How to Blend New and Old Deck Boards 4.7/5 (55)

This post was updated on March 3, 2022

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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Hilde Gillon
Hilde Gillon
1 day 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
8 months ago

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

Jen
Jen
8 months ago

What do I need to use

Jen
Jen
8 months ago

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

Rob
Rob
9 months ago

Why is front and back deck 2 different shades. Thanks

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Rob
Rob
9 months ago

Will another coat darken it up a bit?

Jack Switzer
Jack Switzer
9 months 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
10 months 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
11 months 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
1 year 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
1 year ago

Thank you!

Janna Silvey
Janna Silvey
1 year 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
1 year ago

What is the best wood brightening product?

Pete
Pete
1 year ago

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

Pete
Pete
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year ago

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

Rob
Rob
1 year 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.

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

Is water based deck stain the same as acrylic based deck stain?

Michelle Ferro
Michelle Ferro
1 year ago

Here’s a pic

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Michelle Ferro
Michelle Ferro
1 year ago

Hello, ten year old deck was newly stained. Stairs to hot tub and railing being newer wood do not match. What’s the easiest way to fix This? Can I sand or apply kilz and paint over in a contrasting color? Thank you

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

One more question.can u apply oil based stain over water based stain ? Thank you !!

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

Would a white semi solid stain cover a semi transparent cedar stain ? Thanks.

Donna
Donna
1 year ago

We have a covered wrap around porch. We are not sure if it is color stained or paint as the home was neglected for many years before we purchased it.
Now that we are restoring it I would like a darker wood tone color to the floor. It is now a faded green color.
I do not want to sand the entire floor so my question is what can I apply over this green to give it a more wood tone effect?
I do know that applying a darker stain over this green will create a unique color but what type of stain should I use?
Thanks in advance for any info

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

I used an oil based penetration stain on my deck. Their are 2 different sections. One is four years old and the new section was added on last summer. I sanded both with 80 grit and washed and dried. The newer section is darker. Very noticeable. Looks like 2 different shades. Now what do I do??

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

Thank you very much!!! So my understanding is as I apply they oil stain every 12 -18 months per manufacturer the shade will match better in time ?? Thanks!!

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

So when I reapply the oil penetrating stain annually according to the manufacturers direction the 2 sections will blend better in time?

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

Thanks for your expertise.

Marco
Marco
1 year ago

Hello,

I have a 15 year old mahogany deck. Many of my boards need to be replaced due to rotting. Im replacing the new planks with pre treated would. To minimize the appearance of the different species of wood. Im looking to use a solid paint color to hopefully have a non differential look between the two different wood species. Please let me know your thoughts and if I will be able to see difference between the different woods.
Thank you

Kristen Bauer
Kristen Bauer
1 year ago

1. I power washed part of my deck to prep for first time staining and I husband did the other half. They are now two different colors of clean. Do they have to match before putting a semi transparent (dark walnut) stain on them if we want consistant color? I am hoping the come out looking the same.
2. Also, I left track markings in the half I power washed. Can I get rid of those?
Thank you

Chris N
Chris N
1 year ago

Hey all – I have a question I was hoping to get some guidance on. I recently bought a home and am in the process of squaring off an old trex deck. Unfortunately they do not use the trex material anymore that I need, so I used normal pressure treated decking wood to square off the deck and make an additional railing. Now, the trick is to match the color of the existing trex deck (kind of a light grey) with a paint/stain for the pressure treated wood. I am not interested in painting over the old trex material, I simply want to pick a color that matches best with the current shade and paint the wood. I know by doing this it wont be a perfect match, but this is just a temporary solution, as the extended goal is to get a brand new deck in a few years.

What is my best approach here? Should I simply find the closest color match, then use a solid color wood exterior exterior coating on the new boards?

If any of you have any suggestions that may be better I would love to hear them, thank you!

Matcie
Matcie
2 years ago

I’ve read a lot of the questions you’ve answered from others and they’ve been very helpful. My husband and I are attempting to fix our deck and we are learning as we go actually. There was more decking to be replaced than we thought so we have more weathered wood and new or I guess pressure treated I guess you call it right to match up but from what I’ve seen that your saying is the new wood needs to season but we have a dilemma here we need to do it in the next couple days so if we use the stain you’ve said looks like paint will that be good enough even if it’s not perfect. We’re going to do either a rust brown or brownish grey? Thank you

Dale Waltz
Dale Waltz
2 years ago

We replaced some of our rotten deck board and are planning to use a solid stain when we repaint. Do we need to let the new treated boards season or can we just paint them?

