What If It Rains After I Paint My Deck? Essential Tips to Save Your Hard Work

Bob Thomas


We all know that painting a deck can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task, but the end result is often worth it.

However, what if it rains after you've put in all that hard work?

Don't worry!

In this article, I'll share essential tips on how to handle this situation and save your deck from potential damage.

Quick Summary

If it rains after painting your deck, follow these steps: 1) Assess the situation, 2) Determine if the paint is water-resistant, 3) Remove excess water, 4) Allow the deck to dry, and 5) Touch up any damaged areas. By taking these precautions and using the right products, you can minimize the impact of rain on your freshly painted deck.

Assess the Situation

When it starts raining after you've painted your deck, the first thing you need to do is assess the situation.

Check how much rain has fallen and how wet the surface of your deck is.

If it's just a light drizzle and the paint has had some time to dry, you might be in luck. 

However, if it's a heavy downpour, you may need to take some action to protect your work.

Determine If the Paint Is Water-Resistant

Before starting your deck painting project, it's essential to choose the right type of paint.

Ideally, you should use a high-quality, water-resistant paint or stain specifically designed for outdoor use.

These products can better withstand moisture and are less likely to be affected by rain.

Check the label of the paint you used to determine its level of water resistance.

Remove Excess Water

If you find that your deck is quite wet after the rain, try to remove as much excess water as possible.

Use a squeegee, mop, or large towels to soak up the water and prevent it from pooling on the surface. This will help minimize the potential damage to the paint.

Allow the Deck to Dry

Once you've removed the excess water, it's essential to let your deck dry completely.

Depending on the weather and the amount of moisture, this may take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.

Avoid walking on the deck during this time to prevent further damage to the paint.

Touch Up Any Damaged Areas

After the deck has dried, inspect the surface for any damaged areas.

If you find any spots where the paint has been washed away or damaged, touch up these areas with a small brush and the same type of paint you used initially.

Be sure to feather the edges of the touch-up paint to blend it seamlessly with the surrounding areas.

Pro Tip: To prevent damage from future rain, consider applying a water-repellent sealant to your deck after the paint has fully cured. This will help protect the surface from moisture and prolong the life of your paint job.


Even when you're well-prepared and diligent in your deck painting project, unexpected problems can arise.

In this troubleshooting section, we'll discuss common issues you might encounter during or after painting your deck and provide some helpful solutions.

Paint not drying or curing properly:

Issue: Rain has fallen on the freshly painted deck before the paint has had a chance to dry or cure properly.

  1. Solution: Allow the paint to dry for as long as possible before the rain starts. If the paint is still wet when the rain begins, cover the deck with a waterproof tarp or plastic sheeting to protect it. Once the rain has stopped and the deck is dry, assess the damage. You may need to sand and repaint the affected areas.

Paint blistering or bubbling:

Issue: Rain has caused the paint to blister or bubble, compromising the appearance and protective qualities of the paint.

  1. Solution: Wait for the deck to dry completely. Remove the blistered or bubbled paint using a scraper or sandpaper, then clean the surface. Apply a new coat of paint, ensuring proper drying time before exposing the deck to the elements again.

Water spots or stains on the painted surface:

Issue: Rainwater has left spots or stains on the newly painted deck.

  1. Solution: If the spots or stains are minor, try using a mild soap and water solution to gently clean the affected areas. If the stains are more severe, you may need to sand the stained areas and apply a fresh coat of paint.

Mold or mildew growth:

Issue: The combination of moisture from the rain and a newly painted surface can create an environment conducive to mold or mildew growth.

  1. Solution: Remove any visible mold or mildew with a solution of one part bleach to four parts water, using a brush or sponge. Rinse the area thoroughly and let it dry. If the mold or mildew has penetrated the paint, you may need to remove the affected paint, treat the area, and repaint.

Paint peeling or chipping:

Issue: The rain has caused the paint to peel or chip away from the deck surface.

  1. Solution: Once the deck is completely dry, remove the peeling or chipping paint using a scraper, putty knife, or sandpaper. Clean the surface and apply a primer if necessary. Apply a new coat of paint, taking care to allow adequate drying time before exposing the deck to rain or other elements.

To minimize the risk of these issues, always check the weather forecast before starting your deck painting project and plan accordingly.

