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Can I paint composite decking?

Can I paint composite decking?

Posted by adrac on October 9, 2022

Composite decking is developed to withstand weathering outcomes with its inbuilt advantageous compositions including the plastic materials and bonding agents. This creates protective layers within the decking to form a barrier from elements that could affect the overall appearance of your composite decking.

Older generations of composite decking generally have no plastic shell covers, making the composite decking material exposed to natural elements and foot traffic. This type of decking often needs painting and would not however, hold it for a long period of time.

To determine if your composite decking requires a paint job, you should look at the edging of the decking boards. Although, there are certain types of decking that would not accept the paint/stain if there is a thick protection layer over the top, which is why you would need to purchase a decking specific paint to match the type you have.

Do I need to paint composite decking?

The efficient protection on composite decking lowers the chances of the material rotting and being exposed to weathering more severely. The composition consists of wood fibres, a very high density of polyethylene plastic as well as high quality bonding agents and pigments to keep that colour refined.

The interior components of the decking strengthens the overall build, resulting in a much longer lasting deck than your standard timber decking. Good quality composite decking boards also use an extra 1mm layer of capping so the colouring of the deck is anti-fade in the sun and through aging. This low maintenance decking option means that painting it is often unnecessary or only done in rare circumstances. However, if you prefer to paint over certain areas of the deck for a brighter/darker touch up, there are many decking friendly paints you can use that withstand elements such as tougher climates and are also water resistant. Using paint that especially matches the colour of the decking is a subtle yet effective way to complete the decking finish, as opposed to replacing some of the boards entirely. This could also be a fun DIY project for you!

How to paint a composite deck

If you do decide to give the composite decking a touch up. Ensure to prepare your composite deck properly by removing any debris so that this does not cause any uneven coatings.

You would then need to clean the decking using a soft-bristle brush and soapy water to remove any dirt from footprints or even a professional decking cleaning solution for any tougher stains, staying away from bleach and harsh products, and allow to dry.

Use a paint primer before painting if needed, though most composites have it built-in.

Apply the paint evenly, and allow to dry, then apply a second coat if possible. Refer to the paint label for recommended drying time, and enjoy your beautiful repainted composite deck.

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