Composite decking has become popular for homeowners looking to create a beautiful, low-maintenance outdoor space. While composite decking offers many benefits, one question often arises is whether it can be painted.
Composite decking, like Trex, can be painted or stained to give your outdoor living space an updated look, but mostly it’s not required. It’s important to note that not all composites are created equal. Some brands are easier to paint than others, and some require a special primer or top coat. There are also a few brands that are non-paintable
Let’s explore composite decking and whether it is paintable, along with tips and considerations for those who decide to take on this project.
Can You Recolor Composite Decking?
When changing composite decking color, the manufacturer’s recommendations should always be followed. Some composite decking brands can be painted, while others are not designed to be painted and may not accept paint well. Checking the specific product guidelines for your composite decking is necessary to see if painting is an option.
In general, solid composite decking boards can be painted, while those with a “capped” surface may also not accept paint. Capped composite decking has a layer of protective material on the top and bottom of the board, which helps to improve its durability and resistance to fading and staining. This protective layer may make it more difficult for paint to adhere to the board’s surface.
There are also some potential drawbacks to consider when painting composite decking. For one, achieving a uniform finish on composite decking cannot be easy, as the material is not as porous as wood and may not absorb paint similarly.
Additionally, painting composite decking may void the manufacturer’s warranty, as it is not a recommended treatment for the material. Trex composite decking is designed to be fade and stain-resistant, covered by a 25-year limited fade and stain warranty. Therefore, painting Trex composite decking may void this warranty. You should not void the warranty for just aesthetical pleasure.
Painting Tips For Trex Composite Decking
Despite these challenges, some homeowners still choose to paint their composite decking. If you paint your Trex composite decking, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for preparing the surface and selecting the appropriate paint. These tips are essential for ensuring a successful and durable paint job on your Trex composite decking.
Here are some tips to follow when painting Trex composite decking:
- Use high-quality 100% acrylic latex paint with a low-luster finish. This type of paint is specifically designed for use on outdoor surfaces and will provide the best adhesion and longevity on your Trex composite decking.
- Avoid using oil-based paints. These types of paints do not adhere well to composite decking and may not provide the same level of durability as acrylic latex paint.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for preparing the surface of the composite decking. This may include sanding the surface, repairing any damage, and applying a primer. These steps will help to ensure that the paint adheres well to the composite decking and provides a smooth, even finish.
- Pay attention to the weather. It is best to paint your Trex composite decking on a dry, sunny day when the temperature is between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid painting in direct sunlight or when the composite decking is hot to the touch, as this can cause the paint to dry too quickly and result in an uneven finish.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your paint job on your Trex composite decking turns out beautifully and lasts for many years to come. Just be sure to remember that painting your Trex composite decking may void the manufacturer’s warranty and that the color of the paint may fade over time.
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Can Trex decking be painted or stained like traditional wooden decks?
How To Paint Composite Decking?
When you’ve decided to paint your composite decking without worrying about voiding the guarantee, then painting is an excellent technique to update its appearance. Here are the steps you can follow to achieve a professional-looking finish:
Step 1: Clean The Composite Decking
Before you start painting, it is important to clean the surface of the composite decking thoroughly. Use a deck cleaner or a mixture of mild soap and water to remove any dirt, debris, or stains. Rinse the deck thoroughly and let it dry completely before proceeding.
Step 2: Prime The Surface
Applying a primer to the composite decking can help improve the adhesion of the paint and provide a better base for the topcoat. Use a high-quality exterior primer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.
Step 3: Paint The Composite Decking
Once the primer has dried, it is time to apply the topcoat of the paint. Use high-quality exterior paint and a paintbrush or roller to apply a thin, even coat of paint to the surface of the composite decking. Be sure to work in small sections and allow the paint to dry completely between coats.
Step 4: Finish With A Sealer
Once the paint has fully dried, you can finish the project by applying a sealer to the surface of the decking. This will help protect the paint and keep it fresh and vibrant. Use a clear, water-based sealer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.
Note: Trex composite decking doesn’t require any sanding before painting. So sanding is not recommended, whether you paint or stain your Trex decking.
Non-Paintable Composite Decking
While some composite decking brands can be painted, others are unsuitable for painting due to their composition or construction. Here are a few examples of composite decking products that are not suitable for painting:
Lumberrock is a brand of composite decking that is made from a unique blend of recycled plastic and bamboo fibers. The manufacturer does not recommend painting Lumberrock boards, as the paint may not adhere well to the composite material and may not provide the desired results.
Trex Transcend and Trex Escapes
Trex is a well-known brand of composite decking, and their Transcend and Escapes lines are popular choices for homeowners. However, both of these products are not suitable for painting, as the protective cap on the surface of the boards may prevent paint from adhering correctly.
TimberTech is another brand of composite decking that offers a variety of products for outdoor use. According to the manufacturer, TimberTech products should not be painted, as the paint may peel or crack over time.
If you have one of these types of composite decking and want to change its appearance, other options are available. Some options include staining or refinishing the composite decking or using colored boards in a different hue. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best way to alter the appearance of your composite decking.
Trex composite decking can be painted, but you must follow the steps outlined to ensure a successful outcome. Painting your Trex composite decking is a great way to give your deck a new look and protect it from the elements.
Non-paintable composite decking is also available for those who prefer the natural look of their deck. Whichever type of composite decking you choose, you can be sure it will provide a robust and long-lasting surface to enjoy.