This study applied coating systems containing two different waterborne acrylic resins with an ultraviolet (UV) absorber on the surfaces of polyvinyl chloride-based flat-pressed wood-plastic composites (WPCs) evaluated and the effects of waterborne acrylic coating on the performance of WPCs in outdoor conditions. The results showed that waterborne acrylic coating systems enhanced the surface quality of WPC. The decrease in flexural strength was found to reach up to 22%, while it was about 25% for modulus. The color changes on the surface decreased by 55% as a result of the UV absorbability of the coating systems. Moreover, the chemical changes in the composites were found to be almost nonexistent in the attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for WPCs coated with both formulations. The light microscopy images revealed that the coating systems minimized deformation on the surface. In comparison to the control samples, it was seen that the surface roughness of the WPC was also improved by using waterborne acrylic coating systems. (c) 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2019, 136, 48518.