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Although composite cladding does not require painting due to its composition of both plastic and wood fibres, some homeowners may still want to paint it for several different reasons.

Whether you are bored with the current colour of your cladding, have changed the aesthetic of your exterior home, or want to revamp your cladding due to fading, painting is an option you may consider. Despite not being recommended or necessary, yes, you can paint over composite cladding.

Why do homeowners paint their composite cladding?

  • Fading- Composite cladding is very durable. Its lifespan is more than 20 years. Over a long period of time, the composite cladding boards will slightly lose their colour. Some homeowners may prefer their composite cladding to look brand new and vibrant. This is one reason homeowners may consider painting their composite cladding.
  • Cohesion- Lots of homeowners like to create a consistent theme in their gardens, using colours that harmonise with each other. When your composite cladding, composite fencing, and composite decking have the same colour, you will create a beautiful, correlated aesthetic.

    Homeowners who install composite materials of different colours may decide they want their composite to share the same colour to create a consistent theme. So, to solve the problem, they will give all the composite material one colour, which they will do by painting their composite cladding.
  • Scratches– Scratches can distort the beautiful appearance of your composite cladding. If your composite cladding is severely scratched, you may have considered painting it to hide these scratches.

Aspects to Consider when Choosing to Paint your Composite Cladding

There are multiple factors to take into account when deciding whether or not to paint your composite cladding. Firstly, it is imperative to check whether or not painting your composite material will void the warranty. Most composite suppliers will void the warranty if you have painted over the surface. Additionally, as composite material is not designed to be painted over, there aren’t specific paints manufactured to be compatible with composite.

Therefore, you will need to test on samples or inconspicuous areas of your composite cladding, as you would with any product, to ensure it will not cause damage to the surface of your cladding.

In terms of maintenance, your painted composite cladding will require much more attention than previously, and you will have to keep up with applying paint seasonally to retain its appearance. Ask yourself whether or not there is a better alternative to replacing your composite cladding entirely and invest in new cladding that is low maintenance.

Before painting your cladding, you would need to sand the surface down to ensure a seamless application of paint. However, if you sand composite material, you will alter its structural integrity and can remove its protective layer, which will make it susceptible to damage down the line.

What are Alternatives to Painting My Composite Cladding?

Painting is a process of decorating to change the colour of the cladding boards. A coat of paint will be on the surface of the cladding board. An alternative method you may be wondering about is staining. The process of staining differs from painting because stain penetrates the material to protect the material. Stain does wear away gradually over time, whereas paint requires extensive peeling.

Staining would not be effective with composite material due to its plastic composition. Plastic has excellent resistance against moisture, which provides the material with an above-average level of durability.

Given that the stain is a liquid, it will not be fully absorbed into the surface of the cladding board and would essentially be a waste of time and money. That being said, some of the stains may be partially absorbed, particularly with first-generation composite cladding boards, because they have a wood-fibre surface layer.

On the other hand, second-generation composite cladding boards are protected with a PVC layer. This means they will absorb less than 5% of moisture. Therefore, it is most definitely pointless.

How to Paint Composite Cladding

If you have decided to paint your composite cladding, you can follow these instructions on how to paint your cladding.

Step One – Get All the Materials You Need

To paint your composite cladding, you will need good latex paint. You should use latex paint because it is durable and will not fade quickly when you apply it to your cladding. Before starting to paint your cladding, you should get sandpaper. This is to smoothen the surface of your cladding. Also, you will need a bucket and a roller/brush that you will use to apply the paint. You can use gloves to keep the paint off your hand.

Step Two – Sanding the Surface

The surface texture of your composite cladding must be smooth before you start applying the paint. Using the sandpaper you have purchased, gently rub it against the surface of your composite cladding. Feel the surface of your cladding once you have sanded it to ensure it is smooth. Afterwards, blow the dust off the surface of your composite cladding or rinse it with water. You can also use a brush to brush off the sawdust.

Step three – Apply the Paint

Once the surface of your cladding is smooth and dry, use your roller/brush to smear the paint on your plastic wood cladding. Be sure to apply the paint along the grain to your cladding panels. After painting, you should leave your composite cladding to dry. And that is everything about painting composite cladding.

Conclusion

The answer to the question is yes. You can paint your composite cladding if you want to. However, we highly advise against this because it will void your cladding warranty. Furthermore, we are unaware of any reputable products that are designed to paint composite material; therefore, we do not recommend doing so.

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