Trex and composite decking are made to last, but over time they may start to look a little dated. Is your deck beginning to look a little dull? If so, you may be considering giving it a new paint job. But can you actually paint Trex or composite decking? The answer is yes! Keep reading this blog post to learn the best way to approach painting these types of decks, and achieve the aesthetic outcome you desire.
What Is Trex or Composite Decking?
Composite decking, which is a mix of wood fibers and recycled plastic, has become increasingly popular among homeowners in recent years for its low maintenance and durability. Trex brand composite decking is made from 95% recycled materials and does not require annual sealing or staining like traditional wooden decks.
Can All Composite Decking Be Painted?
Some manufacturers do not recommend painting composite decking because it may void the warranty. Before you begin, check with the manufacturer to see if they recommend painting or staining their product. If paint or stain is recommended by the manufacturer, first clean the surface of your deck to remove any dirt, debris, or stains.
Should I Stain or Paint the Decking?
The composite decking paint or stain you select will be based on the desired final look. To maintain a solid color, painting is often the best method. However, if wanting the wood grain to remain visible through, staining may be preferable. It’s vital to use high-quality paint made for composite materials when choosing to cover Composite Decking with paint.
Steps Before Painting
Once you have decided to paint or stain your composite decking, there are a few steps you need to take before you begin. First of all, you need to check the weather forecast and choose a time when the temperature will be between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit with low humidity.
Cleaning the Composite Decking
Begin by cleaning your decking’s surface. You can do this with a hose and gentle soap, or opt for a power washer – just be sure to hold it 12 inches away from the material and use low pressure so you don’t damage anything. Once you’ve rinsed the soap off, let your deck dry completely before beginning to paint or stain it.
Preparing the Decking
Once you clean your deck, use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface. This will make it easier for paint or stain to adhere. Then, wipe down the area with a tack cloth to remove any dust from the sanding process. If you’re painting composite decking, consider adding a primer before painting; this will help with color accuracy and stain adherence.
Staining the Decking
If you are staining the composite decking, you will need to choose an exterior wood stain that is specifically designed for use on composite materials. Be sure to read the instructions on the can of stain carefully before you begin.
Applying the Stain
To apply the stain, use a brush to dip into the can and then paint it on top of the deck. You should break up your work by doing small sections so you don’t miss any spots. If there is too much stain wipe it off with a clean cloth.
Letting the Stain Dry
The stain needs to dry thoroughly before you can do anything else to the flooring, such as apply a sealer or walk on it. The drying time is determined by the temperature and humidity in the room.
Painting the Composite Decking
If you are painting the composite decking, you will need to choose a high-quality paint or exterior polyurethane specifically designed for use on composite materials. Be sure to read the instructions on the can of paint carefully before you begin.
Applying the Paint
1. Begin by cleaning the composite decking with a power washer set to low pressure. Use a wide tip and hold the wand at least six inches from the surface of the decking while you work.
2. Once the composite decking is clean, use painter’s tape to mask off any areas you don’t want to be painted.
3. Pour your paint into a paint tray and apply it to the composite decking using a roller specifically designed for use on rough surfaces. Begin in an inconspicuous area to test the paint before applying it to the entire surface.
4. Allow the paint to dry completely before walking on or moving furniture back onto the composite decking.
Caring for the Painted Surface
1. Once the paint has dried, you will need to protect it from the elements. Apply a clear sealer designed for use on composite materials. This will help to keep the paint from peeling or fading.
2. Be sure to clean the surface of the composite decking regularly to prevent dirt and debris from building up and causing the paint to become discolored. You can use a power washer set to low pressure for this, or simply scrub the surface with soapy water and a soft-bristled brush.
3. Inspect the painted composite decking periodically for any chips or cracks in the paint. If you find any, touch them up with a fresh coat of paint as soon as possible.
How Else Can You Refresh a Composite Deck?
In addition to giving your composite deck a new paint job or stain, you can also refresh it by power washing it with mild soap. Be sure to rinse off all the soap and let the deck dry completely before getting started with painting or staining.
Halting the dirt and grime build-up on your composite decking is as easy as a little sanding. Pick up some fine-grit sandpaper and go over the entire surface until it’s smooth to the touch. To avoid any lung irritation, use a tack cloth to wipe away all of the excess dust particles from both the sanding process and before you seal or stain it.
Maintaining your composite deck begins with keeping it clean. Power wash the deck using a garden hose and mild soap, being sure to rinse off all the soap afterward. Give the deck time to dry before you start painting or staining.
If you want to give your Trex or composite deck an updated look, consider painting or staining it. Just be sure to read the directions on the paint can or stain before beginning, and don’t forget to seal the surface with a clear coat once you’re finished.