Painting Deck Railings? Here's How To Do It!

calander Feb 22 , 2023 user-icon Nash Painting

Painting deck railings can feel like a daunting task, but with the right prep and products it doesn't have to be. From choosing the perfect paint to applying it correctly, there are several steps involved in getting your outdoor space looking its best.

With these tips and tricks you'll learn how to paint deck railings like a pro - no matter what level of experience you may have. So don't put off sprucing up your outdoor area any longer; let's get started on transforming those wood railings into something beautiful.

Table of Contents:

  • Preparing the Deck Railings for Painting
    • Sanding the Deck Railings:

  • Choosing the Right Paint and Supplies

  • Applying Paint to the Deck Railings

  • Maintaining Your Newly Painted Deck Railings

  • FAQs in Relation to Paint Deck Railings
    • What kind of paint do you use on a deck railing?

    • Should I paint my deck railing?

    • What is the easiest way to paint deck spindles?

    • How do you prepare a deck railing for painting?

  • Conclusion

Preparing Wood Railings for Painting

Before you apply paint, it is essential to give your older wood railings a thorough clean. This will help ensure that any dirt or debris does not interfere with the paint adhesion and finish. You can also use a pressure washer with low intensity to blast away any dirt or grime before proceeding to sanding. Once done, let them dry completely.

Sanding the Deck Railings:

Sanding down your wood railings is essential for getting an even coat of paint and ensuring that it adheres properly to the surface. For a smooth base for painting, use either medium-grade sandpaper or a handheld sander to even out any rough patches. Make sure all dust and particles are removed after sanding before applying primer.

After cleaning and sanding your deck railings, you should apply a primer coat before painting. Primer provides an extra layer of protection against weather damage as well as helping to ensure even coverage when painting over different materials like raw wood or metal surfaces. Use either a brush or paint roller depending on what works best for your particular project and apply one thin coat - then allow adequate drying time before adding color with paint.

"Painting deck railings? Clean, sand, and prime first. For a perfect finish, follow these steps. #paintingtips #deckrailings"

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Choosing the Right Paint and Supplies

When it comes to painting your deck railings, the kind of paint you use is as essential as the technique and tools. Selecting a paint that is designed specifically for outdoor use will ensure that your wood railing looks great and stands up to wear and tear from the elements over time.

For starters, make sure you choose exterior-grade acrylic latex paints with a satin or semi-gloss finish. These paints are formulated to be more resistant to fading in sunlight, mildew growth, chipping and peeling. They also provide better adhesion than other types of paints so they won’t peel off easily after being exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures.

Next up, choose appropriate brushes and rollers for painting your deck railings. A good quality brush made from synthetic bristles should do the trick when it comes to applying primer or base coats on larger surfaces, plus makes the spindle-painting process easier. For finer details like pickets or posts, look for angled sash brushes which allow you to get into tight spaces while still providing even coverage across all areas of your railing system. When it comes time for rolling on topcoats, opt for a roller with medium nap (1/2 inch) so that it can evenly spread out thick layers of paint without leaving any visible lines behind once dry.

Finally, consider finishes and sealants that will help protect your newly painted deck railings against UV rays, water damage, and general wear-and-tear over time. Clear polyurethane varnishes work well here since they form a protective barrier around each coat of paint without altering its color too much - just make sure you apply several thin coats rather than one thick layer in order to achieve optimal results.

Key Takeaway: When it comes to painting your deck railings, you need to pick the right paint for outdoor use and appropriate tools such as brushes and rollers. For the ultimate protection, apply a coat of polyurethane or marine grade spar varnish to your deck railing for additional defense against UV radiation, water damage, and general deterioration. In other words: make sure your deck railing is painted properly from start to finish.

Applying Paint to Deck Railings

When it comes to applying paint to your deck railings, the most important step is prepping the area around them. This means covering any nearby surfaces with drop cloths or plastic sheeting so that you don't accidentally get paint on them. Once everything is covered up and protected, you can start painting. Make sure to use even strokes when painting in order to ensure a smooth finish. Begin at one end and proceed to the other side of the railing when painting for optimal results. Don’t forget to allow adequate drying time between coats of paint; this will help ensure that they adhere properly and last longer.

"Prepping, painting, and maintaining your deck railings is key to having a great looking finish that will last. Follow these steps for best results." #deckrailingpainting #DIY

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Maintaining Your Newly Painted Deck Railings

Maintaining your newly painted deck railings is essential to keep them looking great long-term. Regularly cleaning the surface with a mild detergent solution or pressure washer (on a gentle setting!) will help prevent dirt and grime from building up, giving you that fresh look year after year. If any areas start to show signs of wear, it’s important to touch them up right away with additional coats of paint or sealant as needed. This will ensure your deck railings stay in top condition.

Re-sealing or re-painting every few years is also necessary in order to protect your investment. The elements can take their toll on exterior surfaces over time, especially if your deck receives full sun, so it’s important to give your deck railings some extra TLC by regularly sealing and painting them. This will help maintain their structural integrity and keep them looking beautiful.

"Keep your deck railings looking fresh and new with regular cleaning, touch-ups, sealing & painting. Don't forget to call a pro if you need help." #deckrailings #paintingtips

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FAQs in Relation to Paint Deck Railings

What kind of paint do you use on a deck railing?

When painting a deck railing, it is important to use the right type of paint. Generally, an oil-based enamel or alkyd primer should be used for best results. Oil-based paints provide better adhesion and protection from moisture and weathering than latex paints do. Additionally, they are more durable in high traffic areas like railings that get a lot of wear and tear. For optimal performance, make sure you choose an exterior grade paint specifically designed for outdoor surfaces such as decks and railings. This will ensure your project looks great for years to come.

Should I paint my unfinished deck railing?

It is important to assess the condition of your deck railing before deciding whether or not you should paint it. If the timber appears to be in satisfactory condition, a coating of paint can help maintain it and guard against deterioration due to weathering. However, if there are signs of rot or water damage on your railing, painting may only serve as a short-term solution and could cause further damage down the line. A specialist should be consulted to evaluate the status of your deck railing and give advice that is tailored to its individual requirements.

What is the easiest way to paint deck spindles?

The easiest way to paint deck spindles is to use a sprayer. Spraying can be a speedy and effective way to coat large surfaces in no time. To ensure the best results, start by cleaning off any dirt or debris from the surface before applying primer and then two coats of high-quality outdoor paint. After each coat has dried completely, sand lightly between coats for a smooth finish. Finally, apply sealant as needed for protection against weathering elements such as rain and sun exposure.

How do you prepare a wood railing for painting?

Before painting a wood railing, it is important to prepare the surface properly. This includes cleaning and sanding any existing paint or stain off of the wood, filling in any cracks with wood filler or caulk, removing rust from metal railings using steel wool and applying a primer before beginning to paint. It is also essential to use painter’s tape around areas you don’t want painted such as window sills and door frames. Finally, make sure that your brush strokes are even by brushing along the grain of the wood for an even finish. Following these steps will ensure that your deck railing looks professional when finished.


Painting your deck railings can be a great way to spruce up the look of your outdoor space. Preparing thoroughly and utilizing the correct supplies can result in a fantastic, enduring finish to your outdoor area. Just remember that regular maintenance is key in order to keep your newly painted deck railings looking their best. And don't forget: when it comes time to paint deck railings again, use quality products and take care with each step along the way for maximum success.

If you are looking for a reliable and experienced painting company in Nashville to help with your high-end residential or cabinet project, look no further thanNash Painting. We provide quality workmanship and customer service that will exceed expectations!