How to Finish the Ends of Composite Decking
If you’re familiar with composite decking, you probably know that it’s a low-maintenance decking material that’s made from a combination of wood fibers and recycled plastic. But, one thing that you may not know is how to finish the ends of composite decking. This can be an important aspect to consider when installing your deck as it can affect both the overall appearance and longevity of your deck. Thankfully, there are several ways to finish the ends of composite decking that are both easy and effective.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some methods for finishing the ends of composite decking to help you make the most out of your outdoor living space.
1. Introduction to Finishing Composite Decking Ends
Welcome to our guide on how to finish the ends of your composite decking! As you may know, cutting composite deck boards can leave a rough, almost sharp edge, with strands of plastic material protruding from the cut. These rough edges not only look unsightly, but they can also be a hazard to bare feet. So, it’s important to finish the ends of your composite decking properly. In this guide, we’ll show you how to achieve smooth edges and offer several options for finishing the ends of your decking, such as using paint, picture framing, bullnose decking boards, fascia boards, and trim. With these tips, you can achieve a clean and professional-looking finish for your composite decking project. So, let’s dive in!
2. Understanding the Importance of Proper Decking Finishing
When it comes to finishing your composite decking, proper finishing is essential to ensuring a polished and professional look. That’s why understanding the importance of proper decking finishing is crucial. Not only does it contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space, but it also plays a role in the durability and longevity of your decks.
A proper finish helps protect your composite decking against potential damage from harsh weather conditions, foot traffic, and daily wear and tear. It creates a sturdy barrier that prevents moisture from seeping into the decking material, which can cause swelling, warping, and rotting over time. Moreover, well-finished composite decking can add value to your home, especially if you’re planning to sell it in the future.
So, whether you opt for cutting your boards to achieve smooth edges, using paint, picture framing, or bullnose decking boards, maintaining proper finishing is key. You can also cover the ends of your decking with fascia boards or use trim to disguise unfinished areas seamlessly. By following these steps, you can create a professional-looking return for your composite decking finishing while keeping it durable and long-lasting.
Remember, the finishing touches are just as crucial as the deck design and installation process. So, take the time to consider what finishing options will work best for your decking project, and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.
3. How to Cut Composite Decking to Achieve Smooth Edges
Welcome to section 3 of our blog on how to finish the ends of composite decking. In this section, we will be discussing how to cut composite decking to achieve smooth edges.
As mentioned earlier, cutting composite deck boards can result in a sharp, uneven edge with protruding strands of plastic material. Fortunately, there is a way to achieve a smooth edge.
Start by installing the decking boards onto your deck, making sure to cut them flush with the edge joist. Once you have done that, you can proceed to further refine the cut edge. You can use a sander or a fine plane to put a small “aris” on the edge, giving it a smooth finish.
It’s important to note that while edging methods aren’t necessary for the function of composite decking, they do create a more seamless and professional-looking finish. So if you want your deck to look its best, you might want to consider framing your decking with the right edging.
In the next section, we will be discussing the use of paint to finish the ends of composite decking. Stay tuned!
4. Using Paint to Finish Composite Decking Ends
Now that you have cut and prepared your composite decking ends, it’s time to add some finishing touches. If you are looking for a quick and easy solution, using a paint can be an excellent option. Fortunately, many exterior-grade paints and stains adhere well to composite decking. However, before rushing into painting your deck, you should make sure it is clean and dry. Any debris or moisture on the surface of the decking can prevent the paint from adhering properly.
To begin painting, you can use high-end acrylic latex paint with a brush, roller, or sprayer. First, apply a primer coat if the paint requires it or to improve hiding power. Then, apply a thin layer of paint to the decking ends, ensuring you cover all edges and corners. Allow the first coat to dry for the recommended time, typically a few hours. If you want a more opaque result, you can apply one or two more coats of paint.
While painting can be practical for finishing composite decking ends, it is not a durable option compared to other finishing methods. The plastic elements in composite decking make it challenging for the paint to saturate and bond with the surface. Additionally, paint can scratch, peel, or fade over time, requiring additional maintenance. To avoid this, you can consider other finishing options such as picture framing or using fascia boards. Keep reading to explore more ways to get professional-looking results for your composite decking project.
5. Picture Framing: A Smart Way to Finish Composite Decking
So, you’ve considered different ways to finish the ends of your composite decking, but picture framing seems like the best option for you. And, you’re not alone! Picture framing is a very popular and smart way to finish composite decking.
To start, you’ll need another decking board that runs perpendicular to your deck boards. Then, you can run this around all edges to create a picture frame. Not only does this hide the rough, unfinished ends of your composite decking, but it also adds a nice finishing touch to the entire deck.
Now, you’ll need to cut your picture frame deck boards. You can either choose to miter the edges, resulting in a clean and seamless finish, or you can leave them non-mitered. In either case, the result will be a smooth and polished look that enhances the appearance of your composite decking.
Once you’ve finished cutting your picture frame deck boards, you can attach them to the ends of your composite decking using screws. Now, it’s time to sit back and admire your freshly-finished composite deck!
Remember, if you want a truly professional-looking finish for your composite decking, picture framing is the way to go. So go ahead and try it out – you won’t be disappointed!
