This post was updated on January 30, 2023
Staining Composite Decks in 2023
We here at DeckStainHelp.com thank you for your continued support as we continue to be the internet’s number one reference for all things wood deck restoration related. Composite decks have become popular over the last few years, so here we outline some tips for staining them. As always, we appreciate your input, so feel free to leave a comment below.
Composite material decks have become very popular among homeowners in the past few years. They come in many different designs and colors. Most people believe that a composite deck is maintenance free but that is not true. Like any surface exposed to Mother Nature, composite decking is prone to fading, graying, warping, and so on. To stop these negative effects a composite deck stain should be applied. Staining composite decks help block out color fading UV rays and damaging moisture.
To stain a composite deck the surface must first be completely cleaned. With the use of a pressure washer or scrub brush and a composite deck cleaner, all the dirt, mold, mildew, and graying should be washed away. Mildew is a common occurrence on composite materials. Because most composite decking consists of wood and plastic it is prone to mold and mildew. It is important to remove any mildew before staining the deck so mildew is not sealed in and trapped below the surface.
Once the surface is dirt free it will be ready to accept a new stain. Use a quality composite deck stain that penetrates well. Look for a stain that helps fight against UV fading and discoloring. Composite deck stains with mildewcides or inhibitors are a plus. Any stain containing zinc particles will also naturally fight against mildew. Apply the composite deck stain using a brush, roller, or stain pad. Do not over-apply.
Try to stay away from film forming or solid deck stains. These can begin to flake and peel away from the surface after a few months. They are also more prone to mildew problems because they create a film atop the surface that may trap moisture. To keep a composite deck looking good, rewash the deck every couple of seasons and apply a maintenance coat of stain. This will help ensure a clean, attractive composite deck for many years to come.
Update for 2023Staining Composite Decks
We recently prepped and stained a very old and dirty Trex deck in Spring of 2021. We applied the penetrating TWP Semi-Solid Pro-Series to the Trex, and it turned out outstanding! Looks brand new and the TWP soaked deep into the composite decking with no issues. We highly suggest the TWP Semi-Solid if you are looking to add some color or stain to your old composite decking.
TWP Semi-Solid Pro Series
Prep Materials: Restore A Deck Cleaner Kits
Color Used: TWP Semi-Solid Mount Rushmore
Coverage: 1 coat was applied. 4.5 gallons were used. Coverage was about 200 Sq Feet per gallon.
TWP Semi-Solid Pro-Series Review: TWP Pro-Series Semi-Solid
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As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.