If you have ever been an owner of a wooden deck, you know how much time it requires to maintain it, to take care of it, and to keep it in a proper order!
Because if you just let it be as it is, you will pretty soon end up with a deck that is all covered with cracks, flaking paint, and quite an ugly appearance.
This is why, when Trex composite material first appeared in the market, people felt relief: from now on, there is no need to bother about the deck upkeep!
However, things appeared to be a bit more tricky, and even such a miraculous thing as Trex happened to require certain maintenance. In particular, painting.
Since this composite material tends to fade quickly when exposed to sun for long enough, many owners of Trex decks wonder whether it is possible to paint a trex deck.
And of course, they would like to know how it should be done if such a possibility exists.
So today we are going to tell you more about painting a Trex deck – and not only about it!
You will also learn about the correct way of removing paint from a trex decking, and in addition, we will share a few handy tips with you on how to take care of your composite deck to keep it good-looking longer.
Can You Paint Trex Decking?
Basically, yes, a deck that is made of Trex composite can be painted or even stained successfully since the majority of composites allows doing that. And this is a great piece of news for the owners of this type of decking!
If you see that your Trex deck needs some refreshment and you obviously have to paint it because it is way too faded, you can apply paint. But in this case, we would recommend you choose an acrylic latex exterior primer and apply this one first.
And only then can you go for the paint itself. By the way, when choosing paint for your Trex decking, stick to a latex paint with a satin or a semi-gloss finish.
In case you decide to simply stain your deck, it is also possible to do. For proper staining, consider using an acrylic latex stain that contains UV inhibitors, as well as mildew inhibitors!
If you do so, you can be sure that your Trex decking will look awesome with rather little effort.
Can Any Trex Decking Be Painted?
Almost any composite deck can be painted or stained. There are some exceptions or caveats.
- Timber Tech advises you not to paint its product and that doing so will invalidate the warranty. Since it is made from PVC, the paint would not adhere well anyway.
- Trex’s more expensive Transcend and Escapes lines cannot be painted.
- Lumberock says that paints or stains will not adhere properly to the boards, leading to flaking and peeling.
And now that you know which types and brands of composite decking are better not to be painted at all, let’s see what exactly you need to do in order to either paint or stain your composite deck properly (of course, in case you are absolutely sure your deck can be painted).
Related: Can You Use Interior Paint Outside?
How to Paint Your Trex Decking?
So, you have figured out that your Trex decking can be painted. Hurrah! But what’s next? Do you just need to grab some paint and a brush and have the work done?
WHoa-whoa, not so fast! First of all, check out the list of tools you will need and see whether you have all of them in your disposal:
- Soft-bristle brush for scrubbing dirt off the surface
- Pressure washer for cleaning
- Baking soda and vinegar for removing mold and mildew
- Commercial composite deck cleaner (optional)
- Dropcloth or plastic sheeting
- Medium-grit sandpaper (preferably 240-grit)
- Painter’s tape
- Paint sprayer, roller, or brush
- Trex paint designed for exterior surfaces
Is everything here? Great! Then you can proceed to painting. To complete the painting task successfully and get decent results, we recommend you follow this step by step instruction. If you undergo all of these stages, you will surely end up with a perfectly painted deck!
Get Everything Ready
First of all, get the area ready for the process. You might want to remove all of your potted plants that you keep on your deck and clear the place of any furniture.
Also, use a drop cloth or a plastic sheeting to cover plants, or foliage that you don’t want the chemicals to damage.
It is upon you to decide whether to cover things with a tarp or remove them altogether, anyway.
Clean Your Deck
Put on gloves to protect your skin from the chemicals that can be found in the majority of household cleaners, and get some cleaning product.
Now you can begin! Apply a soapy solution on the deck and let it soak for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a long-handle synthetic brush.
Then, rinse the entire deck with a low-pressure power washer. In case you are using a commercial deck cleaner, follow the instructions on the bottle precisely.
Also, you might want to set your power washer to low pressure. It will bring down the risk of damaging the surface. It can also happen that your deck has mold and mildew.
If this is the case, make sure that you soak them with a mixture of two parts vinegar and one part water before you start scrubbing! Create the mixture in a bucket and sprinkle some baking soda on the affected areas before applying the vinegar solution.
Sand the Deck
This is the next step that has to be completed. See, you need to sand the deck because composite decks can not accept paint naturally like a real wood deck, for example.
This is why you need to scuff it up to improve the paint adhesion. For this purpose, we would suggest you use a medium-grit sandpaper to get the surface ready for priming and painting. A 240-grit sandpaper should do excellently! It will scuff the surface to offer paint something to grip on.