6. Bullnose Decking Boards: A Seamless Finishing Option
If you’re looking for a way to achieve a smooth and polished finish on your composite decking, consider using bullnose decking boards. These specialized boards have a rounded edge that provides a seamless and elegant look to your deck’s perimeter.
To install bullnose decking boards, start by measuring and cutting your boards to fit the edges of your deck. Once you have your boards cut to the proper length, prop them up against the edge of your deck and secure them in place using screws.
One of the biggest advantages of using bullnose decking boards is that they eliminate the need for unsightly end caps or trim pieces. The rounded edge of these boards provides a clean and even finish that blends seamlessly with the rest of your decking.
In addition to their stylish appearance, bullnose decking boards also offer practical benefits. Because they lack sharp edges, they are safer for children, pets, and bare feet. They also help to prevent splintering and chipping, which can be common with rough-cut decking boards.
Overall, bullnose decking boards are a fantastic option for those who want to achieve a professional and polished finish on their composite decking. They’re easy to install, look great, and offer practical benefits that make them a smart choice for any deck project.
7. Fascia Board: Covering the Ends of Your Composite Decking
Welcome back to our guide on finishing composite decking! In this section, we’ll take a closer look at how fascia boards can help cover the unsightly ends of your composite decking.
Fascia boards go hand in hand with composite decking, as they are a perfect match in terms of color and texture. They are essentially slim boards that are installed vertically along the exposed edges of your deck, covering the ends of your decking boards.
To install fascia boards, you will need to measure the length of your exposed decking ends and cut the fascia boards to size accordingly. Remember to allow a little extra length to account for any overhang from the decking boards.
Once you have your fascia boards cut to size, simply use screws to attach them to the ends of your decking boards. It’s important to ensure that your fascia boards are installed flush with the top of your decking boards to create a seamless finish.
Not only do fascia boards add a sleek and professional finish to your composite decking, but they also protect from the elements, preventing water and debris from getting in between the gaps.
With fascia boards installed, you can enjoy a flawless finish that adds value and beauty to your outdoor living space. Now that we’ve covered fascia boards, stay tuned for our next section on using trim to disguise unfinished composite decking ends!
8. Installing Fascia Boards: A Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you know the different options for finishing the ends of your composite decking, let’s take a closer look at installing fascia boards. Fascia board installation serves as a functional and aesthetic solution for concealing the ends of your composite decking. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install fascia boards:
1. Measure the length of your composite decking’s perimeter and cut your fascia boards accordingly. Remember to account for corners and angles.
2. Hold the fascia board against the edge of the decking and make sure it’s flush with the deck surface. Use a level to ensure it’s straight.
3. Pre-drill the fascia board where you want to place screws using a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the screws you’re using. This will prevent the fascia board from splitting.
4. Apply construction adhesive along the back of the fascia board where it meets the deck’s framing. This will add extra hold and stability.
5. Attach the fascia board to the deck using 2 ½-inch screws.
6. Repeat the process for the remaining fascia boards until your entire deck’s perimeter is covered.
7. Use a jigsaw to cut out any notches or curves needed to fit around railings or other features.
8. Sand down any rough or sharp edges and wipe down the fascia board with a damp cloth to remove any debris.
By following these simple steps, you can achieve a clean finish for your composite decking with the added benefit of protection from the elements. Install fascia boards to elevate the look of your decking and increase its durability.
9. Using Trim to Disguise Unfinished Composite Decking Ends
If you want a cost-efficient and attractive way to hide the unfinished ends of your composite decking, consider using trim. Trim will not only add a finishing touch to your deck, but it will also serve as an effective disguise to the exposed areas.
To start, measure the length of your deck board and cut your trim to size, ensuring that the trim boards are longer than the exposed decking edges. Take note that the color and texture of your trim should match your deck boards to achieve a seamless look.
Next, apply construction adhesive to the back of your trim and attach it to the exposed edges of your deck boards. Use clamps to hold the trim in place securely for at least an hour, or until the adhesive has dried completely.
If you want to achieve a more professional look, miter the corners of your trim boards at 45-degree angles. You also have the option to use a router to create a decorative edge on your trim.
Using trim to finish the ends of your composite decking is an excellent option for those who want to achieve a hassle-free and neat look. So, get your tools ready and try this simple and effective technique.
10. The Art of Creating a Professional-Looking Return for Your Composite Decking Finishing
Now that you know about the various options to finish your composite decking ends, it’s time to learn about how to create a professional-looking return. A return refers to the finishing of the decking board where it meets the house or the stairs. It’s crucial to have a seamless return, as it not only provides a neat aesthetic but also prevents moisture from entering the substructure.
To achieve a perfect return, you need to first cut the decking board to the exact length required, ensuring that it’s flush against the wall or stair riser. Next, you need to cut another decking board at a 45-degree angle, making sure that it’s long enough to cover the exposed end of the first board. Then, take a third board and cut it at a 45-degree angle, making it the same length as the second board.
Now, fit the second board over the first board to cover the exposed end, forming the return. Fasten the second board to the first one using screws or nails, ensuring a secure and stable fit. Finally, fit the third board above the second board, attaching it to the riser or wall, covering the gap between the decking and the vertical surface.
With this technique, you can create a professional-looking return that adds to the overall aesthetic of your composite decking. It requires a bit of precision and attention to detail, but the result is worth the effort. Make sure to follow the previous steps to finish the composite decking ends before attempting to create a return.