Can You Paint Composite Decking

Composite decking by all claims appears to be too good to be true: it doesn’t fade, it lasts a lifetime, and is scratch- and resistant against UV rays. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, and it requires some upkeep after a while.

You may wonder if you can paint a composite deck if yours shows signs of wear or age.

A composite deck can be painted or stained, but you can’t just stain composite decking with any regular porch paint or finish you find for a wooden surface.

composite deck

Luckily, there is a variety of paint and stain products specifically for composite decking. However, you’ll find earlier composite decking will accept stain better than more modern variations. However, most composite decks can be stained or painted.

The issue comes down to composite surface preparation and application. So, in our guide, you can learn how to prepare your non capped composite decking to accept paint and the proper ways to apply deck stain to your composite materials. (Read About Moisture Resistant Paint For Bathrooms)

By the end, you’ll see you can become a master at how to stain composite decking and know which is the right paint to match Trex decking.

What Kind of Paint Can You Use on Composite Decking?

Use a high-quality latex deck and floor paint with a semi-gloss or satin finish over composite decking if you want to add a paint finish.

When staining composite decks, use a high-quality acrylic latex solid color deck stain explicitly designed for composite decking.

How Long do Composite Decks Last?

Composite decking should last 25-30 years with little maintenance. Cleaning is required even if it does not influence a lifetime. Your composite decking will be made from recycled plastic and wood shavings, so it is a green solution. Almost always, composite decking is made to look like wood but is more durable.

How To Apply Paint To Composite Decking

Cleaning a composite deck entails cleaning the debris from the deck, such as dirt and leaves. After that, clean your deck using a composite deck cleaner or any other cleaner available that meets your needs and is suitable.

Rinse your deck with water to ensure that the surface is clean.

Allow a few days for your deck to dry completely and be in good condition before painting.

Here are all the steps you need to paint composite decking.

Step 1: Protect or Move Items On Your Composite Deck

If you have plants around your decking, such as flower pots and other greenery, cover plants with canvas or plastic cloth to prevent possible chemical leakage. If you have outside furniture, cover it or get it out of the way as much as possible. (Learn How To Fix Drywall Seams After Painting)

Step 2: Clean the Deck

Making sure your deck is properly cleaned is an essential element of the overall painting composite decking procedure. It would help if you cleared the debris and grime.

You can clean your deck with a suitable composite deck cleaner or at your local store. If you go the chemical route, you’ll still need to clean the surface with water.

Some cleaners are for capped decks and are stronger, so ensure you know the type of decking you have and which cleaner you should use.

You can go more natural and eco-friendly using a soapy water mixture and a pressure washer or soft bristle brush. To get rid of mildew and mold, fill a bucket with two parts vinegar and one part water and sprinkle baking soda on the affected areas. When you use vinegar and baking soda, rinse well and dry it before painting a composite deck.

Step 3: Sand Your Deck

If you want your composite decking to have the smoothest possible paint finish, you’ll need to sand it in the wood grain direction grain to degloss and smooth down the planks.

Sandpaper with a grit of 240 is recommended. After sanding, sweep away the dust with a broom and rinse with water once more.

Step 4: Apply a Primer

It would be ideal if you could use an acrylic latex exterior primer to prime composite decking. You should apply the primer in the direction of the wood boards.

You may find some finishes come in self-priming, yet it may be better to apply a separate coat of primer as you know your preparation for your composite deck stain is right. It can take around two hours for the primer to dry.

Step 5: Paint Composite Decking

After the primer dries on your deck boards, you can apply the outdoor porch paint first coat to the composite surfaces.

To make things easier, pour the paint into a roller tray. Allow some time between the first coat and the following coat, so the surface properly dries. The latex paint formula dry time varies depending on the product you’re using.

You can add a second coat if needed, or you want more protection. You can keep your roller tray inside a plastic bag to prevent it from drying or getting dirty between coats.

Can You Refinish Composite Decking Materials?

Older composite decking can be stained or painted since it is manufactured by uniformly blending plastic and wood fiber. Capped composite decking cannot be painted or stained.

