The best pool deck paint protects the surface area from weather damage and pool chemicals while simultaneously improving its overall appearance. Pool decks receive more foot traffic and weather and chemical damage than any other part of the home's exterior. This surface typically requires frequent cleanings and occasional repair to maintain its beauty. Decking paints are available in a variety of colors to suit any outdoor decorating scheme. Decks may also be stained and sealed instead of painted, though a similarly hardy compound is required.
The two most commonly used materials in pool decks are wood and concrete. Pool deck paint is designed to uniquely protect either specific surface. Most paint packages will list the type of deck surface for which the product has been designed. If this information is not clearly identifiable, consumers may wish to check the paint's approved uses near the warning label.
The best deck paint for concrete surfaces is one that is epoxy based and includes a non-skid agent. Epoxy forms a thick barrier across the surface of the concrete that is resistant to different types of algae and mildew. It is extremely durable against the damage caused by chlorine or other chemical agents commonly used in pool maintenance. This naturally slick surface is rendered safe to walk on with bare feet by the introduction of a gritty component that, while not painful to sensitive feet, does provide traction when the surface is wet.
Common exterior paint may also be used for this type of project. Exterior paint is specially designed to withstand discoloration from the sun and repel water that accumulates during storms. It is not as long lasting as epoxy pool deck paint, however, and generally requires more frequent touch-up applications. Homeowners may wish to add some type of masonry sand or ground pumice to this paint when using it around a pool to avoid any injuries caused by slipping on a slick surface.
Similarly, the best pool deck paint for wooden surfaces is also one that contains an epoxy compound. Traditional wood sealants are oil based and can encourage the growth of mildew and other bacterias, which feed on the natural compounds contained in the sealing agent. Epoxy based sealant or paint locks out these organisms and prevents them from damaging or fading the wood. This chemical can be found in paints with a color additive as well as sealants, which often are preferred by homeowners who wish to retain the wooden appearance of the deck. This type of treatment is also water repellent and soaks deep into the wood so it will not chip off over time.
The most commonly used type of pool deck paint is an acrylic paint that is water based. This type of mixture dries relatively quickly, allowing homeowners to use their decks again within roughly 48 hours. It is non-toxic, making it safe to use around children and pets, though they should be kept away from the work area during the painting process. It also adheres well to slightly damp surfaces and can be used during times of high humidity. This product may be found at most local home improvement stores or for purchase through specialty pool companies on the Internet.