How To Stencil Garden Decking and Create a Beautiful Space

Adding a garden decking is such a great way of creating a social space for your family, providing an extra living area for the warmer months. If you want to add character and stencil garden decking, even better!

We created our garden decking space back in April 2017 and within two years it had become dirty, damp, and unsightly. I had a bright idea to stencil it to brighten up the space and add character and pattern to our garden deck.

Garden decking offers numerous benefits for the garden, including extended living space, aesthetics, versatility, durability, low maintenance, and accessibility, and is easily integrated with other gardening elements. It provides a functional and attractive outdoor area that allows you to enjoy your garden and enhance your outdoor lifestyle.

However, our garden decking had seen better days!

garden decking
Our decking after it had just been laid
rattan garden furniture on decking
Our Borneo rattan furniture from Asda which we have now replaced
decking with lots of damage
Only 2 years later and the garden decking had definitely seen better days
decking with damp spots and moss growing
You can make out where the garden furniture was, protecting the garden decking from the elements!

Stencil Garden Decking

painted patio with black and white patterned tiles and French style patio furniture
The beautiful patio of @zevyjoy

I’ve worked really hard on our house and the garden had become totally neglected, so I was looking for a way to bring color and pattern to the garden so it became an extension of our home. I had looked at perhaps painting the garden decking grey or just stripping it down varnishing it and adding rugs but I wanted something a little more permanent.

I did a little bit of research and came across a few posts and images where the garden deck or patio area had been painted with a stencil, so I thought I would give it a go!

How to Stencil a Deck

woman holding a pressure washer in the kitchen
Want to know how to stencil a deck? Get a VonHaus pressure washer first and clean it up. It’s a proper workout!

The first thing I had to do was strip down the decking and clean it. We were gifted a 1600W Pressure washer by VonHaus which was extremely easy to use and stripped off all the mold, dirt, and debris from our garden decking, making it as good as new again.

All we had to do was connect the pressure washer to our outdoor tap and plug it in and it was good to go. It took me about 5 hours to get all the dirt and grime off the decking and was very therapeutic!

VonHaus pressure washer
Very simple to put together and use
garden decking after a pressure washer has cleaned it
The difference is automatically visible

Once I had cleaned and pressure washed the decking, I had to leave it for a few days to completely dry out and the next sunny day I set to work.

I contacted Dizzy Duck Designs which I found through Etsy, asking if they had a stencil I could use in the garden. They sent me their Valencia Tile stencil in XL (45cm x 45cm) as I had a large area to cover and thought this would be quicker!

As the stencil turns up in a cardboard tube, take care to take it out and straighten it. It needs to be uncurled in the opposite direction and the best way to do this is to lie it on top of the paper that it comes with, lie the stencil in the opposite way of the curl, and then attach it to the cardboard tube, and roll it around the tube, fixing it with sticky tape.

I left it like this overnight and it was more or less straight when I unfastened it.

stencil on a wooden floor Valencia Tile Stencil

The next job was to choose the paint color. As the decking covered such a huge area, I knew I wanted the background to be white with either a dark grey or blue pattern and I chose the woodcare partner of DuluxCuprinol and their shades White Daisy & Silver Birch (if you want to see more on Cuprinol, click here).

I needed 2 x pots of 2.5L of White Daisy and one 2.5L pot of Silver Birch.

two tins of Cuprinol paint pots on decking
Cuprinol has some great shades for your garden including Natures Neutrals and Natures Brights

I bought a paint roller on a pole from B&Q to paint the decking white which needed two coats. It took me about 3 hours to complete and I had to wait another day for this to dry completely.

decking painted white
The first coat going on
the decking painted white
The main part of the decking waiting to dry
decking painted white under an apple tree
It’s amazing how much painting the decking white brightened up the space and was already a vast improvement

Then it was a case of painting the stencil onto the decking which I knew would take up the bulk of my time. To paint the stenciling, you will need –

stencil with a small roller and paintbrush in the kitchen
My stencil, a small foam roller, a paintbrush, and some frog tape

I positioned the stencil in the far corner of the decking secured it with frog tape and emptied the Silver Birch Cuprinol paint into a roller tray. I then applied paint onto the small foam roller, being careful not to put too much paint on it.

