Can You Paint Trex Or Composite Decking? [Detailed Guide]

Can you paint trex or composite decking to protect it from fading? You are at the right page where we have discussed everything about it.

According to many people, composite decking may appear too wonderful to be true it never ages, is impervious to scratches, and is impervious to ultraviolet damage.

The problem is, that is not the case. If you have an old deck or just moved into a home with an undesirable existing deck, painting a composite one might be a good option.

A composite deck can be painted or stained. Composite decking may be painted and stained with a variety of products on the market.

Generally, stain or paint will adhere to most of all types of composite decking, with the exception of newer composites, which absorb stainless well.

Appropriate surface preparation and performing the job are crucial for any type of material, whether it’s ordinary lumber or composite.

With any sort of composite decking, you can’t use any stain at all. There are many materials and methods you may use to paint or stain your composite decking.

The best part is you can perform the job of painting all by yourself without spending anything on the professionals. All you have to do is to abide by the guidelines discussed here. Read this detailed and well-researched article on the query “can you paint trex or composite decking” to keep yourself equipped.

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Brief About Trex Or Composite Decking

Plastics and wood fibers are combined in composite decking to give it a unique look and feel. Composite decking comes in two basic varieties.

Wood fibers and plastics are mixed throughout the first model. Unlike the first, the second is made of wood fibers encased in a film of polyethylene.

Keep in mind that plastic and composite decking are not the same. As there are no organic compounds in plastic decking, it isn’t termed composite decking.

PVC decking, on the other hand, is 100% PVC. Plastic decking will not be discussed in this article. Real wood fibers are a significant part of composite decking.

Wood fibers or even sawdust, a byproduct of the lumber industry, might be employed. Various resins and polymers are blended with these fibers to create a composition of organic and non-organic components.

Types Of Composite Decking

Wood-plastic composite, plastic lumber, and capped composite – are all examples of composite decking.

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Wood-Plastic Composite Deck

For homeowners who are unwilling to spend a lot of money on a deck, wood-plastic composite decking is an excellent option.

In order to create wood-plastic composites, recyclable wood and plastic fibers are combined. Only a few companies, such as Timbertech, Trex, and Veranda, sell wood-plastic decking.

Wood-composite decking’s similarity to genuine wood is another factor in its popularity. Using a composite material like this allows homeowners to get the look of real wood while still reaping the benefits of the material’s durability and sustainability.

Decking Manufactured From Capped Composite

In comparison to the wood-plastic composite, a “capped composite” is more resistant to the weather since it is encased in a rubber-coated shell. This is a more expensive option, but it will extend the life of your deck.

Plastic Lumber Deck

Plastic lumber decking is completely plastic, as opposed to wood-composite decking. This product is environmentally friendly because it is typically made from recycled plastic.

Molding wood grain into plastic lumber gives it the appearance of real wood, but it can also be left flat for a more modern aesthetic.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance decking option, plastic lumber may be a better option than traditional wood or other composite materials.

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Can You Paint Trex Or Composite Decking? & Why You Should Paint?

Yes, it can be painted or stained as well if the surface is properly prepared. Your composite deck can be repainted in any color you like. It’s a terrific approach to increase the composite deck’s resale value, aesthetic appeal, and level of protection.

However, I wouldn’t recommend painting over newly installed or freshly resurfaced composite decks. If you notice that your composite deck is deteriorating, it may be time to repaint it.

Since most new composite decks are strengthened with paint-repellent chemicals, this is a common problem. As a result, the new composite decking may not be able to take paint.

For a fresh look, you may always repaint your composite decking. The paint on composite decking doesn’t stay forever, despite what most manufacturers claim.

The paint will start to fade and darken after a few years of exposure to the sun’s rays. The color of the decking can now be altered.

However, you should be aware that in order for the new color to come out perfectly, you must carefully prepare the composite deck. When painting new composite decking, avoid doing so.

Chemicals added to the formula of new composite decking are typically intended to make the deck more stable.

Some of these chemicals, although strengthening the deck, also prevent paint from adhering to it. Because of this, the paint will have a tough time adhering to the composite decking that was just put.

