How Much Does a Deck Painting Job Cost?
If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor deck, you should do what’s needed to keep it in good physical and aesthetic shape – the price isn’t too steep and the rewards are many. Over time, UV rays from the sun, moisture from the air and rain, and regular use will cause a deck’s wood to fade, rot or otherwise decay. Here’s a look at painting as a solution to keep your deck safe and looking good, and the cost involved.
Untreated Wood, Stained Wood, Painted Wood & Redwood
Untreated, or “bare” wood is much more susceptible to rot, weakening from UV rays, and moisture than any other type of wood, as there is no barrier to keeping any of these out of the wood. Some decks are built with “pressure-treated” wood, which has chemicals forced into the wood under pressure to protect against these factors, but many decks are built with plain old lumber that needs TLC. Stained wood has some protections, as the stain itself will help block some sun rays and resist water. Redwood decking is expensive, but this wood has a natural resistance to rot and is therefore favored by many builders. Any of these woods, however, will have a much longer life when painted or stained. On average decking painting costs $563 for untreated wood, $591 for stained wood, $555 for painted wood and $687 for redwood.
Paint Deck vs Stain Deck
Paint or stain will protect your deck from the elements; the key difference is that paint forms a thin film atop the wood while stain soaks into the surface. The two processes have similar costs – about $396 to $957, although with paint you should expect a price tag from $349 to $842 for a primer coating, as this will help protect the wood and form a surface to which paint will stick correctly (if you don’t use primer it’s a lot more likely that the paint will start peeling and cracking before long).
Waterproof and Seal Deck
There are also coverings to provide a waterproof coating or seal over a stained or painted deck. Some are called clear coats, and will help showcase and protect the colors or woodgrain patterns in the deck; others can add a texture so that the surface won’t be slippery. These coatings can also provide additional protection against mold, mildew and termites, so they’re a good thing to consider. For a typical deck, it will cost $360 to $870 for a coating like this (and remember that the underside of the wood needs it too).
Pressure Wash Deck
Getting all the gunk out of your deck – including the cracks between the boards – can be a challenge. However, it’s necessary to prep the surfaces for priming, painting or staining and should not be overlooked. Having a pressure-washing service clean the deck is a great (and fast) way to accomplish this – it’s a high-pressure water/detergent tank that blasts and cleans your deck (or other surface), and most pros can clean a 150-foot deck for a price of $354 to $855 in a little less than an hour.
Your deck’s size will obviously dictate a good deal of the cost when painting or staining. The square footage is calculated by multiplying width by length, but you should double it because you need to cover the underside of the deck as well as the top for better protection. Remember, if water should drip between the boards on the top, it can still get into the wood underneath if it’s not coated. Hence a 5’ by 10’ deck is 50 square feet per side – add the two for 100 square feet. A much larger 20’ x 20’ deck is 400 square feet, but really 800 square feet with both sides. And recall that many surfaces will need two coatings, so budget accordingly. A gallon of paint will cover 300 to 400 square feet on average, but on exceptionally dry woods it may only go over 150 square feet as much of it will be absorbed. You will also need two coats. Hence it will cost $239 to $559 for both sides of a 50-square foot deck, and $378 to $883 for both sides of a 400-square foot deck.
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