Can You Stain Trex Decking

Should I Stain Or Paint The Deck

Staining composite decking!

Whether you choose to paint the deck or stain, it depends on several factors. If you want something easier to apply, then go with stain. It can be applied in a single coat and does not pool because of its thin consistency.

If you choose to paint, you will need to coat your deck with a primer. Its thicker consistency preventing globs of paint as well as lap marks is essential. Also, to get the coverage you want, two coats might be required.

The extra time spent now will pay off in the long run. A good paint will last over a decade while a stain must be reapplied anywhere from 2 to 8 years.

Also, paint requires less maintenance. You can pressure wash a properly sealed painted deck, but pressure washing stain is not recommended. If you need to protect your deck from moisture, then consider using oil-based paint. Otherwise, use latex paint to protect against UV fading.

Stain benefits include that it is less expensive, looks more natural, and can easily be painted over or given a different shade. Staining on top of paint is almost impossible, especially with composite decks.

How Long Will Trex Decking Last

We build using Trex composite decking regularly because its known for its gorgeous style and long lifespan. When homeowners ask us how long will Trex decking last, we start with the minimum 25 to 30 year span covered by the warranty. But we also let them know that composite decks can last far longer. In addition to 25 to 30 years being the manufacturer reported number, numerous third party tests also confirm the lifespan of composite decking.

Trex is definitely a long lasting product if you care for it properly and are lucky enough to avoid all of these potential decking issues. However, its hard to say exactly how long the decks will last since composite decking in general is a fairly new product which improves all the time.

With the premium grade Trex decking products, were confident you should get over the 25 year warranty period provided the decking is installed properly, the deck is built right, and its all well maintained. Skimp on any of these 3 issues and you could have problems down the road.

Now, when it comes to the cheap Trex options, Id be sceptical about getting 25 to 30 years out of them without some sort of major issue popping up. Its worth the money to avoid costly problems in the future.

Staining Problems With Trex Decking

Staining is a major problem with older model Trex decking and a huge issue with older composite decking products in general. Because with a Trex deck you cant sand or refinish the deck. If a stain occurs and cant be cleaned the only remedy is replacing the entire board. This can be an issue with an older deck once fading has occurred since the new deck boards wont match the old. It could be also a total disaster if you cant get the exact same deck board because in that case youd have to replace all the decking.

Something as simple as leaves or branches sitting on a Trex deck can stain. A chemical called tannin carries the color in most leaves and wood. Tannin can then leach into your deck causing discolorations. A thorough cleaning with a mop and gentle detergent, such as dish soap, may help remove residual grime and lighten the stain. Removing leaves and debris with a broom or leaf blower frequently is the best preventive measure.

Grease badly stains Trex decking. Make sure to keep grease away from a Trex deck. It quickly absorbs into the decking and will never come out.

If any food or drinks spills clean it up right away, dont let it sit on the deck for too long.

As a general rule of thumb assume everything stains a Trex deck. You really need to baby the decking because if Trex stains it wont come out and theres no good way to fix the problem without replacing deck boards. Perform regular cleanings.

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Can I Paint Or Stain Trex Decking

A: You are correct. Vintage Trex decking and other brands of composite decking made of a uniform mixture of wood fibers and plastic can be painted or even stained. If you have an original-style composite deck and want to paint or stain it, pick a product intended for decks or porches, not walls or trim.May 8, 2020

What Is Trex/composite Decking

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Composite decking is a mixture of wood fiber, plastic and a binding agent that is denser, stronger and heavier than wood. Trex is one brand of composite decking, and there are others, including Timbertech,and . Composite decking is low-maintenance and has a long warranty. Its also eco-friendly, because its made of reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. Trex claims, The average 500-square-foot composite Trex deck contains 140,000 recycled plastic bags! That makes us one of the largest plastic bag recyclers in the U.S.

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What Else Can I Use For Composite Decking

You have other options when covering your composite planks. From to rubberized coatings, you can alter the surface of your deck dramatically if you want.

One of the main drawbacks is that it will change the look of your decking dramatically.

While it may last for a very long time, it will change your deck to a glossy, industrial sheen that many may not like.

Yet again, this will dramatically alter the look of your deck as it will cover the original grain of the plank and create a gloss more typically found around a pool deck.

