This study investigated the effect of board type (unmodified vs. MAPE modified) on the surface quality and thickness swelling-water absorption properties of recycled high density polyethylene (HDPE) based wood plastic composites. Additionally, two commercially available coatings (cellulosic coating and polyurethane lacquer coating) were also applied to composite surfaces and their adhesion strength, abrasion and scratch resistance, and gloss values were determined. This study showed that modification of the composites with MAPE coupling agent increased the surface smoothness and reduced the water absorption and thickness swelling of the panels. Abrasion resistance of the composites was also improved through MAPE modification. Regardless of board type, higher scratch resistance and gloss values were observed for polyurethane lacquer coated samples compared to those of cellulosic varnish coated ones. Improvement of adhesion strength was also seen on SEM micrographs.