George
George
2 years ago

They changed the chemical agents used to pressure treat wood. I recently started a deck and miscalculated the number of boards I needed. Most boards are installed and the additional boards I ordered are a different colour having a more reddish hue. Will weathering fix this so it’s not as noticeable. Other suggestions or solutions? I’m not sure yet if my supplier has any inventory left of the old PT deck boards.
George

Tina Bell
Tina Bell
2 years ago

We had to replace a few rotting boards and of course they are not blending well with the old boards.can I stain the new boards right away or must I age them for awhile. We also added a new railing

Tina Bell
Tina Bell
2 years ago

How long should I wait?

Tina Bell
Tina Bell
2 years ago

Thank you for responding so quickly!

Lyle
Lyle
2 years ago

How can I get these new and old deck boards to match color? From question below.

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Lyle
Lyle
2 years ago

Thank you – based on color can you recommend a solid stain that is like color?

Lyle
Lyle
2 years ago

I just stained my deck which is a combination of new and old wood. The old wood is Cedar, and the new Pine deck board I believe. How can I get the Pine as dark as Cedar to match? I used Ready Seal Dark Walnut. I will attach pic in another post above.

Jennifer
Jennifer
2 years ago

We have a large deck, built by previous owners, so we do not have information about the product used. It needs to be maintained and restained. It has privacy panels that I believe are cedar. It appears that the product used on it originally is a semi-transparent stain. We’re considering a semi-solid stain in a different color. Wondering how far can we stray on the color, (i.e. should we try to stay in the same color family), especially since the privacy panels are cedar. Could we stain the whole thing the same new color, including the cedar panels, or will it take the stain very differently?

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Jennifer
Jennifer
2 years ago

Thank you. Just to be clear, you are referring to the privacy panels?

Ruth Backenroth
Ruth Backenroth
2 years ago

my old deck almost matches my new deck except for one area where there is about an inch difference in height
What can be done now?

Ruth Backenroth
Ruth Backenroth
2 years ago

Well that is what I thought but was hoping for some type of way to make a smoother transition between the two parts.
Thank you for answering back.

Dave
Dave
2 years ago

I have a new deck…before adding a screened room the boards turned darker..had to replace a board which is lighter, how can I darken the new one?

Khajag Djourian
Khajag Djourian
2 years ago

Hi, I will use a stain remover for oil spots on the deck. What’s your suggestion on how to paint or stain afterwards so that the colour is even?

Khajag Djourian
Khajag Djourian
2 years ago

Hi, let me know and thank you for your help

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Khajag Djourian
Khajag Djourian
2 years ago

So should I sand as best as I can, and apply the solid stain? Or will the solid stain hold on top of grease spots?

Chad christiansen
Chad christiansen
2 years ago

1)What’s the difference between a semi-transparent and semi-solid stain? 2) what type of stain would you recommend for my situation?

I have a deck that sees partial sun (under a covered porch)and I need to replace the boards that are in direct sunlight. The deck has never been stained and are just treated wood. I also need to replace railings as well. I plan to do all that but am worried about the stain not matching the old and new boards.. it’s a high traffic area. I also have 2 dogs that are on the deck frequently… I’m trying to figure out the best type stain to use, and best method to achieve a good blend of new/old boards… I’m also looking for something that will last a decent length time ( 5-6 years). I also live in Nebraska so the weather varies from extreme heat to bitter cold winters.. any advice would be helpful, cost isn’t an issue as deck is only 14’x10’ roughly… I also want to do it right… I was debating on using an Armstrong Clark semi-solid stain as the reviews have been good.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Chad christiansen
Chad christiansen
2 years ago

The deck boards in the sun aren’t in terrible shape yet, we just thought about replacement while we were going to redo steps. We did discuss just flipping boards over for a smoother side on the sun exposed boards only….if we were to do that, would the semi-transparent stain still blend together?… it would be all old boards on the decking just a few flipped over to the side that hasn’t been exposed to the sun.

If so that may be route we go … and just wait for the stairs/railings to weather a year before staining them.

