Can You Paint Composite Decking?

About The Author

Picture of Jay Beswick

Jay Beswick

Jay Beswick is the visionary founder and owner of Majestic Outdoors, a leader in crafting exceptional outdoor living spaces in Raleigh, NC. His dedication to innovation, client satisfaction, and industry advancement makes him a respected voice in the deck-building community.

Can You Paint Composite Decking? (You Might Be Surprised)

Composite decking was introduced in the United States by companies like Trex and TimberTech. These early composite deck boards were made of recycled wood fibers and plastics, with some additives. Then, they were mixed, melted, and fed through a die shaped like a wooden deck board.

So, can you paint composite decking? Yes, but …

Photo of a composite deck with outdoor furniture and deck railing.

Understanding the Early Composite Decking Manufacturing Process

The first generation of composite decking boards did not have a polymer cap covering and protecting the composite materials.

Technically, you can paint composite deck boards, but it’s important to understand the specifics before you begin.

Composite decking manufactured before 2010 is the best candidate for painting because it doesn’t have the PVC cap or shell that newer versions have, which prevents paint from adhering properly. If your decking is newer, it likely has this cap, and painting it could void your warranty. It’s crucial to check with the manufacturer before painting your composite deck.

Composite Decking Manufacturers Make Significant Improvements

The changes in composite decking around 2010 marked a shift from early-generation composites to high-performance models. Early-generation composite decking was known for its durability and low maintenance compared to wood, but it had limitations.

That early deck material wasn’t resistant to staining, scratching, or mold like today’s composite boards. And it could fade over time. This early composite material didn’t have the protective polymer shell, so while it was an improvement over wood, it required more care than expected and could still experience weathering and wear.

In response to these limitations, companies like TimberTech introduced a new category of high-performance decking. These newer composites included a durable outer shell that improved significantly, such as better resistance to fading, staining, scratching, and mold.

This advancement meant the decking maintained its color and appearance longer and required less maintenance. Introducing this capping technology transformed the market, offering homeowners decking options that combined the beauty of wood with exceptional longevity and minimal upkeep.
As the materials improved, so did the warranties. A homeowner could enjoy a 25-year warranty and sometimes longer for PVC decking.

Yes, You Can Paint a Composite Deck, but Why?

Jeff Goldblum’s character in the original Jurassic Park movie said, “Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Yes, you can paint a composite deck, but it presents a new set of challenges and complications. But first, let’s look at some positives.

Photo of an outdoor deck with composite decking.

Pros of Painting Composite Decking

Cons of Painting Composite Decking

Considerations Before Trying to Paint Your Composite Deck

We advise against painting a composite deck and suggest considering deck resurfacing as an alternative. However, should you opt to proceed with painting, please consider the following factors:

Ultimately, the decision to paint a composite deck should be made after carefully considering its current condition, its potential impact on its longevity, the implications for maintenance, and your personal aesthetic preferences.

It’s a balance between the immediate desire to refresh or change the appearance of the deck and the long-term implications of adding a maintenance requirement to a product initially chosen for its low-maintenance benefits. 

Not Sure What to Do With Your Deck? Contact Majestic Outdoors

Are you thinking about doing something with your deck or wondering if you should build a new composite deck?

If so, turn to Majestic Outdoors for a free estimate for your new outdoor living space! Fill out our contact form to let us know what you’re interested in, and we’ll get back to you shortly.