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How to brighten up your old decking

Nov 07, 2023 - 4 min read
How to brighten up your old decking

Over the years, a combination of bad weather, playful pets, and young kids can take a toll on your decking. The once bright and healthy-looking wood finish may have faded into a dull and weathered look that desperately needs reviving.

Fortunately, there are ways to bring your decking back to life, without needing to replace it. If you find yourself in this situation and want to spruce up your outside space in time for summer, read on. Here are four simple ways to brighten up your old decking.

Make necessary repairs

Begin by inspecting your deck from top to bottom. Pay close attention to any direct contact points, such as where the deck meets your house and the ground.

If you notice any loose screws, simply tighten them. But if you come across any rusty screws on the posts or joists, you may want to inspect deeper as this could be a sign of excessive moisture in your decking.

To check for further damage, take the tip of a screwdriver and apply a gently apply pressure. If it sinks into the post or joint, it means you’ve got rot and it’s time for a major renovation.

But let’s assume there’s no major damage to your decking. You’ve noticed a few screws that need tightening, you’ve sanded down a sharp splinter or two, and now you’re ready for the next step.

Give your deck a good clean

Every deck should have an annual clean to keep it looking its best.

Start by mixing a deck cleaner in a bucket and apply the mixture to the surface of your deck. Once on, use a soft-bristle brush and some elbow grease to work the product into the wood.

But be careful, the concentration of the chemicals can be harmful (depending on the deck cleaner you choose) so always wear eye protection and gloves for safety.

Powerful deck cleaners can also burn leaves on contact, meaning you’ll want to protect nearby plants with a sheeting.

For tough stains that won’t seem to budge, use a pressure washer with a fan-type nozzle. Pinpoint nozzles will do a great job removing the stain but can dig into the wood with too much pressure – not worth the risk!
So, with your deck now free from a build up of dirt and grime, allow it to dry thoroughly before moving onto the staining process.

Apply a deck stain

After a good clean, it’s time to apply a protective finish to your decking. But before you rush into using any old stain, take note of the following.

If you’re happy with the look of your deck as it is (i.e., the wood still looks new) you’ll want to opt for a transparent stain, as this allows the natural beauty of the wood to shine through.

However, for older decks, you’re best off using a semi-transparent stain. This will still show the natural grain of the wood but includes a pigment that gives your old wood a clean, unfirm colour. The pigment also provides extra protection from the damaging effects of the sun.

Implement outdoor lighting

Now that your deck is looking its absolute best, why not give it the attention and functionality it deserves?

Outdoor lighting can be used to highlight and add ambiance to the standout features in your garden, and decking is certainly one of them.

When night falls and you want to hang out with friends and family, the addition of lights will allow you to continue through an otherwise dark and gloomy evening.

From the use of spotlights to bollard lights, stair lights and rail lights, there’s so much you can do to bring your outside space to life – and this can all be achieved effortlessly with Ellumiere.

Ellumiere supplies the simplest and most effective 12v garden lighting system in the UK. Whether you’re a beginner, keen DIY-er, or professional landscaper, Ellumiere brings a hassle free and quality lighting solution to all outdoor spaces.

The Ellumiere range also features decking-specific products, allowing you to seamlessly integrate light into your newly refreshed deck. The Deck Light Starter Kit includes all the hardware you need to get things set-up, whilst the set of 4 deck lights can be purchased in addition where needed. So, if you’re keen on learning more about Ellumiere, or you’d simply like some lighting advice for your decking with our team of experts here at Birkdale today. We’d be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

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