Sun
Sun
2 years ago

We have a 3 year old existing deck stained with SW Superdeck semisolid stain, recently we added new deck area. We wanted the new and exciting deck has uniformed lighter color stain if possible. What will be the best way to do it? Sand the existing one? It is pretty big area including rails, a lot of work and I assume high cost. Use original stain for the new deck and leave the existing one alone?

My contractor recommended to paint over the existing and new deck with Valspar Duramax which is an exterior PAINT. Since it is a paint, we can whatever color we want. He said he has been using it for deck all the time and works well. I have talked to many people, they strongly recommended not to use the exterior paint since it is not for stand on surface. Any comment on using Valspar Duramax paint. I am scared to make mistake now which could lead to disaster later. Thank you for your help.

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Sun
Sun
2 years ago

Thank you for answering my question. What about the question to match the color between existing and new deck. Sand existing one then solid stain both the deck area or leave the existing one alone and stain the new deck to match the color? what it the average cost to sand deck per sq feet? thanks

Sun
Sun
2 years ago

I was told that you can’t restain a deck without sanding to open the pore of the wood, is it not true? My impression from this forum also seems to be the same. Any thoughts on this?

Sun
Sun
2 years ago

Hi, I am back with more questions.
1. the new deck area was finished around beginning of 02/2020. I am planning to use either Armstrong clark semi-solid (no option for solid) vs RAD solid (no option for semi-solid). Will semi-solid be OK enough to make the older deck and new deck color look close to each other? or or you think the solid stain is the way to go. I hate to lose those beautiful wood grains on the new deck by covering with solid stain. I understand that semi-solid stain will only show minimal wood grain, but even just a little, I am OK with it since it is better than none.
2. If I go with Armstrong semi-solid, can I use it on new deck which is only about 3-4 month old by the time of stain. Armstrong website said for semi-solid, the wood has to be at least 12 months old
3.If I still sand off the old stain on the old deck (willing pay for the sanding part), then do prep as you recommended with cleaning and brightening the older part, can I use semi-transparent stain for the old and the new deck, will the color looked close enough to each other? or you still recommend semi-solid or solid in this case.
As you can see, my pitfall is that I don’t like solid stain, and only want to do it if it is absolute necessary.

thank you in advance for your answer

Sun
Sun
2 years ago

Thank you for your quick answer. for #3, When I redo the next time- did you mean that 2-3 years from this time of stain, when I restain the deck, the color will match better since by then both of the part will be old? at that time can I restain with semi-transparent with just cleaning, brightening prior to staining? thanks

Sun
Sun
2 years ago

Thank you. Now if I go with semi-transparent stains,
1. will you still recommend Armstrong or RAD semi-transparent since I have both old and new deck?
2. will either of these two semi-transparent also work better on older deck as well? 3. And since the newer deck is about 3 months from finishing, can I proceed with staining with semi-transparent staining with either of these two products in the next 2-3 weeks?
4. if you disagree with either of these, what else do you recommend?

Sorry, lots of questions, but I really want to get it done right this time. thanks

Sun
Sun
2 years ago

Thank you so much. Learned a lot from you.

Sun
Sun
1 year ago

Hi, Back with more questions. I have chose Armstrokng clark semi-transparent black walnut. And just deal with color difference for 2-3 yrs then may retain with same or choose semi-solid at that time to blend the color better. So,
1) for the old deck, as you can see we have a dark semi-solid stain from Sherwin William Superdeck, water based. I planned to sand the old one to get rid of the color as much as we can for the semitransparent stain. do you think it is necessary for the sanding or striping is enough?
2) if sanding is not necessary, then the steps to prep the deck will be: power wash->strip->brighten-> stain? No need for using a cleaner, correct?
3) If sanding is necessary, then power wash-> sand->brighten-> stain or power wash->cleaner->brighten->sanding-> stain? or you have different suggestion of the steps
4) For the new deck: cleaner-> brighten-> stain?

thank you

Sun
Sun
1 year ago

Thank you!

Chris
Chris
2 years ago

Working on this deck had to replace some of the rotten wood with new wood. Plan on staining the deck next. What is the best and cheapest way to get the wood to blend together. Already been power washed.

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Cory Maples
Cory Maples
2 years ago

I recently purchased a home that has a cedar wrap around porch. It looked like it hasn’t been stained in a few years so I decided to pressure wash the deck. I had my friend over helping me and he stripped the wood down to bare wood with the pressure washing. The porch is a little over 800sqft and I would like to not strip the wood down so far to save hours and hours of time.
My question is when it is stained will it look different? If so should I strip the entire deck to bare wood?