Less is more and I rolled the excess paint from the roller onto an old newspaper until the roller was almost dry. I applied the paint in thin layers, making sure I mopped up any mistakes with a damp cloth, and kept applying the color until I was happy with the shade.

stencil fastened to decking with frog tape ready to be painted
I started off in the corner of the main part of the decking
grey paint going on over the stencil
Applying the paint with a small roller

Dizzy Duck Designs send you two stencils to use so that you can paint quicker. I would start by using a stencil, giving it a quick clean and letting it dry in the sun whilst I used the other one.

Each stencil also comes with a guide on the edge of the stencil so you can match it up to the previously painted pattern and keep it consistent.

the stencil pattern going on over garden decking
First couple of patterns
Slowly building it up with a coffee break in between!
decking being stencilled with white and grey paint
The last main stencil goes down

You also get 2 x half stencils so you can still get into those trickier areas without having to bend the stencil. I needed to use these where the decking met the wall as there wasn’t enough room to use a whole stencil.

using a half stencil to paint in smaller gaps
Using the half stencil to fill in the last gaps

Once I finished the border on the main part of the decking, I started on the decking that runs along the bifold doors which took me around 3 hours to complete.

decking around the corner of a house
The last stretch in the sunshine

And that’s it! From start to finish it probably took me about 12 hours to complete and it’s completely transformed the decking and made the area much brighter and lighter which is ideal when it is east-facing.

The Dizzy Duck Design stencil and Cuprinol paint were extremely easy to use and apply and from a distance can look like real tiling. I would definitely do it again and use these products.

the finished stencilled garden decking
Moving the furniture back onto the decking
stencilled decking
Close-up of the print
firepit on decking with grass and trees in the background
Our new Copper Fire Pit from VonHaus
stencilled decking with garden furniture, pink hydrangeas sit in a plant pot and festoon lights hang above
A pretty picture for Instagram of course :) @melaniejadedesign

Q. What is the best paint for outdoor stencils?

A. Acrylic paint is a popular choice for outdoor stencils due to its versatility, durability, and wide range of color options. Look for acrylic paints specifically labeled as suitable for outdoor use or with UV protection to ensure better weather resistance.

Latex paint is another suitable option for outdoor stenciling. It provides good adhesion, durability, and resistance to weather conditions. Choose a latex paint with a matte or satin finish for better stencil visibility and longevity. 

I have used both Cuprinol and Rust-Oleum and find they are easily the best paint for outdoor stencils. 

Q. How can I maintain painted surfaces in the garden?

A. Like anything outside, it has the tendency to wear away quite quickly. Regular maintenance is essential for painted surfaces in the garden. This may involve periodic cleaning, touch-ups, and applying a fresh coat of paint or sealer as needed. Protecting painted surfaces from excessive moisture, direct sunlight, and physical damage can help prolong their lifespan.

Q. How do I prepare the surface before painting?

A. Surface preparation involves cleaning the area to remove dirt, debris, and any loose or flaking paint. Depending on the surface, you may need to sand it to create a smoother finish. If necessary, use a primer to ensure better adhesion.

how to stencil your garden decking and create a beautiful space Pinterest pin

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  1. This is so beautiful! I hope to do the same this summer, but how is the stencil holding up after those long winter months?

    1. Hi Mette

      Thank you! I think it all depends on where your decking is. We stencilled this part and then around the side of the house. This part held up really well, but the decking that goes under our apple tree round the side of the house didn’t. I think if your decking is near plants, it seems to take quite a battering! :)

    1. Not at all. It’s quite a matt finish but also easy to brush off the water after it’s rained heavily. Mel :)

  2. This is fab! Just found your blog and loving it! I’m going to try this on a balcony off my bedroom on my house when sumner comes in. I know this is an old post so wondering if you’d still recommend the paint tiles after many years…. I appreciate you’ve moved now . Thanks!

    1. Hi Lorraine

      I think it all depends on where your decking is? Our decking round the side was away from all vegetation and trees so it fared really well. The decking around the side that was under our apple tree did not though as it was constantly damp. I think if I were to do it again, I’d paint the decking grey and buy one of the vinyl rugs you can get for outdoors instead. This is so much easier and you won’t be redoing it every year. Mel :)

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