What is the difference between painting and staining?

Painting is a process of decorating in order to change the colour of the cladding boards. A coat of paint will be on the surface of the cladding board. The process of staining differs from painting because stain actually penetrates the material with the goal of protecting the material. Stain does wear away gradually over time, whereas paint requires extensive peeling.

Can I stain my composite cladding?

Staining would not be effective with composite material due to its plastic composition. Plastic has excellent resistance against moisture which is what 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. Composite cladding is not designed to be stained, meaning that if you do decide to do so, you may void the warranty of the product.

Can I Paint My Composite Cladding?

First and foremost, we do not recommend that you paint your composite cladding. This is because composite cladding comes with a timeless colour that will last for a long time, so there is no need to paint it. Note that painting or staining your cladding will void the warranty. Also, there is no product in the market designed to paint composite cladding. However, a situation may warrant you to paint your composite cladding. Let’s consider those cases that may make you want to paint your composite cladding one after the other. 

Using Your Composite Cladding for A Long Time

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.

Creating a Consistent Theme with other Composite Material

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.

Painting to Cover 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.

How to Paint/Stain Your Composite Cladding

If you have decided to paint your composite cladding, you can proceed to 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 be sure that it is smooth. After, 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 of your cladding panels. After painting, you should leave your composite cladding to dry. And that is everything about painting composite cladding.


The answer to the question is yes. You can paint/stain 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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