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 replaced due to decay or wood rot while other board 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 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, it will definitely look better as well.
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