How Do You Brighten Decking?

Henry A
Composite decking board

Over time, plastic decking may not be as bright as it used to be. It can happen due to many reasons, such as fading, accumulation of dirt, and mould growth. If you think your decking lost its shine, do not worry. There are plenty of ways you can brighten decking to restore their colour and quality. Here are some of the things you can do.

Clean the Decking

Before trying anything, the first thing you may want to try is to clean your decking thoroughly. It will remove any dirt, debris, and stains that may make your decking look dark.

For wooden deckings, you will need to spray the decking, scrub it with soap using a brush, and rinse it with water. You may use commercial cleaning products or homemade solutions to help get rid of stains. Depending on the toughness of your decking, you may use a pressure washer at a low to medium power setting using a wide tip.

For composite decking and other synthetic materials, you will need to use a soft-bristled brush with water. Like wood decking, you can use commercial products or make your very own cleaning solution. You can find various products designed to brighten deckings. However, many recommend not using a pressure washer on composites, as it can damage its outer capping.

Regardless if you’re working with PVC, composites, or wood, there are things you should avoid. For instance, chlorine bleach is an effective stain remover. But using it on deckings can damage the colours, doing more harm than good. Instead of using chlorine-based cleaners, many recommend using peroxide-based bleaches, with liquid oxygen as its active ingredient.

Try Painting or Staining the Decking

brighten composite decking 


One of the many problems of decking is fading. Prolonged exposure to UV rays from sunlight can cause most decking to lose their shine, especially for wooden deckings. If you have wooden decking, one way to brighten decking is to cover it with a new layer of paint.

However, for best results, it’s not enough to paint a wooden decking right away. You will need to prepare the decking so that paint will adhere to it. The first thing you have to do is to clean the decking. Make sure to remove any deep-seated dirt and debris on the surface. Make sure to follow any cleaning instructions from the decking board manufacturers.

After cleaning the decking, many builders prefer to sand their wood. Doing so removes the outer surface of the decking, along with any uneven edges that it may have. Doing this helps the paint to stick to the wood better. Naturally, you will lose any textures of the decking boards if you plan to sand them.

As for PVC and composite decking, many recommend against using any type of paint. Only do so if there are no other options left. If you plan to go with it, you will need to sand the decking, removing the outer capping which protects the board. You also have to remember that once you paint it, it loses its low-maintenance property. You will have to repaint it once every few years. Furthermore, you may be able to find some compatible stain products for composites, but checking out the reviews of these products may help you decide whether to use them or not.

Fortunately, composite deckings, especially the ones with anti-fade resistance, don’t fade as much as other types of decking. So painting or staining will be the least of your worries.

Consider a Replacement

There may be situations where there are no other options left than to replace your decking, more so if it already endured a decade or two. Whether your decking is old or not, you have two options; replace the decking boards or rebuild an entirely new decking.

If your decking’s frame and the foundation is still in excellent shape upon inspection, you can go ahead and replace the decking boards. But if you see any structural damage to the frame or the foundation has problems, it’s best to design and build a new decking.

For deckings, you can choose to go with wood, PVC, or composites. Wood is the cheapest among the three. But it’s the least durable and susceptible to UV rays. PVC offers better durability than wood, but it can’t match the aesthetics of real wood. Lastly, composite decking has both the advantages of wood and PVC. It’s durable, UV-resistant, and looks wood-like. If you plan to build a new decking, you may want to go for the best choice.

Tags: Decking Maintenance

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