Also, you should consider sanding along the direction of the wood grain to avoid the possibility of creating visible scratches while sanding.
You only need to de-gloss the surface and make it smooth, so don’t sand too deep. After sanding, wipe away the sanding dust with a tack cloth and then a damp rag and let it dry before proceeding to the next step.
Apply the Primer
The purpose of applying a primer is to make the paint more durable. See, the primer helps the paint stick better to your deck surface.
When working on Trex or composite decks, we would recommend you opt for an acrylic latex primer designed for exterior applications only. Simply transfer the primer into a roller tray, then use a paint roller to apply it along the entire length of the composite planks.
By the way, to make your work easier, you might want to make use of a roller with an extension handle so you don’t have to bend too much! And after the primer is applied, you need to give it about two hours (or more) of drying time.
The amount of time will depend on what the product label says, so read the instructions carefully.
Apply the Paint
Well now it’s painting time! Once the primer is dry completely, paint can be safely applied. And if you have ever painted anything in your home, you know what you should do, right? Put the paint in a roller tray and use a paint roller to apply it across the entire length of the composite deck.
You will need more than one coat for the best results in most cases.
Ensure you let the first coat dry completely before adding the second. The label on your product container should show you how long you need to wait between coats.
Drying times will vary from one product to another, so pay attention to the manufacturer’s specific recommendation when using the paint for trex decking.
Like this, you will not only prepare your Trex deck for the painting procedure, but you will also apply the coats of paint smoothly and evenly resulting in a fine and durable coating that will have both a protective and aesthetical purpose.
How to Remove Paint From Trex Decking
Many of those who own a Trex deck ask quite a common question: how to remove paint from a trex decking? And indeed, it is a useful information to know since, if you need to paint your deck, and you stain it with paint, you will have to strip those paint traces off it!
But how should you do this to not damage the surface? Well, if you need to remove the paint blots from your composite deck, then we can suggest a one good solution. It is a product called Krud Cutter, and you can find it in any Home Depot store!
So if you need to clean up a mess left after some paintwork you did, just spray the painted or stained area with this product and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, you will have to scrub it lightly with a plastic brush until the paint is completely removed.
To finish, rinse the area with water to remove the debris and leftover paint flakes.
What Is Trex Decking?
A Trex deck or a composite deck (which is basically the same) is a type of deck that is made of composite lumber. In its turn, composite lumber is a material made of plastics and wood fibers, with a binding agent mixed and compacted to form robust, solid deck planks.
Because the composite lumbar undergoes a unique manufacturing process, the decking material is more robust, denser, and heavier than pure wood.
Trex is a type of composite deck material comprising 95 percent recycled or post-industrial materials. It’s made of recycled materials, including sawdust, reclaimed wood fibers, and many recycled plastic bags.
These materials create a solid deck board that is fade, scratch, stain, mold, termite, and warp-resistant. The decking boards have grooved edges that use a concealed fastening system, eliminating the need for drilling or boring screw holes on the Trex deck surface.
How to Maintain Your Composite Deck
It is not enough to just repaint your deck now and then to keep it in a good condition.
Even though Trex is a durable material, it also needs care and proper maintenance.
So if you want your deck to remain properly cared and good-looking longer, consider following simple care recommendations:
- Avoid standing water like puddles since they may cause mildew and mold.
- Redirect downspouts. Don’t let rainwater runoff from your roof splash down on your composite decking. Make sure downspouts point elsewhere so the material doesn’t get excess exposure to moisture.
- Ventilate the underside of the deck. Like this, it will dry faster after washing or after rains.
- Minimize mulch! If you use organic mulch in your backyard, avoid placing it on or against your deck. If you must put it under or around your deck you can always use inorganic mulch or gravel.
- Use woven rugs instead of those with rubber backing. Welcome mats with rubber backs tend to trap moisture which is a direct way to mold.
- Sweep it often.
- Remove dirt and salt. To remove these kinds of debris, start by sweeping. If that doesn’t get rid of the dirt, grab a gentle scrub brush (do not use metal), water and mild soap. Scrub the dirt away then rinse the area.
Like this, your Trex deck will always be in a perfect state and it will serve you even longer than you expected when you were installing it!
Yes, it can. Yes, it does. Paint it when it’s warm and sunny outside to help the deck dry faster.
Frequently Asked Questions
⭐ Can Trex deck be stained?
⭐ Does mold grow on composite decks?
⭐ What weather is the best for composite deck painting?
Yes, it can.
Yes, it does.
Paint it when it’s warm and sunny outside to help the deck dry faster.