Adding on to composite deck to match color

by Bob
(Portage, MI)

I want to add on to my existing deck, but am unable to find anything that matches the color of the existing deck. Current (ground-level) deck is gray UltraDeck from Menards, but the current color doesn't match. It's 8'x18', so i could rip off the decking and start over, but would prefer not to. Any suggestions?




Editor's Comments

The challenge of trying to find an exact color match of new composite decking to older material is common.

There are a number of reasons why. First, there has probably been some weathering and fading to the original decking. Even though most of the new materials have been greatly improved to resist staining and fading, it is virtually impossible to entirely eliminate the effects from the sun.

Secondly, a company like Menard's may have a relationship with a decking manufacturer whereby the line of composite is unique to their stores. It might be a private label brand. If so you will have to go back only to that store and try to find the exact color again.

Thirdly, each run of material by a manufacturer is called a lot. Each lot can vary a tiny bit. It should not vary at all. But sometimes it can. This can create subtle differences.

Lastly, the texture of the decking can affect the appearance of the color when compared against another board with a slightly different texture because of the shade effect and different casting of light.

All of these things - and potentially more - can make it difficult to get an exact match.

What To Do?

Live with the color differentiation if possible. Use the new boards to create a picture frame border around the old boards. Create a new section of decking only in the new material.

Or, find a durable paint, stain that can be applied over the old decking. This may only work with the older non cap-stock variety of composite decking.

Re-surfacing Options
Applying new surface coating over concrete, composite or wood decking
One new product I have noticed on the market is called DeckOver by Behr. It seems to be a possible solution for fixing old worn wood or composite decking and could certainly be used to create an exact color match for composite decks.

However, this solution would not really be something you would likely use if you are buying new composite decking. It would be better suited for older decking that needs a fix up. Nonetheless, it is work discussing here.

Pre-filling Holes or Cracks

Preparing old deck boards for new coat of sealant
It is a thicker textured material and can actually be used to fill in cracks and screw holes up to 1/4" diameter.

So this would be something you use if your old composite was not cap stock material (which has a more durable plastic exterior layer) and it is really in bad shape.

These are pretty much your options. If anyone else has faced this problem and found a decent solution please add your thoughts.

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