Enamel provides a tough exterior shell, and combined with texture, provides a great, slip-resistant finish. The downside is that with enamel paint, the UV resistance is poor.

Whats The Best Cleaning Product To Use On Trex Decking

The best solution for cleaning Trex decking surfaces is made of bleach and dish soap. Although detergents can cut the grease, oxygen bleach releases oxygen in the water and helps to remove dirt and rust from the surface of the Trex decking. If your problem is mildew-free, it can be solved using a combination of vinegar and baking soda. This can also help eliminate mold. For a composite deck that was previously used by a Trex decker using a composite deck cleaner, use a product like Rust-Oleum® Composite Deck cleaner.

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Disadvantages Of Composite Decking

Although they are very durable, with time, their color will begin to fade. Many reasons cause this deterioration in color, like the moisture in the air, usage, etc. But you can easily restore the shades of your composite deck by painting or staining it. Or you can do it to achieve a custom color.

The first thing to remember here, painting or staining will only restore the appearance of your deck. But it will not necessarily provide additional protection, nor will it extend the lifespan of your composite deck.

What type of paint or stain that you can use on your composite decking depends on its brand and the materials it is made from? But in most cases, the stains and paints that you can use for wood are also applicable for synthetic decking. And it is recommended that you only use stain or paint made for a walking surface.

Both painting or staining are good options to restore the appearance of composite decking. But staining is mostly suitable for composite decks that are only a few years old. It gives them a natural woody look. And if you want your deck to look colorful, you can paint it too. Paints last longer than stains. Also, they are much easier to maintain compared to stains.

How Not To Clean A Trex Deck

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While using some of the methods below may be tempting, its not a good idea. Theyll likely end up causing more damage and will void Trexs warranty.

  • Dont use any harsh chemicals without checking to see if theyre safe to use with Trex or your brand of composite decking. Doing so can lead to discoloration or damage.
  • Avoid using products containing bleach or acid, as they will lighten the surface of your deck.
  • Never use acetone or any other solvents on Trex railings it will make them dull or cause damage.
  • Stay away from using a power washer on any of the older generation Trex products. They arent as durable as the new, current high-performance lines.
  • We dont recommend sanding your Trex decking it will change the appearance of the decks surface.
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    How Long Does Trex Composite Decking Last

    As for how long composite decks are built to last, the average range is from 25 to 30 years with little to no maintenance required at all.

    The only thing that you can do is clean the deck, but the toughness of the material means that even when it is not cleaned, the dirt and grime do not affect the longevity of the deck itself.

    This is because the decking is made from a combination of materials, normally wood and plastic or minerals and plastic with no wood at all.

    It may look like wood, but in many cases, the amount present is not that much. Because plastic and minerals are highly resistant to weathering, they can last for a long time.

    Having said that, they are vulnerable to impacts as with any wooden deck. Although because of the dense material used it is more difficult to damage.

    Plus, composite decks are environmentally friendly because they use materials that otherwise would go into landfills.

    Plastic is particularly good because it has strength, and durability, and resists mold, mildew, and insects to a far greater degree compared to wood.

    And because it looks so much like wood, especially the higher-end products, it can be difficult to tell it from real wood.

    Removing Old Paint From Trex

    If theres an old paint layer on your Trex already, remember it cannot be sanded.

    Unlike other surfaces, you also cannot use chemicals or solvents on Trex as they can damage the surface.

    The best-recommended way to strip latex paint off of your Trex boards is by applying warm, soapy water and then scrubbing the paint gently with the soft-bristled brush.

    Make sure you do not scrub hard or you may mar the surface while removing the loose paint particles.

    I have once used Krud Kutter Cleaner & Degreaser for removing the drips and overspray while painting Trex.

    Not very sure if it works for removing the old dried paint but you can try.

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    How To Care For Your Trex Deck

    But no exterior surface stays maintenance free without periodic cleaning. Like the rest of your exterior home and yard, your Trex deck is exposed to the elements. Dirt, debris, and mold can build up over time, requiring annual or semiannual cleaning with either a composite deck cleaner or soapy water made with dish soap.

