Can You Paint Trex or Composite Decking? [5 Easy Steps]

ArtAspirant is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our affiliate disclosure

Trex or composite decking is usually designed to last a lifetime, meaning you won’t have to paint it. You will sometimes see some old composite decking that should be returned for a poor repair, but there are just a few trouble areas in fact. 

As a result, rather than wasting money, you may choose to keep it. Despite the fact that manufacturers claim that the colour of trex or composite decking is permanent, it can disappear with time. 

As a result, whether you want to absolutely alter the color of your composite decking or just want to give it a new look, you can certainly paint it. 

You should apply a coat of paint to the trex or composite decking to make it look as fine as possible. Let’s take a closer look at what Trex or Composite Decking is.

Can You Paint Trex or Composite Decking?

Trex composite decking is made up of a combination of plastic film and wood fibres. Polypropylene or polyethylene can be used in the synthetic film used in wooden decking. 

These plastics combine well with wood fibres to provide a solid, durable decking that is more stable than 100% plastic decking. All composite decking is not created equal.

Since different products have different cleaning and painting processes, let’s take a look at how composite decking is made.

What are the different  composite decking?

Composite decking is a broad term that includes a variety of materials such as wood-plastic composite, capped composite, and plastic lumber.

  1. Deck made by wood plastic composite:

Wood-plastic composite decks are a low-maintenance, long-lasting choice for homeowners who don’t want to spend a lot of money. 

Wood-plastic composites are made up of a mix of recycled plastic and wood fibres. Trex, Timbertech, and Veranda are only a few of the firms that sell wood-plastic composite decking. 

Another feature of wood-composite decking that contributes to its popularity is its resemblance to real wood. 

This alternative provides homeowners with the classic look of natural wood while also providing the advantages of a composite material, such as sustainability and reliability.

  1. Deck made by capped composite:

A capped composite is similar to a wood-plastic composite, but it has a rubber shield that protects it from the elements even more than a normal wood-plastic composite. 

This choice is a little more costly, but it will help your deck last longer.

  1. Deck made by plastic lumber:

Unlike wood-composite decking, plastic-lumber is entirely made of plastic. Since this product is frequently manufactured from recycled plastic, it is a green option. 

Plastic lumber can be made to look like wood by moulding wood grain into it, or it can be kept flat. Although plastic lumber is more expensive than conventional wood and other composite decking materials, it is almost maintenance-free and highly weather tolerant and sturdy. 

What are the benefits and drawbacks of composite decking?

The following table summarises the benefits and drawbacks of composite decking.

Benefits Drawbacks
✔️ Longevity is the most important advantage of composite materials. Without any extra maintenance or protection, composite deck materials will survive the harshest environmental conditions for decades.❌ The most well-known drawback of composite materials is their cost. Composite materials are 50 to 100 percent more expensive than traditional processed timber. This number can also differ based on your venue. People sometimes choose lumber over other materials because it is less expensive. Prices for cedar wood, for example, are in the centre of those for treated timber and composite products.
✔️ here is no need to dye, paint, or handle composite decks. Regular pressure-treated wood decks need annual or bi-annual maintenance. As regular wood dries, it will weather, fade, crack, and break.❌ Even when factoring in the cost of processed lumber substitution, composite is more expensive. Your home’s valuation would not actually reflect the additional investment you made in a composite lumber patio. According to real estate reports, adding a deck to your home raises its worth. However, the cost of products and design will not be included in that calculation.
✔️ You must put in the work to keep a pressure treated deck looking its best. To get the wood back to life, stain it every one to two years. From the first year on, composite materials retain a smooth and attractive look.❌ For maximum longevity and flexibility, all composite decks are constructed on a treated lumber foundation. The columns, beams, joists, and stair stringers are also made of treated timber. To build a durable structure for composite deck boards, trim, and railing elements, decking contractors depend on the strength of treated lumber. On composite projects, they can also use traditional galvanised or stainless steel fasteners.
✔️ Composite decking is available in a wide range of colours and textures. By integrating various composite coloured boards in one deck project, you can build a multi-colored outdoor living room. For a bold look, combine light-colored deck boards bordered by darker colors.❌ To prevent or minimise upkeep, composite decking is permanently colored. This means that you can’t change the hue, shimmer, or shade. Standard timber decks, on the other hand, may be repainted, re-stained, or refreshed. Surface cleanings may be used to change the appearance of a composite component. Mild outdoor cleaners will clear debris and restore the color to its original state.
✔️ Patterns may be incorporated into your deck design in a variety of ways, and your contractor might have some excellent suggestions. Since this product is so sturdy, you should expect the colors and designs of your new composite wood deck to last for years without refinishing.❌ Colors on darker composite decks can fade over time. UV rays, weathering, and heavy foot traffic all contribute to this inevitable phase. Surface damage is one of the other disadvantages. Composite deck materials are prone to severe scratching and deep gouges. Repairing them without removing individual deck boards is impossible.
✔️ Picket railings, which are identical to wood railings, are available on most plastic product lines. Given the resilience, sturdiness, and reliability of composite wood products, this is a fantastic feature.❌ Be mindful if you’re considering composite structures for environmental reasons. Your composite deck project would need a considerable amount of treated timber.
✔️ Composite materials may be used to produce intricate stair and landing patterns in addition to railings. To make the deck clean for children and the elderly, most manufacturers sell trim boards to cover all of the rough edges. Trim boards will keep you and your visitors safe from being stuck on slivers of wood or sharp edges. Composite can be used to cover any identifiable part of the deck for a uniform, long-lasting look.
✔️ A tempered glass framework is also available from several composite deck suppliers. The decking material and the structure can be delivered together by the supplier. If they don’t have it, you should buy it from a nearby vendor.

