How to Choose the Perfect Deck Color

Decks, like any outdoor space, take a beating. Weather, the sun’s heat, and age can break them down. But if you maintain them regularly, they’ll last longer than if they’re left to fend for themselves.

As with choosing an exterior paint color, choosing the correct color and finish is vital. But how do you choose the right color? These four questions will guide you toward a hue you’ll love for years to come.

What’s the Big Picture?

red brown deck in backyard

While your deck is an independent structure, it’s also part of your home’s whole milieu. So, start by thinking of it in the context of your house and grounds.

  • What color is your landscaping? If your landscaping is mostly green, you might choose colors that complement green (on the red or orange side). Or if your garden is more colorful, you might want a more neutral tone like gray or brown.
  • Does your deck connect directly to your house, or does it stand alone? Decks attached to houses are almost an extension of the home. So, it makes sense that your indoor flooring might be an excellent jumping-off color for your deck.
  • What other landscaping features do you have that might influence color? Landscape features like brick, concrete, or stone can act as a guide, too. Red brick, for example, would pair well with a gray deck, while natural stone might work best with tan.

What’s the Deck Made Of?

brick patio

The material of your deck impacts how flexible you can be with color.

Wood and composite decks typically offer the most options. They can be almost any color. You can stain concrete decks, but not paint them.

And brick pavers have the fewest color options. Some may stain, but most won’t take additional color.

How Can You Best Protect Your Deck?

Is your deck screened? Shaded? In the full sun? Areas that get lots of sunlight need more protection than shaded areas. High traffic areas like stairs and walkways need more durable finishes than, say, handrails.

And you’ll want something you can power wash or clean regularly, too.

What’s Your Exterior Color Scheme?

back deck at night time

Once you’ve considered the big picture, figured out how much leeway your material gives you, and understand how to protect your deck, you’re ready to consider your color scheme. Look at the existing paint color, the trim, and any accents. Then use the color wheel or paint guide to help you lock in a color that will complement your home’s style and color scheme.

Traditional homes could go with a reddish, gray, or brown hue, while modern homes would lean toward gray or neutral. But ultimately, your overall scheme will land you in the right color zone.

Once you’ve narrowed down your color list, test the shades out by painting an 8″ x 8″ area of the deck. Then, just as if you were picking out a paint color, look at the shades in different lights and at different times of the day. Or, if that’s not an option, upload a picture of your deck to a painting site, and try the color on virtually.

For more information and paint ideas, check out our Color Tool, where you can upload photos of your home and visualize paint colors, order free color samples and browse our full range of trending colors.