    Does Trex Decking Fade

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    Yes. One of the biggest problems with older Trex decking is color fading. Everybody knows color fades in the sun, but composite decking companies seem to be oblivious to how badly their products actually look when left out in the sun. Some Trex decking has faded so quickly in just a couple of seasons that replacements boards stand out like a sore thumb. Color fading is something the company knows about and acknowledges. On their own website and in their own literature they state decking will fade and even give guidelines in their warranty regarding how much fading should occur and how much would be covered.

    Because of this acknowledgement you can be sure when you buy a Trex deck you will have color fading. How much however is uncertain. And this creates a secondary issue where some of the deck is in sunlight and some isnt. Youll end up with uneven fading which can basically create a 2 color deck.

    Fading issues are unpredictable and hard to understand. Some Trex decking will have problems and others of the same type will not. This leads us to believe variables in the manufacturing process makes fading worse or better depending on whats done at the factory. The deck boards look exactly the same, but dont always perform the same when in the field.

    Excessive fading is covered under the Trex warranty.

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    Painting A Composite Deck

    When painting a composite deck, youll follow the same steps you would use when painting a traditional wood deck.

    1. Apply painters tape to the edges of your deck if it is attached to your home. Cover any shrubbery nearby that you dont want to get paint on.

    2. Start at a far corner and start by using your roller. Use long strokes back and forth, making sure to use uniform pressure as you roll.

    3. You will need a brush for railings and corners. When using a brush, ensure it is compatible with oil-based stains, if using. Cheap brushes from the dollar store, which are usually nylon, will lose bristles and fail.

    Investing in a few good brushes will save you tons of headaches later on and are worth the price.

    1. Apply in the shade, if possible. Direct sunlight can play havoc with wet paints, especially on a really hot day. Wait until morning or evening, or during a shady part of the day, to apply if possible.

    2. Re-apply after the deck is completely dry. For paint, 2 coats are highly recommended. Most brands require a second coat, which will go on much more quickly than the first coat.

    3. If possible, paint the undersides of your deck boards, too. Covering every part of your board will ensure they last longer.

    Can You Paint Or Stain Composite Decking

    You love your composite deck, as you have for years, maybe even decades. But after years of use and exposure to the elements, your deck may have some blemishes and the original sheen has lost its luster. Is the love affair over? What about painting or staining to freshen things up?

    Can you paint composite decking?

    The short answer is yes, but only if youre dealing with early generation composite material. Newer versions of composite decking are protected by a PVC cap or shell that encases the composite core. While the cap makes the decking low maintenance, it also prevents paint and stain from adhering. In fact, youll likely void the warranty if you try to paint or stain modern composite decking.

    Older composite deckinge.g. decking manufactured prior to 2010, for example is a different story. It doesnt have a plastic cap or shell. Rather, the composite material is exposed and, if properly prepared, will hold a coat of paint or stain. In fact, this can be a great way to restore your decks appeal and extend its already long lifespan.

    To determine whether your decking is a candidate for painting or staining, look at the cut end of a deck board. Early generation decking will be the same color top to bottom. More current options will have a thin veneer or shell over the gray or brown composite core. The first type will accept paint or stain, and the second wont.

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    Most Composite Decks Can Be Painted Or Stained

    Some newer composite decking materials use a different exterior finish than traditional composite decking. Those finishes wont accept paint, but most composite decks can.

    Youll need to thoroughly clean the deck and treat any areas with mildew growth. Dont rush through the cleaning process. It sets the foundation for the durability of your painting.

    After youve 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 thats 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.

    Can Composite Decking Be Painted

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    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.

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    Tips For Painting Trex Or Composite Decking

    To make it a success, you may follow some tips described here. When painting aging composite decking, you probably want to achieve the best results possible.

    If thats the case, follow these guidelines to get a job well-done painting Trex. As much as possible, try to work in dry weather.

    For example, you may plan the painting endeavor for a day when the temperature is warmer, which will speed up the drying time of the paint.

    Cover up any blemishes on your deck with a back-brushing technique. If youre using a brush to paint your composite deck, use the back-brushing technique to ensure that every nook and cranny is painted.

    Avoid painting in the sun if at all possible. Your paint finish will dry too rapidly if exposed to the suns intense heat. A shine may develop as a result of the rapid drying process.

    Can All Composite Decking Be Painted

    Almost any composite deck can be painted or stained. There are some exceptions or caveats.

    • TimberTech 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 claims its 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.

    One would expect more expensive decking to maintain its color and not require painting anyway.

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