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Amy Kermott
Amy Kermott
2 years ago

I’m not sure if this is the right forum for my question, but this is the only article I’ve found that touches on my current concern. We had to replace a rotting post on the stairway leading up to our front porch, and my husband used newly-milled redwood for the job. As you can see from the photo, the new post doesn’t match the wood on our stairway or the deck it leads up to, due to the fact that it’s been weathered over time. He said that the older wood is redwood as well and hasn’t been stained — although I’m not convinced that this is the case. It’s difficult to know because we bought our house last year and the previous owners didn’t leave information to that effect. Either way, I’m wondering if we can use a semi-transparent stain to darken the post so it blends in better with the other wood. After the pre-requisite period of weathering, of course. Any advice you can provide would be much appreciated! Thank you.

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Amy Kermott
Amy Kermott
2 years ago

Got it. Thank you!

Eric Thomas
Eric Thomas
2 years ago

Here is a picture of a repaired deck. Red part is painted but the owner wants it all stained to match. How can I achieve this?

Eric Thomas
Eric Thomas
2 years ago
Reply to  Eric Thomas

How can I match this in a stain…red part painted.

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synetra dockery
synetra dockery
2 years ago

Is it best to paint the old and new deck boards

Annie
Annie
2 years ago

I have a mahogany deck that has a few replacement boards and the whole deck is ready to be stained. Will adding a 2nd coat to new boards help blend the color or will it just lead to over application?

Jeremy
Jeremy
2 years ago

Hi, the guy who helped me refurbish my deck has already cleaned and stained and the new boards he replaced look way different Than the old ones. I’m not sure if he cleaned and prepared the new boards the same as the old ones. At this point, is there anything I can do to blend? Add Another coat?

Ron
Ron
2 years ago

Hi, I am in Toronto Canada. I have a slight dilemma that I hope you could advise on regarding staining my new pressure treated deck, which was built having the cut ends of each board sealed, which I expect is normally a good thing except some of the clear sealer was unfortunately lapped onto some surface areas. So I had some concerns when it comes to staining to ensure the stain absorbs and the lap marks are the least noticeable as possible. My questions essentially are:
1) How long would be too long for weathering? is there a suitable amount of time I can wait before staining (not so long that the non sealed wood starts to deteriorate, but long enough that the sealed portions will absorb new stain) ?
2) Or instead, should I sand the problem areas instead of waiting too long?
3) Which stain might be able to cover over the sealed sections most unnoticeably? Preferably water based.
The deck was finished 10 days ago (Aug 2nd)
Wood: MicroPro Sienna pressure treated wood.
The deck is in full sun.
The sealer used on the cut portions was “Wolman Clear Wood Preservative with water repellent” (an older oil based product).
The MicroPro Sienna website says 2 – 8 week wait is sufficient as long as wood is dry to the touch, unless the stain manufacturer says otherwise.
I am considering whether to wait until the end of May 2020 to stain it (about 10 or so months), or sand the problem areas now before staining this September (past mid Sept will be too cold). I was planning to use a semi-transparent water based stain if I can find the most appropriate brand … the sealer was however oil based.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

Ron
Ron
2 years ago

Thanks very much for the advice!

Steven W.
Steven W.
2 years ago

I have some deck areas that have pressure treated boards and others with cedar boards. Is there a way to reduce the redness of the PT boards so they stain more closely to the cedar boards?

Marv Boggs
Marv Boggs
2 years ago

Does it make any difference whether you add new wood boards before stripping, cleaning and brightening an old cedar deck, or should you add them after?

Marv Boggs
Marv Boggs
2 years ago

Thanks. I’ve got to say, you have been the best help of any source I’ve turned to for advice on my deck work. Really appreciate it! Forgot to mention in my last question, I’ll be using a solid stain so I believe the new board/old boards difference will not be as apparent, other than checking in some of the old. Am I right?

Dave
Dave
2 years ago

Our front porch had planters on the ends and the treated deck boards were never treated. We removed the planters and the wood under them looks newer. We would like to stain the wood now, using a Cabot product that is semi transparent. We plan on prepping the entire surface. Should I do anything different to the newer looking areas? Thanks