Although unnecessary and not usually recommended, yes, you can paint composite decking. As composite is manufactured with synthetic plastic fibres in its production, it is not required to paint or seal your composite deck in order to retain its appearance or longevity.
Composite decking comes in various colours and textures; thus, you can choose the colour best suited to your outdoor space without the time-consuming chore of painting your deck. However, customers must paint and seal timber decking to ensure it will achieve its service life and resist moisture. Composite decking naturally has resistant qualities due to its synthetic composition; therefore, it does not require painting.
Despite this, some customers still choose to paint their composite decking for various reasons; you may wonder when you might need to paint your composite decking.
When you might need to paint your composite decking
You may choose to paint your composite decking if it has experienced fading from UV rays. As composite decking, especially first-generation decking, is susceptible to fading up to 30% in the first six months, you may wish to paint your deck to return it to its original colour.
First-generation decking will experience more fading than second-generation boards, as they are less protected and don’t have a co-extrusion layer. Additionally, some consumers choose to paint their deck if they have any scratches on their deck surface to try and hide the mark.
We recommend removing any scratches in alternate ways, such as heat guns on wood grain boards or a steel scourer on smooth finish boards. To learn how to maintain your composite deck properly and deal with scratches or marks, check out our article on maintenance.
Types of Paint you can use for Composite Decking
The type of paint you use on your composite decking should be high quality and specifically designed for composite decking. You can utilise deck pigment to ensure the colour you desire; we recommend using a good latex deck pigment with a gloss finish.
Paint with a high solid content will last a long time on your deck; latex acrylic paint will ensure your deck retains the paint throughout its lifespan better than lower quality paints. Latex paints are best for increased durability and reduced fading. In most cases, the more expensive the decking paint, the more acrylic the paint will contain.
How to Paint a Composite Deck
To accurately clean your composite deck, you must first thoroughly clean the decking and leave it to dry. Once again, refer to our ultimate maintenance guide to learn how to properly clean your deck surface without damaging the boards. (Link to maintenance article).
If there are any repairs needed on the decking boards, this must be completed before the pigment is applied. The paint can be mixed in a bucket and applied with a brush or a roller evenly across the deck surface.
Ensure you remove anything that is close to the deck surface that could accidentally get paint on it, or be sure to cover any surrounding furniture to avoid this issue.
Although it is not necessary to paint your composite deck, due to its many beneficial attributes making it resilient to moisture, you can paint your decking if you wish as long as you use the correct paint or pigment suited to your composite deck and follow the steps in the above article.
Alternatively, if you have experienced fading on your deck and are looking to restore its colour, you can utilise products such as OWATROL wood reviver to return the decking to its original colour.
Check out our article on composite decking fading to not only learn how to resolve this issue but prevent it.