The days are longer, the temperature is rising, and we can practically smell the burgers sizzling on the grill. As you prepare for the summer entertaining season, make sure your deck is garden party-ready with a fresh coat of paint or stain.
‘We’re naturally spending more time outside, so you want to make your exterior spaces, whether that’s a patio or balcony, an extension of your home,’ says Tash Bradley, director of interior design at Lick. A fresh coat of paint is a sure way to freshen up your deck and inject it with personality. Whether you’re re-staining the entire deck, or just adding a few new painted planters—she recommends using Lick’s Red 03 as an accent color to create a Mediterranean al-fresco dining feel, or using Pink 04 to embrace the Barbiecore trend—these are the top deck colors for summer 2023.
“The blue family is becoming a popular color choice for the deck,” says Sue Kim, director of color marketing at Valspar. She expects Blue Twilight, a muted blue-gray shade that sets a calm and contemporary scene in your backyard, to prosper this summer. “Blue is a timeless choice, and the gray undertone elevates the finished look with understated luxury,” she says.
Paint Color: Blue Twilight by Valspar
Spruce up an old deck with Mahogany ES-60, a semi-transparent stain in a rich, warm brown. “Semi-transparent stains enhance the beauty of the wood with color while still allowing most of the wood’s natural grain and texture to show through,” says Hannah Yeo, manager of color marketing and development at Benjamin Moore. Mahogany pairs well with various colors, making it a versatile deck color choice. When choosing a stain color, Yeo recommends paying attention to the wood type, the opacity of the stain, and the color. “The combination of these three elements will greatly impact the final look,” she says.
Stain Color: Mahogany ES-60 by Benjamin Moore
Deep Chocolate Brown
Give your deck a makeover with Chestnut SW 3524, a rich chocolatey brown stain by Sherwin-Williams. “Pair this stain with lighter-colored furniture to contrast its dark hue, like white or light beige,” suggests Dennis Fiorilli, director of product excellence and Sherwin-Williams. The SuperDeck Exterior Waterborne Solid Color Deck Stain provides durable, opaque protection offering lasting protection against weathering, chipping, or cracking, and contains agents which inhibit the growth of mildew, so you won’t have to reapply stain as frequently.
Stain Color: Chestnut SW 3524 by Sherwin-Williams
Increase your proximity to nature by painting your deck Pewter Green SW6208, a dark mossy green that is both elegant and grounding. Whether you’re in the city or somewhere more remote, “embracing the colors of nature on the exterior of your home will conjure a calming environment,” says Ashley Banbury, manager of color marketing for HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams. Pewter Green is also a great shade for highlighting architectural features, like doors, architraves, and exterior shutters.
Paint Color: Pewter Green SW6208 by HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams
Mid-Tone Golden Brown
Celebrate the natural warmth and color of your wooden deck with Handcrafted (DESS15), a rustic mid-tone brown wood stain with a warm ochre orange undertone. “Inspired by the trend of creating objects by hand, from artwork and furnishings to home interiors and outdoor gardenscapes, Handcrafted celebrates vintage and classic design,” McLean says. The rich, golden brown stain color is simple and practical yet feels immediately welcoming and grounding, making it the perfect pick for your deck or front porch.
Stain Color: Handcrafted (DESS15) by Dunn-Edwards
Deep, Sophisticated Brown
Behr recently named Cordovan Brown its first-ever Exterior Wood Stain Color of the Year. “It’s a rich, satisfying finish for a sophisticated and timeless look in any residential or commercial outdoor space,” says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr. The deep brown stain pairs well with beige, gray, and soft off-whites, like Blank Canvas, to create contrast. “Use it on its own for a complete transformation or as a finishing touch to refresh your deck, patio, or entryway spaces ahead of the outdoor entertaining season,” she says.
Stain Color: Cordovan Brown by Behr
“Out of 3,500+ colors available in Benjamin Moore Arborcoat solid stain, Sea Gull Gray ES-72 is one of my top picks,” says Yeo. “As a mid-tone neutral gray, it balances warm and cool, making it easy to color-coordinate.” The warm gray tone also compliments natural materials such as brick, slate, and stone. Solid stains provide the most shielding and color, making it an excellent choice for old decks or homeowners wanting to make a color statement.
Paint Color: Sea Gull Gray ES-72 by Benjamin Moore
“Smoky Brushland (DESS27) is a muted sage green color with a hint of gray and is part of our SOLID-COLOR Exterior Deck, Fence and Siding Stain Collection,” says Sara McLean, color expert and stylist at Dunn-Edwards. She expects this sage shade to fly off the shelf this summer as questions of sustainability and wellness remain at the forefront of design trends. “Emphasis is placed on quaint, homey ideals and rustic elements as customers crave spaces of refuge,” she says.
Stain Color: Smoky Brushland (DESS27) by Dunn-Edwards