Colour Schemes for Your Deck

Make your deck look as on-trend as the rest of your home.

By Diane Franklin

Just like you can have a coordinating palette for the exterior of your home, you can create a palette for your deck with a colour scheme consisting of different hues for the floor boards, spindles and railings.

Here are some suggestions for pulling off the perfect scheme for your deck.

Coordinate With Your Home

The first thing you should do is consider the style and colour of the rest of your home. You want your deck to be a nice complement to the rest of your exterior—not stick out like an odd afterthought. For instance, a light gray stain works very well with Cape Cod style homes, which often have a gray or white façade themselves. Light brown or cedar typically goes better with dark-coloured homes and is especially compatible with homes in rustic settings.

Using a transparent or semi-transparent stain is generally more compatible with a rural or suburban home, whereas a semi-solid or solid-colour stain would be more appropriate for urban homes and townhomes.

Also consider the landscaping around your home. For instance, more natural tones are more appropriate in a backyard where the foliage is abundant and the deck is almost an extension of the outdoor vibe you are going for.

Monochromatic Schemes

A tried-and-true method of staining your decks is to use the same colour on every wooden surface—i.e., the floor boards, the spindles and the railings. That actually works better with a small deck where you don’t want the colour contrast to draw attention to just how small the space may be. If some contrast is desired, it can be accomplished by using metal deck balusters as a break between the deck stain on the floor boards and top railings.

Two-Toned Decks

Using two colours for decks is a way to give it a more decorative and finished look. You already are likely doing something similar on the exterior of your home—i.e., light siding contrasted with dark shutters (or vice versa). Perhaps you’ve even added a pop of more vibrant colour by using green shutters to contrast with your white siding. You can duplicate the same colour scheme for your deck that you’re using on your home’s exterior—or try something that is a bit different but still compatible 

For instance, painting or staining the spindles white in contrast to the brown or grey floor boards is a classic two-toned look. You can make the top railings the same colour as the spindles or the floor boards—it’s up to you. Carry the contrast through to the deck steps, where you can stain the horizontal stair pieces the same as the floor boards and use white on the risers.

Another classic colour combination is to use a forest green paint or stain for the spindles to contrast with the brown or cedar tone of the floor boards or railings.

Get Creative!

So far, we’ve mentioned classic deck colours like grey, brown and cedar for the floor boards and white or green for the spindles, but you can get a little more creative by using colours that trend toward deep blues, seafoam greens or even smoky purples. If you have a good eye for colour, don’t be afraid of exhibiting those talents when it comes to staining your deck.