Composite decking has been a popular choice for homeowners looking to spruce up their outdoor living space for the last few years. The only problem is that your old paintbrush won’t work with this type of material.
Can you paint composite decking or trex and what kind of paint can you use? Read more to find out!
What is Composite Decking?
Trex or composite deck is a combination of wood and plastic. There’re two primary kinds of composite decking. The first has a blend of plastics and wood fibers. The second is constructed of wood fiber within a sheet of plastic.
You may confuse plastic decking and composite decking, but please don’t. While composite decking has both plastic and wood fibers, plastic decking is purely PVC.
Wood is the main component of composite decking. The wood used is either sawdust or wood fibers. These wood fibers are combined with plastics and resins to form composite decking.
Kinds of Paint to Use
For exterior composite decking, use latex acrylic paint. Latex acrylic paint is water-based, easy to clean, relatively safe for use, and generally easy to work with.
Use extra quality acrylic paint for your composite deck. It’s more expensive because it contains more acrylic. The paint is also more durable and heavier because of the acrylic resin.
Relatively cheaper acrylic paints are mixed with vinyl. However, vinyl has a lower quality, is lighter, and not as durable as acrylic.
Whether your surface is covered or uncovered, vinyl will most likely peel and chip sooner than a higher quality acrylic, no matter how smooth it appears.
Acrylic paints for your home’s exterior are a little more expensive than the ones you’ll find at your local hardware store. Expect to pay around $60 per can for a premium line of outdoor acrylic paint from any large manufacturer.
Be wary of other goods that appear to be deck paint but are referred to as something else. For example, Behr’s Deckover is a combination of a stain and paint that may be used as a driveway sealer.
While these hybrid products may appear to be enough, you should always read the terms and conditions. If the term “interior/exterior” appears, you should avoid it.
Remember, some exterior paints aren’t acceptable for your home. You’ll need paint that’ll work on horizontal surfaces. These may or may not be labeled deck paints. Carefully read the label to ascertain that the paint is meant for flat surfaces.
How to Paint Composite Decking
To get the best results, you need to follow the following steps :
Step 1: Clean the deck
For the best results, you need to remove any dirt or wood debris. First, use a pressure washer to remove dirt, grime, and decaying plant material. Finish up by wiping the surface with a wet sponge.
Remove all leaves and other plant material that may fall into your paint can later on. If you don’t, these organic materials will mix within the paint and create mold or mildew later on.
Step 2: Sand the deck
Then, you need to sand the entire surface of your deck. Use 80-grit sandpaper to remove any stains, watermarks, and other blemishes.
It would be best if you also used a pole sander to remove cracks and watermarks. The goal is to create a smooth surface for your paint to adhere to.
Remove the dust using a wet cloth and a broom.
Step 3: Prime the deck
Prime your deck using an acrylic latex-based primer before painting. Priming makes the paint adhere well and also increases its durability. Let the primer dry for two hours before you begin painting.
Step 4: Paint the deck
Paint your deck using two coats of high-quality acrylic latex paint. Avoid putting paint on the railings and stairs. Only do so if you’re using a roller that’ll reach those areas without dripping or lagging.
If you want to use brushes, only apply the paint on the flat surfaces and where there’s no railing.
Step 5: Apply the clear coat
Once the paint has dried for two days, you need to apply a clear coat. Let this second layer dry for another day before exposing your deck. Clear coats are generally more expensive than regular paints in an outdoor line of acrylic latex paints. It costs around $40 per gallon.
Why Use Paint to Recolor Your Deck?
Painting is the most common way to recolor your deck. Another uncommon way is staining. Painting is more preferred because paints are more durable than stains. Paints also offer more protection from prolonged sun exposure and come in a variety of colors.
If you need an easy to clean and maintain surface, paint is the best choice for you.
Does paint stick to composite decking?
Yes, paint sticks to composite decking. You only need to clean the surface and ensure it’s free from dust, and sand it before applying the paint.
Can I change the color of my composite deck?
Yes, you can change the color of your composite deck. Composite decking fades with time, and you may want to repaint it. To paint it, ensure you wash the surface, sand, and seal it before applying the last coat of paint.
Can you use any paint on decking?
Yes, you can use any paint on decking. The paint doesn’t have to be polyurethane or enamel. It’s a good idea to switch the finish every few years anyway, so you can use whatever you want. But if your deck mainly needs a clean-up and an oil topcoat, go ahead and get some linseed oil from the hardware store.
So, what kind of paint can you use on composite decking?
If you want a lasting deck paint, use a durable exterior latex or acrylic. These paints are designed to hold up in the presence of rain and other harsh elements. They’ll also resist peeling and chipping, so your deck looks good for years to come!