Why would you want to recolor your composite deck with color?

Composite decking is one of the most common decking alternatives because it is fade resistant and does not require painting. Despite popular belief, all forms of decking, including composites, fade with time. 

It may not be as quick as wood, but it may lose colour over time due to a variety of reasons. Prolonged exposure to UV rays and heat is one of the most frequent causes of fading. 

You will want to recolor your deck if it has faded due to ageing or excessive sun exposure. Paint is one choice for doing so. 

What paints are used on composite decking?

However, before you make any modifications to your deck, you can find out what kind of paint you should use. Not all paints are appropriate for painting composite decking. 

For a variety of purposes, you’ll need to use the right one. The biggest drawback about using the incorrect kind of paint is that it can peel off quickly, resulting in a loss of money. 

The easiest form of paint to use on composite decking is high-quality latex paint. You will want to use a semi-gloss or satin finish paint to achieve the gleaming and sheen look. 

However, it’s a good idea to check with the manufacturer to see what type of color you can use. They could make a suggestion to you. It’s also worth noting that, depending on the manufacturer, painting a deck will cancel the warranty.

What tools do you need to paint composite decking?

Though composite decks like Trex aren’t engineered or needed to be paintable or stainable like their natural wood equivalents, they do and will welcome paint if washed, prepped, and primed properly. 

Using a topcoat of paint or a deck stain for composite decking will help preserve the colour and charm of your deck while still enhancing its already long lifetime. Here’s what you’ll require:

  • Pressure Washer
  • Brush with soft bristles 
  • Cleaning items such as vinegar and baking soda
  • Sandpaper
  • A paint roller, brush, pad, or sprayer 
  • Primer
  • Paint that you like to use

Before you paint composite decking, what precautions do you take?

In reality, certain mistakes will increase the amount of routine maintenance needed for your composite deck. Here are a few pointers for cleaning and restoring your deck so you can use it every day.

👉 Be sure you’re using the right cleaner for the job.

👉 Pressure washing the composite deck should be done with extreme caution.

👉 You should clean up the gaps in your deck boards.

👉 For brushing, do use a soft bristle scrub brush instead of a wire brush.

What is the best way to paint composite decking?

It could be time to take matters into your own hands if your composite deck is starting to fade. Get a brush, some color, and the rest of the supplies you’ll need to restore your deck to its former glory.

Step 1: Plants should be removed or covered

If you have a forest on your deck, you’ll need to cover any and all trees with fabric or plastic drop cloths, or delete it entirely.

Step 2: Start cleaning the composite deck

You should scrub your deck when preparing to paint it with a few household chemicals. Using a low-pressure power washer or a soft bristle brush to scrub basic debris and soil. Mix two parts vinegar and one part water in a bucket to remove mildew and mould, then sprinkle baking soda on the affected areas. 

Allow to dry after a thorough rinsing.

Step 3: Deck sanding

Sand the deck in the direction of the grain to degloss and smooth out the planks so that you can add the smoothest coat of paint possible. 

The use of 240-grit sandpaper is suggested. Make sure the shavings are wiped away with a broom and then washed again with water.

Step 4: Apply primer

Pour the bucket of acrylic latex exterior primer into your roller tray. Begin applying the primer to the planks’ whole length. Allow two hours for the primer to dry, or the time specified on the product list.

Step 5: Fill the roller tray

Once the primer has dried fully, you should fill the roller tray with your outside porch paint and get to work. Be sure to let the first coat dry fully before applying a potential second coat. Since drying times differ, consult the product label for suggested coat application times.

Which is the best paint for painting composite decks?

The below are the best paints for painting composite decks that are currently available on the market:

DEFY Deck Sealer

DEFY Crystal Clear Composite Deck
Product Specification
Brand: DEFY
Weight: 8.2 pound
Color: Clear
Material: Water Based
Pros
  • Durable
  • Easy to maintain
Cons
  • Expensive

Conclusion

You can paint or dye older composite decking to make it look new again. This will restore the appearance of your deck. 

Remember that the amount of work you choose to bring into the project will determine whether you paint or stain. Paint lasts longer, so you can’t go back and re-stain the deck after it’s been painted. 

Whatever option you choose, don’t forget to clean your deck. Otherwise, the stain will not adhere correctly and will tend to flake off. If this occurs, it would seem that all of your efforts have been in vain.

You can read our article on how to fix spray paint mistakes easily.

Leave a Comment