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How To Make PVC Look Like Wood


Poly vinyl chloride or PVC is a popular material used for deck installation as well as other construction ideas and projects. Considering all the other decking materials available in the market today, PVC wood decking is a more expensive option. However, its cost is well worth it given the innumerable advantages it has to offer. For instance, PVC does not fade or stain and it has less maintenance needs compared to other building products like woods.

A Brief Overview

PVC wood decking has been around for more than a decade. It was introduced in 2005, and since then, it has continued to be one of the best materials for building a new deck in the garden. Since it is made of plastic, its unique characteristics separates it from wood decking as well as other composite decking product alternatives. Since its introduction, PVC wood decking has evolved and is not offered in a wide range of colors.

Unlike composite wood, PVC plastic does not have any wood fiber content. Its production is not as straightforward as the other decking materials in the market today. It is manufactured using a process called co-extrusion. It involves coating and bounding the core of the deck boards with an outer plastic shell. The materials used can be temperamental and difficult to work with. Producing it for commercial purposes can be quite difficult not only because of the above mentioned reasons but also because approximately one-eight of the deck boards made are unsellable and then scrapped. The production process of this material is extremely fragile. Mixing its ingredients needs to be done carefully and the entire process must be executed properly.

Benefits and Drawbacks

When it comes to decking materials that offers the most stain, fade, and mold resistance, PVC wood decking should be on top of your list. It is a low maintenance building material with easy and basic cleaning requirements. It does not need any painting, sanding, or staining. Recycled plastic materials are often incorporated into the production of pvc, making it an eco-friendly and efficient product. Compared to wood composite products, pvc is much lighter. It can be bent and even shaped according to your specifications.

Now, let us discuss its disadvantages. First of all, pvc is expensive compared to other types of decking materials. However, it eventually becomes a cost effective decision over time because its durability and minimal maintenance requirements. PVC looks great but it lacks the rustic and natural appeal of real wood. PVC decking manufacturers try to make their products with a realistic wood grain, some consumers can still spot the artificial sheen of the material. Lastly, although PVC is resistant to mold, stains, and scratches, it will still show some wear and tear over time.

How To Make PVC Look Like Wood?

Even if an item is made of plastic, it does not have to mean that it has to look like one. So, the question now is how to make pvc look like wood? Here are a few tips that you can use.

Even if the PVC already comes with a woody finish, a gentle sanding won’t hurt especially if you want to improve its color. A mild yet thorough sanding can make your PVC deck more receptive to synthetic wood treatments. Use a fine grit sandpaper. It’s just enough to gently scuff the PVC’s surface. Once done, don’t forget to get rid of the dust. It is also recommended for you to dust the surface in the same direction instead of random or circular movements so that the scratches you make will improve the wood grain appeal of the PVC. Use a medium or course sandpaper if you want a deeper grainy texture. Once done, sand it again using the fine grit sand paper.

You can also use a gel stain if you want your PVC to have a wood like appearance. This method is ideal if your PVC deck has a light or medium shade or paint. Get a rag and apply the gel stain on the PVC panels in the same direction so that you can create both darker and lighter lines. If you want a darker grain, you can apply more gel stain. To improve the synthetic grain appearance, get a paintbrush and drag it through the web glaze.

Please contact Futurewood now if you want to know more about composites or PVC wood decking.