Well, two years ago I painted my deck railing and now it looks like this.

enter image description here (Peeling and flaking off)

My instinct is to sand it down with a random-orbital sander and then a wire brush and repaint, but I suspect this won't be good enough. How do I paint over this to make it last?

  • Did you prime it? Did you use an outdoor-rated paint?
    – iLikeDirt
    Apr 17, 2016 at 15:49
  • 1
    Yes, the paint was high quality indoor-outdoor paint. I did not prime; I thought that paint itself was a good primer on bare wood. I did three coats. Was that a mistake? Apr 17, 2016 at 16:14

2 Answers 2


Scrape, sand, prime and then paint with exterior grade products. Longevity of the paint will also be based on the moisture content of the wood at the time you painted it. A handy 'mini-Ligno' moisture meter is used to determine if the wood is dry enough to hold primer and paint. Consult with the paint manufacturer for moisture content recommendations.

See... Mini-Ligno http://www.lignomatusa.com/meters/mini-ligno-md/ Long lasting paint... http://www.paintpro.net/Articles/PP503/PP503_CoatingsFailure.cfm

  • Are you saying "scrape and sand" down to nothing? In other words, start over? Apr 17, 2016 at 16:15
  • No. You need to remove debris from years of use and any loose paint. Then prime and paint. This link may best suit you by Benjamin Moore paints... benjaminmoore.com/en-us/for-your-home/exterior-painting
    – Been There
    Apr 17, 2016 at 17:46
  • ok, so paint that looks good, I should just prime and re-paint? Apr 18, 2016 at 3:23
  • What I mean to ask is: do I prime and paint over the remaining paint, or do I paint without primer there? Jun 30, 2016 at 0:14
  • I wish I understood this better. I did all this two years ago and now it's back to peeling just like the photos above. Jun 22, 2018 at 20:20

I used Sherwin Williams exterior deck and floor enamel on our front porch..I primed it first with a water based spar varnish..It has been four years and it has not peeled..I used to have to repaint it every year..

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.