How long after power washing can I paint my deck?

A well-maintained deck undeniably adds attraction to the outer space of a home. In warm climate areas, deck space is quite a popular area to spend breezy nights and evenings in the company of friends and family. How long after power washing can I paint my deck?

How long after power washing can I paint my deck

Nowadays, decks are also getting hype in cold areas, as they add an extension to living space and lure appeal right outside the home.

Not only do they beautify your outer corner, but it also preserves the lifeline of wood. Uncovered wood becomes dull and incompatible to deal with weather severity. Hence become outdated way before its time.

In short, one way or another, to have a gorgeous sturdy deck you have to work on its maintenance. For long-lasting results, you should opt for painting. To apply an even and neat layer of paint you have to get rid of dirt and grime collected on the wood first.

Pressure washing can do this tough job on your behalf and make it easier and quicker for you. After pressure washing your deck, you can repaint it but here comes the important question. How long after power washing can I paint my deck?

Also Read: How Much PSI Does It Take To Clean A Deck – A Professional Opinion

How long after power washing can I paint my deck?

According to our pressure washing experts, it is best to wait at least 48-72 hours after power washing your deck before painting it. This will give the deck plenty of time to dry and will also allow any loose paint or debris to be removed further.

But the proper time of painting your deck after power washing depends on some other factors too which we have discussed further in the article. Read on to know more about properly painting your wooden deck to keep it safe for years to come.

We have also discussed what factors should be considered before painting a deck. What is the role of pressure washing before painting and how long to wait after pressure washing to apply paint? And much more!

Why should you paint over staining a deck?

Generally, a wooden deck is covered or protected by applying stain or paint. Now the thing is why should you paint the deck over staining? There are multiple benefits of it such as:

  • If you want prolonged results, you should coat the wood with quality paint. If the job is done right and maintained well over time. Paint can last for a decade.
  • You can showcase your art skills with a wide range of colors and options available, while in staining you are restricted to natural or brown shades mostly. Moreover, you can customize the deck with the overall theme of your outdoor area.
  • As paint adds on an extra layer it hides flaws and cracks easily. While transparent staining won’t hide them underneath.
  • Painting is quicker and easier than that staining. Here you must also be aware that taking turnover from staining to paint is easy while vice versa would be troublesome to do. Not only it would be problematic, it will take more time and cost.

Why pressure wash the deck before painting?

Pressure washing before applying paint on the deck is considered as much ritual to follow by experts. As paint will be well bounded in wood if it is clear of dirt and grime or other unwanted particles.

There are cases where the paint will even stick on the dirty surfaces too but that surely will decrease the longevity of wood to half. To get rid of dirt and grime pressure washers will do the magic.

However, with that, you must consider certain things to prevent damage across the wooden deck. You won’t want to increase your workload with carelessness or incorrect use of a pressure washer.

Refurbishing the exterior of a house is a costly job to do, so do it in a proper procedural way to make sure it is done right in the first go.

Also Read: How to Pressure Wash a Deck to Remove Paint?

Is it safe to pressure wash the deck before painting?

There is misleading debate over pressure washing being unsafe on the deck. Other DIYs methods are too time-consuming and do not give an even closer result to pressure washing that you leave the task before it is done all the way.

To sum up, the question in a single line will be like this;

Pressure washing your deck is fine, but careless pressure washing is not.

The danger with pressure washing is exerting unnecessarily high pressure when not needed. You should be familiar with the basics of pressure washing before trying directly on the concerned area.

Always start the pressure washing with a wider tip and the lowest pressure settings.  For home usage, electric pressure washers will be the best choice as they are great for soft washing.

How much time is required after pressure washing a deck to apply paint on it?

After successful pressure washing the crucial thing to consider is how much time be given to the wood to dry off easily before applying paint to it.

For complete dry, you should wait for 48 hours. The time estimation is quoted by many experts in the field.  Keep in mind this time is estimated for the ideal scenario with enough sunbeams reaching on wood.

If you are looking for a time estimation for the shadowed deck area, extend the time bar up to 72 hours. Even after the estimated time if you suspect that the deck is not dried or has moisture in some areas leave it for more time until well dried.

Along with this, other factors may vary the time bar. The most prominent ones are:

Moisture left in the sidings/railing:

Not only must you consider the sidings of the deck. If they have still moisture left in them, the paint may bubble along them. And if they are too hot, moisture would escape leaving behind visual flaws.


Weather conditions also play a role in the process. Do not opt for applying paint on a rainy day. Humidity and cold temperatures add moisture to the air; hence wood will take a longer time to dry. Wait until a warm dry arrives.

Kind of paint you choose:

The type of paint you are going to coat on the deck also matters. Oil-based paints need a completely dry surface to stick to them. They will need more time in between pressure washing and painting.

How to save paint from peeling off from the deck?

To keep the paint intact on the wooden deck you can try out different tips and tricks.

  • With the help of a scrapper or sander remove loose paint patches.
  • Sand it softly till gets smooth.
  • Let it clean and dry completely.
  • Apply a new coat of paint where needed using a roll or brush.
  • Let the coat dry, and apply another layer of coat if needed.

Tips and tricks To Repaint Your Wooden Deck Properly:

  • Give proper time to dry the wooden surface, it would be even better to exceed the time.
  • Before applying paint, apply primer to smooth the wood and prevent the paint to soak in the wood.
  • Keep in check the weather and temperature stats.

How long should you wait to paint after power washing wood?

It is generally recommended that you should wait for 5 to 7 days after power washing wood before painting it. This gives the wood time to dry completely and ensures that the paint will adhere properly.

If you paint too soon after power washing, the paint may not adhere properly and could peel or chip off over time.


How long does it take for a deck to dry after power washing?

Depending on the season and temperature, it can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours for your deck to dry completely. If you do not allow your deck to dry completely, you run the risk of damaging the wood or inviting pests and mold to take up residence.

Should I power wash my deck before painting?

While power washing is not required, it can help to prepare the surface and ensure that the paint adheres properly. Power washing can be a great way to prep your deck for painting and help the paint job last longer. It will remove any dirt, debris, or mildew that may be present on the deck.

Do you need to sand a deck after power washing?

It is not necessary to sand a deck after power washing. Power washing will remove dirt, grime, and debris from the surface of the deck. Sanding is only necessary if there is a need of new paint or stain. Once the wood is sanded, it will be smooth and ready for staining or sealing.


Be aware of the time required by your wooden surface with tracking the factors involved in deciding time. However, on average estimation, 48 hours is enough time for the deck area exposed to sunlight, and for the sheltered area, 72 hours are required minimum.

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Flinn Milan

Flinn Milan is the content director at Washwith. He is responsible for developing helpful content in collaboration with other hard-working team members. Over several years, his content strategy is mainly focused on describing and highlighting every product with its positive and negative points

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