Trex - horrible to paint

Since I was painting the (wood) back porch, thought I'd paint the (Trex) si de steps to match. (Yes, the Trex is several years old, so that wasn't a pr oblem).
Terrible idea!
After scrubbing and rinsing the steps and letting them dry, I applied BM ac rylic. Or rather TRIED to apply. Never saw such a miserable surface. Str eaks and iffy coverage. Used a lot of time and a lot of expensive paint. Second coat helped only a little. Still streaks, etc.
After the fact, went on-line. Trex only approves 2 coverage, both stains. But other sites don't specifically say don't use paint.
Wish I'd left the Trex alone; it was an unobtrusive pinkish beige-ish color
Was this a unique experience? What, if anything, did I do wrong?
TIA
HB
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On Sun, 7 Jul 2013 00:40:30 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

What you did wrong was painting the Trex. As you found out, only 2 stains are approved for it. No paint is. Only the Trex site is what matter, not the fact that other sites don't say to paint. Trex is a man made product with additives in it so it stays good looking for years with little maintenance. Those same ingredients also make it impossible to paint.
The only reason I'd use Trex is to avoid painting and staining. Now replace it with real hardwood and oil it to keep it looking beautiful. I used Tigerwood and enjoy the beauty every time I step on the deck.
You (finally) went to the proper source for information and still doubt them. Why?
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I have used BM latex stain with no problems at all. 1 coat on a deck which they wanted a redwood look. Still looks good 3 years later. That's what the customer wanted.

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On Sun, 7 Jul 2013 17:59:17 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@handyman.com wrote:

can NOT be stained - and most paint won't stick.
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Trex is a wood composite material that doesn't need paint to protect it from the Sun or from absorbing rain water.
If you painted with a latex paint, then that paint is too soft to provide good service on a working surface such as a step. Just use the steps normally, and the paint should wear off on it's own. (It'll likely get very dirty looking because dirt will become embedded in it underfoot. If you get fed up with it, I expect that any paint stripper would take latex paint off of Trex without harming the Trex, but test in an inconspicuous area first.
Rejoice, Higgs. What you did was acquire "experience". Now, if anyone ever asks you if they should paint their Trex decking, you have all the experience needed to answer their question with both confidence and authority, having done that once yourself.
If you get tired of the way that paint looks, take it off with a paint stripper. Just check that the paint stripper doesn't affect the Trex by testing it in an inconspicuous area.
--
nestork


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On 7/7/2013 4:24 PM, nestork wrote:

The Trex on my dock was a combination of wood and recycled plastic; main purpose of big $ for Trex is never having to paint it....I would be reluctant to try stripper on it. If anything, sanding and scraping. Might even work to use hot water, soap and a stiff brush to get paint off....and do it before finishing the other paint.
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On 7/8/2013 8:26 AM, Norminn wrote:

From what I read, Trex is a PVC wood composite. Most common solvents will attack PVC. Color in Trex is throughout and should be recoverable by buffing it up as with other colored plastics. Trex website gives details on its care.
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'Frank[_17_ Wrote: > ;3089555']

>

It probably is PVC. PVC is commonly used for plastics that will be spending their lives outdoors because of it's inherently good resistance to UV light.
But, I clean my PVC roller windows with acetone all the time and it doesn't hurt the windows.
So, I'd kinda doubt that PVC would dissolve in acetone.
acetone will dissolve latex paints very aggressively.
--
nestork


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On 7/8/2013 11:41 AM, nestork wrote:

Right, I see acetone is a near solvent:
http://peer.tamu.edu/curriculum_modules/properties/module_3/activity3.htm
I'd still be careful with it as solvents can sometimes cause stress cracking.
I followed thread because I wondered what Trex was made of. Concerned it might be PE which is not as weather-able.
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From what I read, polyethylene is a major ingredient which is naturally hard to paint. Seems like most waste at trash sites is polyethylene or polypropylene. Might be some PVC. They have different products too.
Greg
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On Sunday, July 7, 2013 11:27:56 AM UTC-7, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I guess it's not coated; the paint more or less "sticks" after 2 ooats.
Damn, damn, damn. The original color of the Tres was quite satisfactory...!
HB
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