How to Blend New and Old Deck Boards  4.7/5 (58)

This post was updated on May 1, 2024

Blending New and Old Deck Boards

Here at DeckStainHelp.com, we strive to remain the Internet’s number one reference for your deck stain questions, opinions, and reviews. In this updated article, we suggest how to blend new and old deck boards for a beautiful even surface. We would like to hear what you think, so feel free to leave a comment below.


New and Old Deck Boards

New and Old Deck Boards

There are many reasons why you would have a mix of new and old deck boards but it can be a common situation. The most frequent reason is that some of the boards needed to be replaced due to decay or wood rot while other boards were still in good condition. It is also very common for a deck owner to protect the deck with a stain once all the repairs have been made. The dilemma is that new boards and old boards look very different when they are stained.

To understand why this happens may help you to minimize the problem. Once old deck boards weather, the top layer of wood fibers begin to gray and become soft. Newer deck boards are denser and are very hard. The older boards will absorb more deck stain and appear much darker than the new denser deck boards which appear lighter.

To better blend new and old deck boards, it is necessary to wash the entire deck. Use a good wood cleaner and a pressure washer to remove any dirt, mold, mildew, and graying from the older deck boards. The newer deck boards will normally have mill glaze on them which can prevent good stain penetration. Use the same method to clean all the new boards as well to remove any mill glaze.

Cleaning the entire deck in this manner will also help the new coat of deck stain perform better. A clean wood surface prepped correctly will ensure better performance, coverage, and lasting protection.

After cleaning the wood, apply a wood brightener to the deck. A wood brightener will lighten all the older darker boards and open the wood pores of the newer deck boards for better stain penetration. This step can help a lot when trying to blend new and old deck boards.

It can also help to sand the boards once the deck is clean and dry. Sanding the old wood boards will remove additional soft wood fibers to create a harder surface. Sanding newer already dense boards will have the opposite effect and soften the wood fibers up a little and remove any mill glaze that cleaning did not.

In addition to these steps for blending new and old deck boards, using a quality semi-transparent deck stain will help. Follow these prepping and staining tips and your newly repaired deck will not only be safer, but it will also definitely look better as well.

Need Help Blending Deck Boards? Ask Below

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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993 Owner
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites. All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.

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don w
don w
1 month ago

I had my cedar deck, privacy lattice and railings professionally stained 2 years ago with twp 200 series in honey color. I would like to change now to a light to medium grey color.
Can you recommend the correct product to apply? the deck is easily sanded if needed but the privacy lattice is and railings would be impossible to sand down. can I just go over the stain with a compatible oil stain??

Joe
Joe
9 months ago

Recently built a new deck with pressure-treated lumber. Did not think about the weathering process before putting an umbrella base on the deck. As a result, I now have this uneven weathering, and I’m afraid that it will come through when I stay in the deck down the road. Is there anyway to recover from this problem?

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Joe
Joe
9 months ago

Good deal. Thank you for the prompt response. Much appreciated.

Jubert
Jubert
11 months ago

Our deck is located in south Mississippi. Mostly shaded. Very humid. Pressure treated pine. Lots of rain. What is the best stain? We have used TWP 1500 in the past.

Wendy
Wendy
1 year ago

I bought a home with a wrap around deck. It’s badly weathered in Florida. We had some of the boards with black mildew replaced with new boards as well as adding exterior wood stairs. How do I get the light and dark wood boards to match?

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Jim Rouse
Jim Rouse
1 year ago

Thanks for being available. I have pressure-treated 1 1/4 deck surface boards that were installed a year ago and weathered without staining.
I just replaced the steps this summer with different pressure-treated 2×8 pine, so it is lighter color.
If I put Thompson’s Water Sealer on the deck boards now and wait a year to do the steps, will they likely come closer to the deck floor color before I seal them, please?
Also, does water sealer application require all the preparation steps you described above for applying stain?
Thanks for your help!

Sheila
Sheila
1 year ago

Can I use cedar to replace damaged redwood planks? The available redwood is far too red in color and will not take the stain the same way as the older sanded original redwood.

Liz Peltola
Liz Peltola
1 year ago
  • I just had a new board, green treated, put in to replace a rotting one on the deck… should we stain it right away or wait for some time… days, weeks or Months to stain this one board?
Mike Fletcher
Mike Fletcher
1 year ago

some of my varnished mahogany porch partially peeled. how do I make old/ new varnished areas level? Thx

Mike Fletcher
Mike Fletcher
1 year ago

It’s my covered front porch. How do I send a picture to you?

Hilde Gillon
Hilde Gillon
1 year ago

handyman mixed old porch picks and new ones to fix my porch. I was told it is a bad idea. How do I paint them to look same color?

