Faded Composite Decking and New Decking

by Doreen

I am expanding my deck, which is 8 years old in conjunction with a major landscape plan. I used a composite deck material, which has faded significantly from the same product (maybe upgraded a bit) that I used 8 years ago.

Any suggestions for how to deal with this issue, without replacing everything and more than doubling my costs?

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Oct 24, 2018
$20 FIX - use the right stain !
by: Richard

Don't use a solid wood stain (which is like a paint) but try using an OIL based wood stain. Get one approximately original color but make sure its a translucent stain like a minwax stain you wipe on, then wipe off excess.

Shake the can for color consistently. Use a small piece of towel to dip into the stain, wipe the surface and let it is absorb. Then wipe off all excess with a towel or paper towel. DON'T just paint it on and leave it there! If you have ever used a wood stain, the process is similar to how you stain before finishing.

Let it dry out for a day. I used a water based product like mop and glo to clean it up. This process works for sun faded Trex. It will do nothing for composite wood installed years ago that is cracked or torn up to the point where it has to be replaced. Try it on a small part to see results.

Jun 03, 2010
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry to hear about your deck! Maybe you can add accessories to your deck to take the attention away from your faded decking!

Apr 07, 2010
by: Trish - TNT Builders Inc.

We're an Outdoor Living Contractor and install a lot of composite decking. The editor is correct - many of the materials do fade significantly and the manufacturers are generally pretty open about that. As the editor suggests, the new material may fade to the same color but given the age of your existing deck I doubt it would be exact.

A great option is to use an border in a complimentary color on the edge of the new area so that the two like-colored materials are not side by side. Likewise - if the new area is at a different elevation than the original you could do the steps in a complimentary color and again avoid having the two similar materials next to each other.

I strongly advise against attempting to stain or paint the existing material. The composites don't accept stain easily and paint will be an ongoing maintenance issue.

Good Luck - Trish, TNT Builders Inc.

Apr 06, 2010
Possible Solution
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

I can appreciate your situation as fading has historically been a common complaint about a number of the composite materials. A lot of companies are working hard to try to improve or minimize this. But even wood fades so I am not sure what can ultimately be achieved.

In your case you have already invested a lot in the initial build and to replace those boards would be very costly. I wonder if the new material will just fade to the same color as the original decking. It may take some time but it should work.

You see this happen a lot with maple or cherry flooring that has been covered by a carpet. Remove the carpet and the floor is still the original color but the rest has faded from the sunshine through the window. Leave it a few months and the uncovered wood turns to the same aged color. I would talk to someone at your local supplier to discuss this.

Another possibility - but this is a long shot - is to find out if the decking can take a stain - but this may not look good and may not absorb well. Also it would require maintenance, the very reason you went with composite in the first place.

My best guess is that the new decking will age and eventually reach the same color as the original.

If there are any experienced builders out there with any helpful suggestions please chime in.

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