If possible, choose a time with several consecutive days of dry weather to ensure the paint has ample time to dry and cure properly.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. How can I know if it's going to rain soon and if I should postpone my deck painting project?

  A: Keep an eye on the local weather forecast and look for a period with several consecutive days of dry weather to minimize the risk of rain affecting your project.

Weather apps and websites can also provide hourly forecasts to help you plan your work accordingly.

Q. Can I still paint my deck if there's a chance of rain in the forecast?

  A: It's best to avoid painting your deck if there's a high chance of rain.

However, if you must proceed with your project, consider using a paint with a faster drying time or a paint specifically designed for damp conditions.

Be prepared to cover your deck if rain starts unexpectedly.

Q. How long should I wait after rain to start painting my deck?

  A: You should wait until the deck is completely dry before painting.

Depending on the material of your deck and the weather conditions, this could take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. 

Use a moisture meter or perform a "touch test" to ensure that the surface is dry.

Q. What kind of paint should I use to minimize the impact of rain on my deck painting project?

  A: Choose a high-quality exterior paint that is water-resistant and designed for use on decks.

Some paint products are specifically formulated for damp or humid conditions, and these may provide better results in rainy weather.

Q. How can I protect my deck if I've already started painting and rain is approaching?

  A: If you've already started painting and rain is imminent, cover the freshly painted surface with a waterproof tarp or plastic sheeting to protect it.

Make sure the covering is secured properly to prevent it from blowing away or allowing rainwater to seep underneath.

Q. What should I do if my painted deck is exposed to rain before the paint has had a chance to dry?

  A: If your painted deck is exposed to rain before the paint has dried, wait for the rain to stop and the deck to dry completely.

Then, evaluate the condition of the paint job. If the paint has been significantly affected, you may need to sand, clean, and repaint the surface.

Q. Can I use a heater or fan to speed up the drying process of my painted deck in case of rain?

  A: Yes, you can use a heater, fan, or dehumidifier to help speed up the drying process of the paint.

However, be cautious when using these devices around wet paint, and ensure they are not causing any damage to the paint or the deck surface.

Q. How can I prevent rain from affecting my deck painting projects in the future?

  A: To prevent rain from affecting your deck painting projects, always check the weather forecast before starting and choose a period with several consecutive days of dry weather.

Use high-quality exterior paint designed for deck surfaces, and ensure you follow the manufacturer's instructions for drying and curing times.


Rain after painting your deck can be a frustrating experience, but it doesn't have to spell disaster.

By assessing the situation, using water-resistant paint, removing excess water, allowing the deck to dry, and touching up any damaged areas, you can save your hard work and keep your deck looking great.

So, don't let a little rain get you down - follow these essential tips, and your deck will be ready for sunny days ahead!

Suggested Products:

  1. Quick-Dry Exterior Deck Paint: A high-quality quick-dry exterior deck paint can significantly reduce the drying time, allowing you to complete your project even with a limited window of dry weather. This type of paint is designed to be more resistant to moisture and can help minimize the risk of rain damage.
  2. Moisture-Resistant Deck Paint: Moisture-resistant deck paint is specifically formulated to withstand damp or humid conditions, making it an excellent choice for painting your deck when rain is a concern. This paint provides an extra layer of protection against moisture and helps maintain the appearance and durability of your deck.
  3. Waterproof Tarp or Plastic Sheeting: A waterproof tarp or plastic sheeting can be a lifesaver when it comes to protecting your freshly painted deck from rain. These coverings will prevent rainwater from coming into contact with the wet paint and can be easily removed once the weather clears up.
  4. Moisture Meter: A moisture meter is an essential tool for determining if your deck is dry enough to paint after a rainfall. By measuring the moisture content of the deck material, you can ensure that the surface is adequately dry before applying paint, reducing the risk of rain-related issues.
  5. High-quality Exterior Paint: Investing in a high-quality exterior paint designed for deck surfaces can make a significant difference in the durability and appearance of your deck. A good-quality paint will be more resistant to the effects of rain, providing a longer-lasting finish.
  6. Portable Heater or Fan: A portable heater or fan can be used to speed up the drying process of your painted deck when rain is a concern. These devices can help evaporate moisture from the paint and the deck surface, allowing the paint to dry faster and reducing the risk of rain-related damage.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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