Painting over Waterproofing on Decking Surfaces

When it comes to decking surfaces, waterproofing is an essential step in ensuring their longevity and durability. However, waterproofing can often cause a dilemma when you decide to paint over it. Fortunately, with the right paint options and techniques, you can successfully enhance the aesthetic appeal of your deck without compromising its waterproofing properties. In this article, we will explore various paint options and techniques that will help you achieve a beautiful and long-lasting finish for your decking surfaces.

The Importance of Paint for Decking Surfaces

Painting your decking surfaces not only enhances their appearance but also provides an extra layer of protection against the elements. Whether you have a wooden or composite deck, paint can act as a barrier to protect the material from moisture, UV rays, and general wear and tear. Additionally, paint can help prevent mold and mildew growth, which can be common issues in damp or humid environments.

Paint Options for Waterproofed Decking Surfaces

When it comes to choosing the right paint for your waterproofed decking surfaces, several options are available. Consider the following paint types based on your specific needs:

  1. Acrylic Paint: Acrylic paint is a popular choice for decking surfaces due to its durability and weather resistance. It is available in a wide range of colors and finishes, including gloss, semi-gloss, and matte. Acrylic paint is known for its ease of application and quick drying time, making it a convenient option for DIY enthusiasts.

  2. Epoxy Paint: Epoxy paint is another excellent option for painting over waterproofing on decking surfaces. It provides a thick and durable coating that can withstand heavy foot traffic and harsh weather conditions. Epoxy paint is also resistant to chemicals, making it suitable for decks exposed to pool chemicals or other solvents.

  3. Oil-Based Paint: Oil-based paint is a traditional choice for outdoor applications, including decking surfaces. It offers excellent adhesion and durability, providing a long-lasting finish. Oil-based paint takes longer to dry compared to other options, but it tends to be more resistant to peeling, cracking, and fading.

  4. Water-Based Paint: Water-based paint, also known as latex paint, has gained popularity in recent years due to its low VOC (volatile organic compounds) content and ease of cleanup. Although not as durable as oil-based or epoxy paint, water-based paint is a great option if you prioritize environmental friendliness and prefer a paint that dries quickly.

Techniques for Painting Over Waterproofed Decking Surfaces

Proper surface preparation and application techniques are crucial for achieving a successful paint finish on waterproofed decking surfaces. Follow these steps for the best results:

  1. Clean the Surface: Before painting, ensure that the decking surface is thoroughly cleaned to remove any dirt, debris, or mildew. Use a deck cleaner or a mild detergent solution and scrub the surface with a stiff brush. Rinse off the cleaner with water and allow the deck to dry completely.

  2. Sand the Surface: If your decking surface has an existing coat of paint or stain, it’s essential to sand it lightly to create a smooth and even base. Sanding also helps improve the adhesion of the new paint. Use a medium-grit sandpaper, following the wood grain, until the surface is smooth.

  3. Choose the Right Brush or Roller: The type of applicator you choose depends on the paint type and the texture of your decking surface. For acrylic or water-based paints, a high-quality synthetic bristle brush or a short-nap roller is suitable. For oil-based or epoxy paints, use a natural bristle brush or a solvent-resistant roller.

  4. Apply Primer (If Necessary): Depending on the condition of your waterproofed surface, you may need to apply a primer before painting. A primer helps seal the deck and enhances the adhesion of the paint. Select a primer specifically designed for outdoor applications and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

  5. Paint in Thin Coats: When applying paint, it’s better to apply multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat. Thin coats dry faster, adhere better, and provide a more even finish. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.

  6. Consider a Non-Slip Additive: To improve safety on your decking surface, consider adding a non-slip additive to the paint. This will provide extra traction, especially when the deck is wet, and reduce the risk of slips and falls.

  7. Apply a Topcoat or Sealer: Once the paint has dried, it’s advisable to apply a topcoat or sealer to protect the paint and enhance its durability. A clear, waterproof sealer will also help maintain the waterproofing properties of your deck.


Q: Can I paint directly over old paint or stain on a waterproofed deck?
A: It’s recommended to sand the old paint or stain before applying a new coat of paint. This helps create a smooth surface and improves adhesion.

Q: How long does the paint on a waterproofed deck last?
A: The longevity of paint on a waterproofed deck depends on various factors, such as the type of paint, weather conditions, and Maintenance. Generally, high-quality paints can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years or longer with proper care.

Q: Do I need to paint both sides of the deck boards?
A: While it’s not necessary to paint both sides of the deck boards, painting the underside can provide extra protection against moisture and prolong the life of your decking surface.


Painting over waterproofing on decking surfaces requires careful consideration of paint options and techniques. By choosing the right paint type, properly preparing the surface, and applying thin coats of paint, you can achieve a beautiful and durable finish while maintaining the waterproofing properties of your deck. Don’t forget to prioritize safety by considering non-slip additives and applying a topcoat or sealer for added protection. With these tips in mind, you can transform your decking surface into a visually appealing and long-lasting outdoor space.

Cape Town Waterproofing

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