Jen
Jen
2 years ago

Contractors put wood putty in the nail holes will stain cover it

Jen
Jen
2 years ago

What do I need to use

Jen
Jen
2 years ago

I was planning on using thompsons how long do I need to wait for new steps that were replaced

Rob
Rob
2 years ago

Why is front and back deck 2 different shades. Thanks

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Rob
Rob
2 years ago

Will another coat darken it up a bit?

Jack Switzer
Jack Switzer
2 years ago

Had one section that was too warped after power washing that I had to get rid of. Two new boards look so out of place. I’d like to keep the old boards since they have weathered beautifully and have character. Any suggestions on getting new treated wood to match? I’d really appreciate it.

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Nancy
Nancy
2 years ago

We replace all
Railings, floor boards and stairs with new the frame still exists with the old dark stain, any suggestions on how to brighten them up to match the new lighter wood with black spindles? The desk is a dad rust terracotta color

Kristen
Kristen
2 years ago

Hi,

I have a deck that my dog scratched up while jumping to chase his ball (silly mistake!). Anyway, my parents wanted to stain the deck so they sanded the scratches out as best as possible and tried to apply stain over top. Of course the stain did not apply evenly as the other boards have been weathered for two years and the sanding stripped some spots to be like new. Any suggestions on how to create an even stain across the entire deck and get rid of this blotchiness?

Thank you,
Kristen

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Joe
Joe
3 years ago

Last June I replaced my deck boards all PT lumber and waited to stain this spring, but I had laid down a rug over the summer. Now the deck is unevenly sun faded where the rug and furniture were.
What is the best way to bring the areas all back to closest appearance before staining? Entire deck is same age, appearance only related to uneven sunning.

Joe
Joe
3 years ago

Thank you!

Janna Silvey
Janna Silvey
3 years ago

This is the answer to the question, I originally am looking for but not quite. We removed a shed and wasn’t stained. How can I blend that AND touch ups on other parts of fence? (You can see two failed attempts at matching but, 3rd time is a charm and I think we have the right color now, lol )

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Tina
Tina
3 years ago

What is the best wood brightening product?

Pete
Pete
3 years ago

Would it help to put a light sealer like Thomson’s on an older deck before staining

Pete
Pete
3 years ago

I guess my question is there anyway to stain old wood next to new wood and have them match in color
Thanks

Emma
Emma
3 years ago

My decking which has been down roughly 8 years hasn’t been stained probably for the last 3 years. I have last week had a handful of boards replaced and new rails due to them rotting(see pic back right and left side ) I really wanted to stain the old stuff before any further damage happens but have read online about waiting before painting new decking. I’m worried with winter coming more damage will happen to the existing deck. What should I do? I have currently brought screwfix own decking stain to apply.

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Claudia Fiala
Claudia Fiala
3 years ago

We have a five year old deck and have replaced nearly half of it with new pressure treated wood. We have used a deck cleaning product already in preparation to paint it with Deck Correct. My question is does this sound like a good plan? We are concerned that the Deck Correct will not adhere properly and eventually peel due to the difference in the wood. What process and product would you suggest if we don’t go with the Deck Correct?

Tom
Tom
3 years ago

I am redoing a deck that is Redwood. All boards are being sanded. Bad end being cut off. Some of the old screw holes don’t line up and will be left empty. Some damage to the boards where to old screws were taken out. Should I ignore the old empty holes or fill them with a dowel (redwood) or “RockHard”. I am using Defy semi-transparent stain.
Another thought is that after staining should I fill in the old holes with putty?

Sue
Sue
3 years ago

I am staining my deck with light oak semitransparent Readyseal deck stain , it looks too orange can I immediately go over it with a darker stain ,? It is a oil base product

Carrie
Carrie
3 years ago

I have a four year old pressure treated wood deck. I waited a year and used semi transparent Thomson water seal and it was blotchy and flaked within a few months. This year I power washed, stripped, and cleaned then applied ready seal. The coverage is very uneven. Some boards looks great. Others look dry for lack of a better word. But when it’s wet after rain it looks great and much more uniform. Any suggestions to get the wet look all the time?

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Andrew Cherubini
Andrew Cherubini
3 years ago

I recently had a renovation done on my deck, the contractor replaced half the deck boards with cedar while the other half is a combination of new PT and old PT. I have already pressure washed, cleaned and sanded my deck( all the boards). I live in Calgary, Canada deck is east and south facing so alot of sun but also get alot of snow and cold weather. As the deck has different boards what type of stain would you recommend?

Andrew Cherubini
Andrew Cherubini
3 years ago

Would a semi-solid stain work or would the different type of boards hold the stain differently creating mismatch of colours?

Rob
Rob
3 years ago

Does Thompson’s water seal peel? In a dilemma and don’t know how to go about it. Used behr semi transparent cedar natural tone and love the color but it peels terribly. Want to use the same shade but want something that won’t peel. Any suggestions would help! Thank you.

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