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Can You Use Fence Paint on Decking?

Can You Use Fence Paint on Decking?

I make no secret of the fact that my outdoor space is the most important part of my home. Likewise, I think it’s super important to give your outdoor space an aesthetic you enjoy.

For folks that have decks, one of the most common ways to improve that aesthetic (and durability) is to coat the wood in paint, oil, or stain. This not only changes its color, but protects it from the elements year-round.

With that being said, special deck oils can be expensive and if you’ve already got fence paint sitting around, you might ask yourself “Why not save some money and use that for the deck? Then they’ll match!”

While that may sound like a good idea, it’s not. Trust me.

But what about Cuprinol paint?

Cuprinol Garden Shades is a brand of water-based fence paint coming out of the United Kingdom. While you can actually use Cuprinol paint to color your decking, it’s definitely not the best option.

As I said above, Cuprinol is a water-based paint and has a very runny consistency as a result. This means that the coating will be very thin and multiple coats will need to be applied before true protection is reached. Because of this, you’ll have to purchase a large amount (especially if your deck is particularly large!).

You can also expect to have to recoat your decking with Cuprinol paint more often than you would with other products. Although, this largely depends on the weather and how much foot traffic your deck has to deal with.

If those two aspects are particularly heavy, you might have to recoat your deck more than once per year (as the Cuprinol paint will begin to wear off rapidly).

The best paint to use on decking

While most any paint will do the trick, you’ll want to pick a paint, stain, or oil that is both affordable and cuts down on maintenance.

Because of this, the best type of paint to use on a deck isn’t actually paint at all — it’s good, old-fashioned oil!

Stain and paint can peel or flake over time (especially if applied improperly). However, decking oil protects against the kind of weathering wooden decks experience. Drying, splitting, water penetration, warping, and swelling are all mitigated by applying two coats of strong decking oil.

Should you match match your deck to your fence?

I definitely understand the urge to color coordinate your deck to your fence. However, I’m here to tell you that it almost never works out the way you think it will. Decks and fences will weather at differing rates, and you’ll soon have a slight difference in shades (even if the paint comes from the same bucket). This is unbelievably unsightly!

In fact, I think having your deck and your fence be different colors is more visually pleasing. It breaks up the colors in your yard and prevents your outdoor space from being a monochromatic plane of similar colors.

Instead, pick colors that complement each other. For example, if your fences are white, that will add a great deal of brightness to your yard. Consider picking a darker color for your deck like a gray or a deep blue to help balance that brightness.

Also consider where you want people’s attention to be drawn when they step into your yard. If the deck is the main attraction, consider giving it an attention-grabbing coat of paint. You can then pick a less vibrant color to your fences / other wooden fixtures in the yard. Likewise, if you want to draw attention to something like your hot tub, downplay the deck color.

Final thoughts

If you take one thing away from this article, don’t use fence paint on your deck. There are better options, both for practical and aesthetic reasons. Don’t let the convenience of having a spare gallon of paint lying around be the deciding factor on how you paint your deck!

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