Composite decking material comes in a wide variety of colors and can last for many years. What if your tastes change or it doesn’t coordinate well with your new siding? Can you change the color of your deck without replacing the composite deck boards? Read on to find out what our home improvement experts say about painting a composite deck.
Sarabeth Asaff South

Sarabeth Asaff South

Sarabeth Asaff South is a former kitchen and bathroom designer, with a working knowledge of all areas of the home improvement industry. She is currently a home design expert and chief writer at

Make sure you pressure wash the boards first.

The answer to this is yes and no. Composite decks weren’t designed to be painted. They were designed to have a long-wearing top color that lasts as long as the material. What happens if you get tired of the color or if it fades in the sun? You can paint it, as long as you understand a few things.

First, you can’t use a traditional deck stain. It won’t stick to the plastic and resin components of the boards. It would simply peel off again quickly, which is one reason why people use composite in the first place – to avoid the peeling that happens with wood.

So, you need to make sure you are using an acrylic-based primer and an acrylic-based paint. It will be a solid color, but since composite doesn’t have a natural wood grain to show through, this shouldn’t matter quite as much.

Make sure you pressure wash the boards first. Let them dry thoroughly, then apply the primer. Let that dry thoroughly. Then give it a coat of paint. Wait for a warm, dry, sunny day. The drier, the better. Humidity will slow down the rate at which it dries.

Be prepared to have to repaint again in a few years, though. It won’t last as long as the original surface of the composite.

Yes, you can paint a composite deck.

In fact, lots of the older composite decks we see have been painted.

The best way to paint one is to use a bonding primer first and then top it off with an acrylic paint coating. Understand that the value of composite decking is in the fact that it needs no maintenance. Once you start painting deck boards, you are caught in a cycle of having to repaint them often because the paint wears out. Painting a composite deck now puts the homeowner in a position that the paint might peel, which is something they did not need to worry about with the composite decking alone.

Because deck boards lie horizontally, they are exposed to the elements more than, for example, vertical siding on a house, or the spindles surrounding a deck. The sun can beat down on the deck boards, and water can pool on the horizontal surface of the deck, which wears away at the deck’s horizontal boards quickly.

Paige NeJame

Paige NeJame

Paige NeJame, Franchise Owner of

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson is a home design expert with

Most composite decks can be painted or stained.

Some newer composite decking materials use a different exterior finish than traditional composite decking. Those finishes won’t accept paint, but most composite decks can.

You’ll need to thoroughly clean the deck and treat any areas with mildew growth. Don’t rush through the cleaning process. It sets the foundation for the durability of your painting.

After you’ve cleaned the deck with water and soap recommended for composite decks, allow it to dry. Then, sand it with 240-grain sandpaper. Rewash the deck to remove the sanding dust. Let it dry and apply a primer designed for outdoor decks. After that’s dry, you can use your chosen outdoor paint intended for decks.

The beauty of composite decks is that they require virtually no maintenance. They do not need to be painted, but if you desire a change and are willing to keep up on the maintenance requirements after painting, you can, in most cases, paint your composite deck.

You have to take some specific steps.

Yes. Although composite decks are not designed to be painted, they can still accept a paint layer nicely.

  •  Clean the surface properly and allow it to dry.
  • Sand the composite surface to be painted along the direction of the grain. Finer sandpaper, preferably 240-grit, is ideal for this job. Clean the surface again and let it dry.
  • Apply a layer of primer and allow it to dry for two hours.
  • Now, apply your desired paint color with a roller. Allow the first coat to dry sufficiently before applying the second coat.
Abby Hao

Abby Hao

Abby Hao, Head of Marketing at Ourpcb PTY LTD.

John Medina

John Medina

John Medina, Founder of John Medina Buys Houses.

Make sure that it is cleaned, sanded, and primed for the paint.

If you’re considering materials for your new deck and want to make sure that you choose something that can be painted, then composite is a great option.

While you don’t necessarily have to paint composite decks, you can paint composite under most circumstances. For composite to accept paint, you have to make sure that it is cleaned, sanded, and primed for the paint.

The benefit of painting composite decks is that it extends the deck’s lifespan even longer.

It’s like having a brand new deck.

Yes, composite decks can be painted, preferably using latex paint for durability and reduced fading. The higher the quality, the better.

Painting a composite deck doesn’t affect its longevity, but it does cover any staining or patchy appearance due to sun-bleaching in exposed areas. It’s like having a brand new deck.

Leo Young

Leo Young

Leo Young, Founder and Editor of

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.


  • Nate Barrett

    As the President of SRI Decks, my greatest satisfaction comes from the immediate sense of fulfillment that our work brings. From the initial design discussions with our customers to the moment we capture the final project in photos, I feel an immense pride in my team for their dedicated efforts. My passion for hands-on work and outdoor projects is matched only by the joy I derive from seeing a delighted customer when we’ve successfully completed a job. Fun Facts: I like hot chocolate in my coffee. I’ve been with SRI for 12 years, prior to ownership. I have a daughter, 3 dogs and a loving girlfriend.

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