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Does Deck Paint Last?

Painting composite decking is difficult because of three reasons. To begin with, composite decks are not meant to be painted over.

It’s also common for composite decks to be infested with dust, sand, dirt, and oil. All of these materials are paint-repellent.

It is also common to find mildew and fungal growing on composite decks. However, with the right prepping, the paint will adhere to a composite deck.

When making a paint stick, you’ll first need to sand and clean the deck. To paint over a composite deck is a bad idea. Withstanding heavyweight, foot activity, and the elements, composite decks are built to last.

Most composite decks are strengthened with chemicals to increase their strength in order to carry out these objectives. Painting or staining the deck will be complex, if not impossible, due to the presence of these chemicals.

Outside of the residence, composite decks are commonly erected, especially at the front door. Because of this, people will walk on the deck, place objects, and they will be exposed to dirt and grime for an extended time period of time.

As a result of all of this, the deck will become greasy and filthy. According to the fundamentals of painting, the paint will not adhere to dust or dirt.

As a result, you’ll first need to perform some planning. Outdoors, composite decks are typically 60-80 percent wood, exposing the deck to rain and other elements.

When water is constantly poured on wood, fungi and mildew begin to grow on the wood, resulting in green or black hazy areas on the surface of the deck. Mildew also hinders the adhesion of paint.

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Stain Composite Decking: Is It Possible?

In some cases, painting composite decking may be preferable to staining the surface. Only uncapped composite decking can be stained with the composite deck stain.

The stain cannot penetrate a PVC used as a cover over wood fibers. As an example, old Trex decking might be discolored because it lacks a sealant.

Staining a non-capped composite deck the same way you would a wood deck is possible. As with a wood deck, prepare the surface, prime it if necessary, and apply the product according to the instructions.

Both wood, composite, non-capped decking can benefit from oil-based stains. Because they penetrate more deeply into the wood, they are better at protecting it from rain and UV rays and last longer than acrylic stains.

Even though they’re more difficult to deal with because you’ll be staining in the open air, this won’t be an issue.

Paint Composite Decking: Is It Possible?

Decking made of composite material can be painted. Make sure you obtain the correct paint for your composite decking before painting it, just like you would for wood.

Paint will not adhere to all materials in the same way. Composites with a plastic film face are known as capped composites. Polypropylene and polyethylene are among the options.

This is a list of common household plastics. These can be painted more easily than PVC, but that is more challenging. Latex PVC-friendly paint is required for composites with PVC-coated surfaces.

If it is a dark shade or lacks sufficient reflectivity, the PVC will overheat and break down. The sort of paint you buy for composite planks will be determined by the type of material your decking is composed of.

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Factors Before Going For Composite Deck Painting

When it comes to the quality of the paint job, it all comes down to preparation. Remove any mold, mildew, or filth from the composite decking before painting.

When it comes to cleaning composite decks, you can use a commercial product or a homemade solution. If you choose the second option, you could make your own cleaner by combining soap and water.

Mix vinegar, water, and baking soda to the cleaning solution if you have mildew and mold on your deck. To avoid the need for soap and water, you can saturate the surface in vinegar before cleaning it with it.

Paint Or Stain: Which Is Better?

Staining the composite deck instead of painting is a better option because you’ll be able to choose a stain color and kind that you can’t do with paint.

High-quality acrylic latex paint is the ideal choice for this project. That paint, on the other hand, isn’t intended for use on composite decking.

Composites can be stained with special stains. That’s why it’s better to stain. If you have decking that has a fake wood grain, the paint will cover it up.

Capped composite decking can only be altered using this method. The only method to spruce up capped decking is to apply latex acrylic paint.

Paint often contains a higher percentage of solid pigment particles, which are responsible for the color and light reflection of the paint.

Because the paint contains more solids, it is regarded as more durable. Paint’s durability can be altered, however, by factors such as weather, ultraviolet light, and human foot traffic.

With more solids, the “thickness” of paint can change when exposed to the elements such as rain, sunlight, and foot traffic. Composites have paint on the surface, yet stains penetrate.

