based stain over a previously stained deck that was stained with oil base semi transparent stain(2 years ago) and if so what RAD products would be needed to get best results.
No, you should strip the old coating off no matter what when switching stain brands. For help with this, reply back with some pics in the comments.