Best decking paint – Ronseal vs Cuprinol go head to head in customer reviews

Stacey Solomon jet washes her Wendy house and garden bench

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The recent incredible weather paired with finally being able to entertain people in our backyard again has created a mad rush for people to get their gardens in order, quickly. If painting your deck is one of the items on your to-do list, you’re probably weighing up the pros and cons of different paint brands. Now is the best time of year to paint your deck because rain-free days are easy to come by and if you do it now you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of your labour all summer long.

Painting your deck is a labour intensive job that requires hours of cleaning, painting, and waiting.

And if you choose the wrong product you won’t just be wasting money, you’ll also be wasting a huge chunk of time.

Instead of having to take the risk yourself, we put two best selling deck paints – Ronseal and Cuprinol – head to head using customer reviews to reveal the superior paint.

To see a deep dive into the pros and cons of both products, as well as our final verdict, keep scrolling.


Ronseal DRPS25L 2.5 Litre Decking Rescue Paint 

Tin size: 2.5L

4.4 stars from 900 ratings

RRP: £36.29, on sale now for £29.54 – you save £6.75

Colour range:

  • Charcoal
  • Maple
  • Chestnut
  • Bramble
  • Deep blue
  • Slate
  • Willow

What it does on the tin:

Not just a standard decking paint, this rescue paint also fills in small cracks, seals down splinters, and covers grey wood in order to help dishevelled decks look new again with a long-lasting and scuff resistant finish.

What customers are saying about Ronseal DRPS25L 2.5 Litre Decking Rescue Paint:

Starting off with a positive note, spending time reading through the reviews showed that many customers were impressed with how low effort the deck stain was, with one saying they were “Absolutely delighted with the results of using Ronseal decking paint.

It was easy to paint on with minimal preparation and two coats later looked like a new deck”, and another exulting that Ronseal “is the best decking paint I’ve ever used, goes on very easy and it says two coats but I’ve only needed to do one!”.

For those who have had their decks for quite a few years and it’s showing some wear and tear, there were several reviewers who were impressed with Ronseals ability to make it look new again.

One customer was particularly impressed, saying: “Our deck is several years old and is deteriorating in places. Some repairs and fixes made good, but it was still looking very worse for wear. The Ronseal Rescue Paint has been a godsend.

“The paint covered small cracks and splits while giving a uniform coverage and was really easy to put on. Our deck looks like new and is ready for the winter now”.

Another person added: “It actually does repair your decking, mine has been down for 17 years and now looks like new”.

Now for the less happy customers. Although the decking paint does have many, many more positive reviews than negative, not everyone has the same experience using a product and reading through the less positive ones can help you get a better understanding of whether the product will work for you.

Some found that the stain wasn’t great value for money, with one reviewer saying: “Initially, this seemed a good if not expensive purchase. The balcony was prepared as instructed. I needed two tins to complete the job, so this amounted to nearly 60 quid to paint a balcony we occasionally sit out on. 12 months later, much of the area is flaking and peeling off.

“I expected it to last longer than this for the price, especially considering it is hardly used”.

Another complaint that cropped up a few times was the stain flaking and peeling earlier than expected.

One customer details their experience saying: “My old decking needed attention. Used this product in September 2018. Cleaned old decking, repaired where necessary and then applied two coats of Decking Rescue paint. Gradually since that date, six months, the paint has disappeared in patches and the decking looks appalling.

“Having to apply more now to try and repair the damage. Looked amazing when first applied, had no wear over the winter as in footfall as we don’t tend to go outside in the winter and now needs more attention before the summer. Would not recommend”.

Although there were plenty of people who weren’t happy with the longevity of the stain, one happy customer made a point to say “there’ve been some reviews about chipping and splitting of the paint after a year or two, but it plainly says on the tin that further applications may be required in subsequent years. What else would you expect from a walked-upon painted surface?”

Cuprinol UTDSUS25L Anti Slip Decking Stain 

Tin size: 2.5L

4.6 stars from 5,418 reviews

RRP: £21.05, on sale now for £16.85 – you save £4.20

Colour range:

  • American Mahogany
  • Black Ash
  • City Stone
  • Golden Maple
  • Hampshire Oak
  • Silver Birch
  • Urban Slate
  • Vermont green
  • Country Cedar
  • Natural
  • Natural Oak

What it does on the tin:

This semi-transparent decking stain has a matte finish that provides a touch of colour as well as a protective coat that resists cracking and peeling.

The stain is not just weatherproof, it has also been formulated with a treatment that protects against wood rot and insect attacks so your decking can be more durable and prevent wood splitting and cracking.

What customers are saying about Cuprinol UTDSUS25L Anti Slip Decking Stain:

Cuprinol reviews indicate a generally positive experience from people who’ve used the stain, with many saying they’ve been using it for a long period of time and they’ve remained impressed. One long time user said: “We’ve been using this for a couple of years now, looks great, easy to paint on and lasts for a good couple of years”.

One happy customer waited a little while before writing her review to make sure she still stood by her initial assessment, saying: “Repainted my patio and wooden garden steps in the spring and they still look great. I waited until giving this review as pretty much all decking stains look good when it’s first painted on, but here we are nearly three months later and it still looks great”.

Others had mixed experiences, with one saying the stain “works really well as a non-slip finish”, adding:” Meant that we could go out on the deck with confidence whereas it was getting very slippery when wet. After two seasons it did start flaking so not as durable as I’d like. Because it is so effective as a non-slip finish I am using it again”.

This isn’t the only review that mentions flaking, with another detailing: “This is the fifth year I will paint a partially covered wooden deck with this. It looks amazing for the first month but doesn’t wear well at all. The part of the deck which is more exposed to the elements, which is also the part I walk on most, flakes and the finish peels off within the year”.

Another fairly common observation was that while they loved how the stain was non-slip, this did make it harder to clean with one user saying the stain “went on easily, nice matt finish”.

The added: “Looks lovely, however, we have dogs and I have noticed muddy paw prints don’t brush out and take a bit of work to get rid of with the hosepipe. I’m assuming it’s because it’s non-slip that maybe it kinda ‘holds on’ to dirt.”

The verdict:

Cuprinol Anti Slip Decking Stain is the clear winner.

Although Ronseal has a tonne of glowing reviews and is no doubt a fantastic product, Cuprinol not only has a higher star rating, it also has a greater percentage of 5-star reviews – 75 percent instead of Ronseals 69 percent.

While they’re both on special at the moment Cuprinol’s price point is still more enticing, working out £13 pounds cheaper than Ronseal for the same sized can.

Customer ratings and price are two of the most important factors when you’re trying to figure out what product to buy, and as Cuprinol Anti Slip Decking Stain wins out in both those categories, so, therefore, it’s our pick for the winning decking paint for 2021.

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