Even though it is “thinner,” a penetrating stain is good for outdoor surfaces because it gives added protection to the wood.

To ensure a long-lasting paint job on capped composite decking, thoroughly clean and prep the surface before painting. Paints with extremely high solids content or textured paints can both be used in harsh external conditions.

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Types Of Paints To Use For Decks

To perform the composite deck painting, a water-based primer is often recommended. After that, use two semi-gloss acrylic exterior or coats of latex paint.

There are many reasons why this is the ideal paint to use for composite decking. For starters, the deck will be protected from bacteria, mildew, dust, moisture, and UV rays thanks to the exterior paint’s weather-resistant properties.

Acrylic paint is also quite vivid, so it will give a lively and colorful finish on the deck when used.
Exterior latex and acrylic paints use fewer chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making them less prone to etch or damage the wood.

It is also common to find fungicides and other compounds in acrylic exterior and latex and paints, which protect the deck from pest and microbe damage. The next step is to learn about painting composite decks.

Painting Preparation

Preparing your deck for painting or staining is the most essential part of the process. To receive paint or stain, many composites must have a waxy surface layer somewhat removed.

Your composite boards will not be able to be painted or stained if the surface is very smooth.

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Cleaning Of The Deck

Wash the deck with soap and water. It’s usually enough to use soap and water with a soft brush to clean composite capped deck boards.

Non-capped composites can be cleaned with any commercially available deck cleaner. Stain or paint compatibility is essential when choosing a cleaning product.

Using Thompson deck cleaning with a Thompson sealing solution, for example, is a good idea. To make use of any manufacturer’s warranty, be sure to follow the provided instructions strictly.

Clean the deck with a pressure washer. Some paints may advise against this step since it can harm the wood fibers if the pressure is too high.

To remove stubborn dirt and mildew, you can use a low-pressure power washer to remove the stains that will interfere with your intended paint and stain. Before applying a new coat of paint, be sure all stains and dirt have been removed.

There will be peeling where dirt is covered by stain because the stain product will not adhere well to the dirt therefore power washing to remove the dirt and stain is more beneficial than not pressure washing at all.

Sanding The Deck

Real wood decks receive paint naturally, whereas composite decks don’t. Because of this, you’ll require to scuff it a little bit. It is best to prime the surface with medium-grit paper before painting. If you want to give the surface a good scuff, you can use 240-grit sandpaper.

The wood grain should be taken into consideration during sanding to avoid causing noticeable scratches. Don’t sand too deep because you are only required to remove the sheen and make the surface smooth.

After sanding, use a tack cloth to remove the sanding dust, followed by a damp rag to remove the remaining sanding residue and allow it to dry before moving on to the next point.

Priming The Deck

Using a primer before painting your deck can help the paint adhere better to the surface.
Acrylic latex primer made specifically for external use is the primer of choice when painting composite decks or Trex.

If the deck is joined to your house, now is the time to tape off the deck planks where they meet the house with painter’s tape.

You can apply the primer with a paint roller across the length of the composite planks. You can use a roller with an extendable handle because that may be the best option for those who do not want to bend too much.

In order to get the best results from your primer, you should leave the product to dry for at least two hours.

The Painting Process

Staining your composite deck is the final step after it has been thoroughly cleaned. Make sure the dye is completely mixed before using it.

You should also check to see that all of the stains in the package are combined equally with the stain. Make sure you choose the best quality exterior latex paint if you plan on painting.

Using an oil-based solution over a latex coating might lead to cracks that impair the aesthetic of the deck if you’re not careful.

After staining, you can follow the package directions to apply a layer of composite deck finish to protect the stain you just finished.

After about 30 minutes, use a broom or a roller to remove any remaining stain or finish from the composite deck. If the excess paint isn’t removed, you’ll end up with sticky, shiny areas on your deck.

Tips For Painting Trex Or Composite Decking

To make it a success, you may follow some tips described here. When painting aging composite decking, you probably want to achieve the best results possible.

If that’s the case, follow these guidelines to get a job well-done painting Trex. As much as possible, try to work in dry weather.

