A fresh coat of painting or staining on your deck is always recommended every 18 months to 2 years in St. Louis. Decks take a lot of beating from our 4 seasons from snow to hot sun. You can sometimes wait for up to 3 or so years to repaint your deck, but to keep it looking fresh, every 2 years is optimum.
Then the question is, when can you walk on a freshly painted deck? This depends on the temperature when the paint or stain was applied and the temperature after the product begins to dry. In most cases a full body stain or acrylic deck finish will be dry to touch within an hour in dry, hot weather. After two hours you could take a chance and walk on it with shoes, though I’d recommend barefoot. After about 4 hours you should be able to safely walk on your deck.
The next question is: when can I move furniture back on my deck? I would not recommend putting furniture or plants back on your deck for several days. Acrylic paints and stains take a solid week of really dry weather to cure, sometimes even longer. If you have light deck objects like small deck chairs, a few days after you paint should be fine. But it would be smart to wait a good week before putting heavy objects such as a table or a sunbrella with a heavy base.
On a side note, be careful putting potting plants directly on your deck. They tend to cause dry rot because the water can’t escape when you water your plants. You can buy pot risers that help the water escape properly.
If you have any other questions, call Kennedy Painting at 314.952.0156.