Capped composite decking is almost identical to prior generation decking in terms of structure. The inner core of all composites comprises polymers and wood fibers. A PVC shell protects the inner core of capped composite decking. The inner composite core is protected from the outer environment by this shell. (Learn How To Remove Painters Tape Without Peeling Paint)

Paints and stains will not adhere to the capped composite decking because of the PVC shell. As a result, you won’t be able to refinish this type of composite decking.

Before painting or staining composite decking, there are a few things to think about.

There are a few things you should think about before painting or staining your composite decking.

The following are some of them:

Age of Composite Decking

The color of composite decking fades as it ages. If your decking has reached the end of its useful life, you should it rather than refinish it. Most composite decking has a twenty-five-year lifespan. If your decking is over twenty years old, it may be time to replace it.

Pick Paint or Stain Carefully

One of the most important reasons to paint or stain composite decking is to get a bespoke color that matches your home. Composite decking stains and paints come in a variety of hues. Choose a hue that complements your skin tone. Apply the stain or paint to a tiny section of composite decking to see how it looks before applying it to your entire deck.

Also, pick high-quality paints and stains whenever possible. They are more expensive, but they will most likely survive longer; therefore, the extra cost is justified.

Choose paints and varnishes that protect your decking from UV rays. You can also seek zinc-based stains. Zinc helps to prevent mold growth and discoloration.

You can also choose a paint or stain for your deck based on the recommendations of the composite decking manufacturer.

Clean Deck Surface Thoroughly

Clean the surface of your composite decking to thoroughly remove dirt before adding paints or stains. Remove all mildew, grime, and mold from the composite decking surface with a composite deck cleaner or a scrub brush.

Prepare Deck Surface

After you’ve removed all mold and filth from the composite decking surface, you’ll need to prepare it so that paints and stains will adhere properly.

Using 220 or 240 grit sandpaper, sand the surface. But be careful not to go overboard. Otherwise, you risk damaging your deck.

Remove all dust after sanding and prime the surface. The finest primers for composite decking are acrylic latex-based primers. They improve the stain or paint’s durability.


Consider the Weather

Before painting or staining your composite deck, consider the weather in your location. Moisture and rain are the worst enemies of your composite deck. If there is a likelihood of rain or fog in the forecast, or if the weather is too humid, staining or painting your composite deck is not suggested.

Paints and stains should never be applied in direct sunlight. The paint or stain will dry faster; as a result, leaving lap marks on the composite deck’s surface.

How Long Paint or Staining Lasts

How long paint or stain lasts on a composite deck depends on many factors. These include the paint or stain kind, the weather, and how often the deck will be used.

Paints can last a few years in ideal conditions and can have a long lifespan compared to stains. Stains have a shorter lifespan than paints and usually last around a year.

frequently ask questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you paint Trex decking boards?

Trex decking is simple to maintain because it closely resembles its natural timber counterparts. Trex composite decking can be adequately preserved even if not painted with this paint.

Which composite decking brand is best?

TimberTech (AZEK) is the brand because it is high-end, premium, and nearly the most expensive.

This manufacturer also promises a 50-year warranty on your paint, so you can rest comfortably that it will last a long time.

Can I paint composite deck rails?

The Deck railing is typically white, but you can paint it any color you choose if it is older.

You can also sand the railing with sandpaper on this surface. This allows the paint to stay on the surface longer, making your painting more effective.

The railing should then be rinsed to remove any dirt, oil-based primer, and coating.

Can I restore composite decking?

If you choose a poor-quality composite paint, it will quickly turn gray, become less appealing, or get damaged from harsh weather conditions. Insects perforate the floor, causing irregular color spots to develop. (Learn How To Get Paint Off Concrete)

However, by repainting with higher-quality paint, you can eliminate this disadvantage.

What is the warranty of paint on composite floors?

Depending on the print quality of each manufacturer, they usually have a warranty of 25-35 years.

However, you should re-paint your floor every 20 years to ensure long-term endurance and maintain the optimum paint color.

Can I paint capped and uncapped materials?

Trex decking and other composite decking products composed of a consistent blend of plastics and wood fibers can be painted or stained. New kinds of composite decking that are capped with a separate material shell on the top and sides of the boards are unable to withstand foot traffic.

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