For example, you may plan the painting endeavor for a day when the temperature is warmer, which will speed up the drying time of the paint.

Cover up any blemishes on your deck with a back-brushing technique. If you’re using a brush to paint your composite deck, use the back-brushing technique to ensure that every nook and cranny is painted.

Avoid painting in the sun if at all possible. Your paint finish will dry too rapidly if exposed to the sun’s intense heat. A shine may develop as a result of the rapid drying process.

Staining Of Composite Deck

Staining a composite deck can produce one of the most admirable results available. In addition to hundreds of colors and opacities to choose from, deck coatings come in a variety of thicknesses.

It’s important to test out the color of the stain after preparing your deck for staining, such as taping around its edges and concealing its surroundings.

Also, prior to staining, be sure that your composite boards have completely dried. If you need to stain your railings or balusters, do so first. To capture any possible runs, stain down.

If your composite decking and railings are made of different materials, be sure the stain you use on one is also used on the other. To stain the wood, use an extendable-handle staining pad.

Use a brush to reach locations the pad can’t. If necessary, reapply the product. Because too much stain won’t penetrate and sit on top of the wood, certain stains require only one application of stain.

This will lead to early peeling or chipping of the stain, resulting in the failure of your stain. The drying time of the stain on the wood will be slowed if the weather is too hot or sunny.

The stain will have a better appearance if you allow it to air dry evenly. The stain may appear blotchy and uneven if it dries too quickly.

What Is The Durability Of The Paint?

On composite decking, paints have a shelf life of one to ten years. On average, coatings on composite decking last three years.

There is a good chance you’ll need to repaint your deck at some point. Interior paint on composite decking has a life expectancy of six to eighteen months at most.

Due to the fact that interior paints are not designed to survive on outside surfaces like composite decking, this is the case.

It is possible to apply exterior paint to a composite deck and expect it to survive for more than five years because of the paint’s weather resistance.

To ensure that the paint on your decking lasts as long as possible, you should be aware of the effects of moisture, heat, UV radiation, and debris.

When it comes to painting a composite deck, weather-resistant paint will be more durable than non-weather-resistant paint.

The paint of your deck will last longer if you keep it clean and free of debris by cleaning and maintaining it on a regular basis.

Stains And Paint Removal Process

Complete deck staining or painting isn’t always required. After all, the purpose of a composite deck is to reduce the amount of time you spend on upkeep.

It’s possible that you’ll need to touch up small areas of damage, such as spots of grease or discoloration. How to remove stains then?

The best way to remove composite deck stain is to follow the same procedure you’d use to clean your deck of mildew and mold.

To begin, use a light soap and a small amount of warm water to wash your hands. A mixture of vinegar and water, and baking soda can be used to remove stubborn stains from carpets and upholstery.

No worries if you accidentally splattered some paint on your deck while painting your house. There are a variety of products that can be used to remove paint from a first-generation deck without hurting the surface.

Final Verdict

We hope we have answered to your question on “can you paint trex or composite decking” with the help of the this detailed article.

Older composite decking can be given a new lease of life by painting or dyeing it. Your deck will look new again after this. In order to extend the lifespan of Trex, you can paint it any color you wish.

If you live in a place that sees a lot of wear and tear, some hues are better than others. Keep in mind that whether or not you paint depends on how much effort you put into the endeavor.

It is claimed that the colors of Trex decks will never fade. These decking materials, on the other hand, are known to fade over time.

There is no need to allow a faded deck to ruin the appearance of your property. If you paint the deck, you can’t go again for restaining it later because paint lasts longer than stain.

Cleaning your deck is an absolute must, regardless of the solution you choose. Without proper adhesion, the stain will flake off and leave a mess. Your efforts may appear to have been futile if this happens.

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Shelley Stevenson

Shelly Stevenson is the full-time editor responsible for painting, flooring, bathrooms & home climate coverage at StyDomIo. She is a home improvement expert with an eye for design and the skills to get the work done. She knows what turns a house into a home and has the advice and ideas to make upgrades easy and fun.

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