Should You Paint AZEK – Or Leave as It Is?

can you paint azek trim and boards

Today, many outdoor housing components like trim and your deck are made of wood, which is prone to issues from the elements.

So painting and other precautions have been the norm to ensure the longevity of the wood.

You also have to perform yearly maintenance on everything, which is time-consuming and costly long term.

AZEK on the other hand is a kind of PVC material that has been coated with a scratch-resistant and weather-resistant polymer.

It’s a stronger and longer-lasting alternative to traditional wood material and it does not need to be painted, though nothing is stopping you from doing so.

This means if you have a specific reason you can paint AZEK boards and trims without a problem.


How to Paint AZEK?


If you decide to paint AZEK, you will need to use 100% acrylic latex paint.

A lighter color will be better as darker colors attract heat and could warp the AZEK material.

If you want a darker color, ensure the light reflective value (LRV) is 55 or lower.

Before painting the AZEK, make sure you properly clean the material as it should be completely free of any debris and other marks.

Typically you’ll want to use a solution like denatured alcohol to clean the AZEK.

Ensure that you’re using nice even brushstrokes so that you can mimic the appearance of wood.

Not doing this takes away a number of advantages you get by doing the painting in the first place.

So, it should be addressed with your painter if you won’t be doing it yourself.

Also, remember that unlike wood AZEK is not porous, so the paint will take around 30 days to cure fully.

You should be aware of that before everyday use.


Reasons You Should Be Painting AZEK


First of all, the edges of AZEK are much more porous and can retain moisture.

If left unpainted, you can see mold growth, turning black or green.

You either need to clean it when this happens or if you spray paint it, you can remove this issue.

Another reason is AZEK installers may not have performed the best job, and you’re left with holes from joining the AZEK.

These need to be filled, caulked, and then sanded. So, painting may be a good option to hide this.

On the other hand, properly installed AZEK with plug and play joints will not need this.

So, your initial investment in the product and installers would fix this requirement.

can azek be painted and stained

Advantages and Disadvantages of Painting AZEK


Now when you know how to prepare and paint AZEK, let’s look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of painting the material.

The Pros

Depending on how contractors have installed your AZEK, you may get many cosmetic advantages out of painting AZEK.

  • AZEK only comes in white, so painting is the main option for making that change if white is not to your liking.
  • When painted correctly, you’ll have the appearance of wood rather than a PVC pipe. So, this is better and more aesthetically pleasing, especially when trying to resell your home.
  • AZEK can become dirty and smudged and is a little hard to keep clean. However, if painted, it becomes much easier to wash and care for the appearance of the AZEK.

The Cons

AZEK does not require any painting, and once you decide to do so, you get a number of disadvantages that you should consider.

  • Using the incorrect paint can warp the AZEK, and you will need to replace it.
  • Additional maintenance costs going forward as you will need to maintain the paint.

If we’re being honest, the major disadvantages are reasonably minor.

Still, part of the point of properly installed AZEK is to remove maintenance, so you’re adding that back with the added risk of warping.

The Bottom Line

While you don’t need to necessarily paint AZEK, it’s a possibility, with the main benefits being your ability to pick colors other than white, better resistance to mold on the cut pieces, and an easier time keeping the product clean.

It does seem as though painted AZEK is a better option than leaving it plain white.

It’ll also be much more aesthetically pleasing to you and potential homebuyers in the future.

Your main downside is however the additional maintenance you add by painting it.

So, if you’re looking to paint your AZEK, then go for it.

Just remember to use the right paint to avoid additional costs of replacing it due to dark colors like black or repainting it due to the wrong paint used.

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