Can You Paint Composite Decking?

Composite decking has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its durability and low maintenance requirements. However, one common question that arises is whether or not you can paint composite decking. If you’re looking to change the color of your composite decking or simply refresh its appearance, you’ll be pleased to know that painting it is indeed possible. In this article, we will explore the benefits of painting composite decking, how to prepare it for painting, choosing the right paint, step-by-step instructions, maintenance and care, as well as the pros and cons of painting composite decking.

Introduction to Composite Decking

Composite decking is a synthetic material made from a combination of wood fibers and recycled plastic. It is designed to mimic the look and feel of natural wood but with added durability and resistance to rot, mold, and insects. Composite decking has gained popularity due to its longevity and low maintenance requirements. It does not require staining or sealing like traditional wood decking, making it a convenient choice for homeowners.

Can You Paint Composite Decking?

Yes, you can paint composite decking to achieve a different color or to refresh its appearance. However, it is important to note that not all composite decking can be painted, so it is essential to check with the manufacturer to ensure that your particular type of composite decking is paintable. Some composite decking brands offer specific paints and coatings that are designed to adhere to the surface of the decking and provide long-lasting color.

Paint Composite Decking

Benefits of Painting Composite Decking

Painting composite decking offers several benefits. Firstly, it allows you to change the color of your decking to match your personal style or the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space. Additionally, painting can help protect the composite decking from the elements, such as UV radiation and moisture, which can cause fading and deterioration over time. By adding a layer of paint, you can extend the lifespan of your composite decking and enhance its durability.

Painting composite decking also provides an opportunity to hide any imperfections or stains that may have occurred over time. Whether it’s small scratches or stubborn stains, a fresh coat of paint can help restore the appearance of your decking and make it look brand new again. Furthermore, painting your composite decking allows you to customize it to your liking, giving you the flexibility to create a unique and personalized outdoor space.

Preparing Composite Decking for Painting

Before you start painting your composite decking, it is crucial to prepare the surface properly. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Clean the decking: Start by thoroughly cleaning the decking to remove any dirt, debris, or mildew. Use a mild detergent and water, along with a stiff brush or power washer, to scrub the surface. Rinse off the cleaning solution and allow the decking to dry completely.
  2. Sand the surface: Once the decking is dry, lightly sand the surface using a fine-grit sandpaper. This step helps create a rough texture that allows the paint to adhere better to the composite decking. Be sure to remove any dust or debris after sanding.
  3. Repair any damage: Inspect the decking for any signs of damage, such as cracks or splintering. Use a composite deck repair kit or epoxy resin to fix any issues before proceeding with the painting process.

Choosing the Right Paint for Composite Decking

Selecting the right paint for your composite decking is crucial to ensure a long-lasting and professional finish. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the paint:

  1. Compatibility: Check with the manufacturer of your composite decking to determine which paints or coatings are recommended for their specific product. Using a paint that is not compatible with the composite material may result in poor adhesion and premature peeling or chipping.
  2. UV protection: Look for a paint that offers UV protection to prevent fading and discoloration due to exposure to sunlight. This is particularly important if your composite decking is frequently exposed to direct sunlight.
  3. Water resistance: Opt for a paint that provides excellent water resistance to protect your decking from moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew growth.
  4. Color options: Choose a paint that offers a wide range of colors to suit your preferences and complement your outdoor space. Consider the overall style and design of your home and outdoor area when selecting the color.

Paint Composite Decking

Steps to Paint Composite Decking

Now that you have prepared your composite decking and chosen the right paint, it’s time to start painting. Follow these steps for a successful painting process:

  1. Begin by applying a primer specifically designed for composite decking. This will create a smooth surface and enhance the adhesion of the paint.
  2. Once the primer is dry, apply the first coat of paint using a high-quality brush or roller. Work in small sections, applying the paint evenly and following the grain of the decking.
  3. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying a second coat. This will ensure a more durable and even finish.
  4. After the final coat has dried, inspect the decking for any missed spots or uneven areas. Touch up as necessary for a seamless look.

Maintenance and Care for Painted Composite Decking

To maintain the appearance and longevity of your painted composite decking, regular maintenance is essential. Here are some tips for caring for your painted decking:

  1. Clean regularly: Sweep away debris and dirt regularly to prevent them from accumulating on the surface of the decking. Use a mild detergent and water to clean any stains or spills.
  2. Avoid harsh chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your painted composite decking, as they can damage the paint finish. Stick to gentle cleaning solutions and non-abrasive brushes or sponges.
  3. Protect from furniture: Place furniture pads or coasters under the legs of your outdoor furniture to prevent scratches or indentations on the painted surface.
  4. Inspect for damage: Regularly inspect your painted composite decking for any signs of damage or wear. Touch up any chipped or peeling paint to maintain the integrity of the finish.

Pros and Cons of Painting Composite Decking

Before deciding to paint your composite decking, it’s important to consider the pros and cons:


  • Ability to change the color and refresh the appearance of your decking.
  • Protection against UV radiation and moisture damage.
  • Hides imperfections and stains.
  • Customization options to match your personal style.


  • Some composite decking may not be paintable.
  • Painting requires proper preparation and maintenance.
  • The paint may eventually fade or peel over time, requiring touch-ups or repainting.

FAQs about Painting Composite Decking

  1. Can all types of composite decking be painted? Not all types of composite decking can be painted. It is essential to check with the manufacturer to ensure that your particular product is paintable.
  2. How long does painted composite decking last? The lifespan of painted composite decking depends on various factors, such as the quality of the paint, exposure to the elements, and maintenance. With proper care, a painted composite decking can last for several years.
  3. Can I use any type of paint on composite decking? It is important to use a paint that is specifically designed for composite decking. Check with the manufacturer for recommended paint options.
  4. How often do I need to repaint my composite decking? The frequency of repainting will depend on various factors, such as the quality of the paint and the level of exposure to the elements. Generally, composite decking may require repainting every 5-10 years.


In conclusion, painting composite decking is a viable option to change the color, refresh the appearance, and enhance the durability of your outdoor space. By following the proper preparation and painting techniques, you can achieve a professional and long-lasting finish. However, it is important to check with the manufacturer to ensure that your specific type of composite decking is paintable. With regular maintenance and care, your painted composite decking can provide years of enjoyment and aesthetic appeal to your outdoor living area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *