AZEK is a popular brand of cellular PVC exterior building products like trim, siding, and decking. Made from rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC), AZEK products offer many benefits over traditional wood materials. They are very low maintenance, moisture and insect resistant, and do not rot, warp, or splinter. With proper surface prep and application, painted AZEK products can maintain their beautiful, durable finish for years.
Can You Paint AZEK?
The short answer is yes! AZEK cellular PVC products are designed to work very well with exterior paints. The material’s smooth, dense surface allows paint to fully adhere and provides excellent coverage compared to painting wood.
AZEK trim, siding, railing, fascia, and decking are all paintable using high quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paints. Oil-based paints are not recommended for use on any AZEK products. With proper prep and application, painted AZEK will maintain its vibrant color for years before needing touch ups or full repainting.
So if you’re looking to paint your AZEK to match your home’s color scheme or just want a new, fresh look, you can achieve it with a compatible exterior latex paint. Now let’s look at some specific recommendations.
Recommended Paints for AZEK
When choosing a paint for AZEK products, stick with 100% acrylic latex formulas made for exterior use. Here are the key factors to look for:
- 100% Acrylic Latex – This water-based paint offers superior adhesion and durability compared to cheaper vinyl acetate paints. Acrylic latex resists cracking, peeling, and fading better than other exterior paint types.
- Exterior Grade – Make sure the paint is formulated for outdoor use and provides UV protection. Interior paints will not hold up outside.
- Brand Name Quality – Top brands like Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and PPG offer excellent 100% acrylic exterior paints. Avoid no-name budget paints.
- Light Colors – For AZEK decking, use lighter colors to prevent excessive heat absorption. Darker colors can get very hot in direct sunlight.
- Vinyl-Safe – If using darker colors on trim or siding, look for paint labeled as “vinyl-safe” to prevent potential warping issues.
With a high quality 100% acrylic exterior latex paint, you can paint your AZEK products any color you like while getting optimal performance. Some top brand recommendations:
Sherwin Williams Paint for AZEK
Sherwin Williams is at the top of the list when it comes to trusted exterior paints. Their Duration Exterior Acrylic Latex line is specifically recommended by AZEK for painting their products. Duration paint provides excellent adhesion, durability, and color retention.
Other good options from Sherwin Williams are Emerald Exterior and SuperPaint Exterior acrylic latex paints. Both offer great UV protection and adhesive properties. For painting AZEK black, their VinylSafe Technology colors resist heat warping issues.
Benjamin Moore Paint
Benjamin Moore is another leading brand known for their durable 100% acrylic exterior paints. Their Aura Exterior paint is self-priming and provides outstanding adhesion and longevity on AZEK products.
Other good Benjamin Moore options are Ultra Spec EXT and MoorGard Low Luster acrylic paints. They all provide long-lasting protection and beautiful matte finishes.
PPG manufactures a variety of quality exterior acrylic latex paints that work well on AZEK. Good options include PPG Timeless Paint, Olympic ONE Exterior Paint, and Pittsburgh Paints. They offer great UV resistance, adhesion, and color retention.
No matter which brand you choose, always stick with 100% acrylic latex exterior grade paints. Avoid cheaper vinyl acetate (PVA) paints as they won’t last or adhere as well. Now let’s look at proper surface prep before painting AZEK products.
Surface Prep for Painting AZEK
One of the best things about painting AZEK products is that very little surface preparation is needed before painting. Here are a few simple steps to follow:
- Clean the Surface – Use a mild cleaner or soap and water to remove any dirt, mildew, or other residues from the AZEK surface. Rinse thoroughly.
- Lightly Sand – Using 120-150 grit sandpaper, lightly sand the AZEK surface to scuff it up and create a surface profile for the paint to grip.
- Remove Dust – Wipe and rinse away all dust or debris left from sanding to leave a clean surface. Allow to fully dry.
- Check Adhesion – Consider testing paint adhesion on a small inconspicuous area before painting the entire surface.
That’s really all that’s needed to prep AZEK products before painting. The smooth PVC surface does not require priming or sealing beforehand. Proper cleaning, light sanding, and removing dust is adequate for most applications.
Always be sure to follow the specific paint manufacturer’s recommendations as well. Some may advise using a bonding primer for certain material types like PVC. Now let’s go over the painting process.
How to Paint AZEK Products
Painting AZEK is a very straightforward process. Just like with wood or other common building materials, proper application technique is key to achieving an attractive, long-lasting finish:
- Follow Paint Specs – Always carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for spread rate, drying time, second coat application, and any specific requirements based on the paint chosen.
- Use Proper Tools – Apply exterior acrylic latex paints using high quality brushes, paint rollers, or airless spray equipment if specified.
- Apply in Thin Coats – Paint relatively thin coats to avoid drips, sags, or runs in the paint. Too much thickness at once can cause curing issues.
- Allow Proper Dry Time – Ensure each coat is fully dry before adding another coat. This prevents lifting, blistering, or poor adhesion.
- Lightly Sand Between Coats – For best results, do very light sanding between coats using fine (220+) grit sandpaper to improve adhesion.
- Finish with Top Coat(s) – Follow the manufacturer’s specs for applying any final topcoat layers and dry times. This achieves full UV protection and uniform sheen.
Take your time with proper prep work, paint application, and drying times for a smooth, durable painted finish on your AZEK products. Next let’s look at some painting tips for AZEK decking.
Painting AZEK Decking and Railing
AZEK decking and railing accept acrylic latex paint very well. However, there are some important factors to keep in mind when painting outdoor deck components:
- Use Only Light Colors – Lighter colors like tans, browns, light greens, and grays work best. Darker colors will absorb too much heat from sunlight.
- Look for Special Deck Paint – Some brands offer deck paints or porch and floor paints formulated for high-traffic areas. These provide better adhesion and durability.
- Maintain Textured Paint Finish – Avoid painting decking with glossy paint, which could create a slippery surface when wet. Use colors with natural texture or add grip additives to the paint.
- Paint Both Sides – For AZEK deck boards, paint the tops, bottoms, and sides for protection all around. Leave 1/16″ spacing between boards.
- Allow Longer Dry Times – Decking paint needs more time to fully cure and dry than other surfaces, sometimes 24-48 hours between coats.
Take the necessary precautions when painting AZEK decking and railings to ensure many years of enjoyment on a beautiful and functional painted deck surface.
How Long Does Paint Last on AZEK?
With proper prep work, using quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paint, and following the manufacturer’s application instructions, painted AZEK products can last 4-6 years before needing touch ups or full repainting.
This is on par with typical paint performance on wood trim, siding, and decking surfaces exposed to the elements. To keep painted AZEK looking its best:
- Use top quality materials up front – Investing in premium Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, or PPG exterior acrylic latex paint will provide maximum durability and longevity.
- Allow proper dry and cure times – Rushing the painting process can compromise adhesion and curing, shortening the lifespan of the paint job.
- Inspect annually – Check for any visible wear, fading, peeling, cracking, or damage. Make repairs as soon as possible to prevent bigger issues.
- Clean regularly – Gently wash painted surfaces annually using mild cleaners and rinse well. This prevents buildup of soils that can impact paint bond.
- Consider reapplying clear coats – Some brands offer compatible exterior clear topcoat products that can be applied every 2-3 years to renew UV protection and sheen levels.
- Repaint when needed – Plan on a full repaint every 4-6 years to keep painted AZEK looking fresh and well maintained. Lightly sand and clean before repainting.
Taking good care of quality painted AZEK products will maximize their lifespan. And the great thing about AZEK is that it never needs replacements or structural repairs like wood. Just keep up with repainting and your AZEK will continue looking beautiful for decades to come.
Best Paint for AZEK Products
To summarize, here are the ideal paint characteristics and top brand recommendations when painting AZEK:
- 100% Acrylic Latex – Water-based 100% acrylic exterior paint offers superior adhesion, durability, and longevity compared to other paint types. PVA and oil-based paints are not recommended.
- Exterior Grade – Ensure the paint provides maximum UV protection, moisture resistance, and color retention for outdoor use.
- Brand Name Quality – Stick with premium national brands like Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and PPG for the best exterior acrylic latex paint options.
- Light Colors for Decks – Use lighter tan, gray, brown, or green tones on decking to prevent excessive heat absorption from sunlight.
- Vinyl-Safe Dark Colors – Look for vinyl-safe dark paints when using darker colors on AZEK trim, railing, siding to avoid potential warping issues.
Top Paint Brands for AZEK
- Benjamin Moore – Aura Exterior, Ultra Spec EXT, MoorGard Low Luster
- Sherwin Williams – Duration, Emerald, SuperPaint Exterior
- PPG – Timeless, Olympic ONE, Pittsburgh Paints
Investing in a quality 100% acrylic exterior latex paint like those above will provide the very best finish results and longevity when painting AZEK products.
Can You Paint AZEK Black?
Black is a very popular color for trim, railings, shutters, and other exterior accents. So it’s a common question whether you can paint AZEK products black. The answer is yes, but there are some important caveats when using darker paint colors.
The main issue with painting AZEK black is the potential for heat absorption problems. Darker colors will absorb more heat from sunlight, and excessive heat buildup can potentially warp or damage the material over time.
To safely paint AZEK black, choose an exterior acrylic latex paint in a vinyl-safe black color. Major brands like Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore offer specially formulated black and dark tinted paints that resist heat warping issues on vinyl and PVC products.
When applying black paint to AZEK trim, railings, siding or other components, it’s also smart to follow these tips:
- Lightly sand and clean AZEK prior to painting
- Apply in thin, even coats allowing proper dry time between coats
- Use high quality application tools for smooth finish
- Add coats slowly to build to full black appearance
- Consider painting the backs of trim and railing pieces white or silver to reflect more heat.
So with proper vinyl-safe black paint and correct application, you can definitely achieve a beautiful black painted finish on your AZEK products that will last for many years.
What Kind of Paint Do You Use on AZEK?
To summarize the ideal paint for AZEK products:
- Use 100% acrylic latex exterior grade paint
- Select lighter colors for decking and railings
- Use vinyl-safe darker colors for trim, siding and accents
- Choose top quality national brands like Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, or PPG
- Follow all paint specifications for proper surface prep, application, dry times
100% acrylic latex paint is the best and only recommended paint for AZEK PVC products. The acrylic formula adheres optimally and provides maximum UV and weather resistance. Lighter tones prevent heat buildup on decks while darker vinyl-safe colors can be used safely on trim, railings, and accents. Investing in a premium Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, or PPG exterior paint will provide the very best quality and endurance when painting AZEK.
Painting AZEK PVC Trim Black
Painting AZEK trim and accents black is definitely an option but needs special consideration to prevent heat-related issues:
- Use only vinyl-safe black exterior acrylic latex paints formulated to resist heat warping. Major brands like Sherwin Williams (VinylSafe Technology) and Benjamin Moore (Advance Paint) offer these.
- Lightly scuff sand the AZEK then wipe clean before painting. This promotes better paint adhesion.
- Apply in thin, even coats allowing 2-4 hours drying time between coats. Slowly build to full black.
- Consider painting the backsides white or silver to reflect heat away from the black finish.
- Inspect black trim/accents periodically for any signs of warping or damage and repaint as needed.
With the right vinyl-safe black acrylic latex paint and proper application, you can achieve a beautiful black painted finish on AZEK trim, fascia, shutters, railings, and siding that will hold up great for 4-6 years or longer before needing a repaint.
AZEK PaintPro Finishes
AZEK also offers their own proprietary pre-painted finish called PaintPro for a select number of their products. PaintPro applies a specially formulated urethane acrylic paint coating to achieve exceptional scratch, fade, and UV resistance.
PaintPro finishes are available on AZEK Trimboards, Cornerboards, and Mouldings in a range of colors from white to black. PaintPro colors are designed to match the hues of their coordinating product lines like Vintage Collection and Heritage Collection trim.
Benefits of factory pre-finished PaintPro AZEK products include:
- Excellent uv protection and color retention
- Resists scratching, scuffing and marring much better than site paints
- Available in smooth finish or realistic wood grain textures
- Matches trim perfectly for a unified finished look
- 12 year warranty against peeling, blistering, and flaking
PaintPro finishes can save the time and hassle of painting trim onsite. Just check for product availability in the colors you need for your project.
Do You Need to Prime AZEK Before Painting?
Priming is not necessary before painting AZEK products. The smooth, factory finished PVC surface allows quality exterior acrylic latex paints to adhere very well without a separate primer.
However, some paint manufacturers may recommend using a bonding primer when applying their paints to plastics like PVC and vinyl. So always check the paint’s spec sheet for any specific primer requirements.
If desired, a primer like Sherwin Williams Extreme Bond Primer or Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Primer can be used for maximum paint adhesion. But for most applications, properly cleaning and scuff sanding AZEK provides adequate preparation for painting. The self-priming paint formulas provide all the adhesion needed.
AZEK trim, siding, railings, fascia, and decking provide beautiful, low maintenance alternatives to wood exterior products. And the ability to paint AZEK to achieve custom colors makes the applications almost endless.
Choosing premium quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paints from trusted brands delivers outstanding adhesion and durability on AZEK materials. Proper surface prep and application techniques also ensures the painted finish lasts beautifully for 4-6 years or longer before needing maintenance.
So for your next exterior painting project, consider durable AZEK products as the base. Then choose that perfect shade from quality Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, or PPG paints to complete your design vision. With the right paints and techniques, you’ll enjoy a beautiful professional finish that stands the test of time.