How to Restore Faded Composite Decking

After the introduction of composite decks, they quickly became more popular than traditional, wooden options mostly because of their low-maintenance and installation cost. However, a lot of people mistake low-maintenance with no maintenance at all, which is why they get quite disappointed when they notice mold and stains that have been building up, as well as fading of the materials.

If you found yourself in this situation, you might be wondering – how can I restore my faded, composite deck? Fortunately for all homeowners that are looking for an answer to this question, this article might help. Let’s take a closer look at the steps you’ll need to take in order to properly restore it:

Firstly, Purchase a Finish Made For Composite Materials

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Before you do anything else mentioned in the list above, your first step is choosing the right finish, meaning that you must opt for one that is made specifically for composite materials. In most cases, an oil polish will be suitable because it can penetrate the material and in return, it’ll restore its color.

If you remember who the manufacturer of the structure is, you could either call them and ask about the product you should utilize, or you could check out their official website and see whether or not they have listed the most suitable one for the composite deck your have in your backyard.

Ensure That You Entirely Clean it

Once you purchase the right finish, you should then start cleaning the structure. Now, we aren’t talking about simply sweeping the surface, we are talking about thoroughly cleaning it. Firstly, you’ll want to sweep it in order to remove any debris or dirt on it, and do not forget to clean the gaps as well.

When you’re done, you should clean it with a product that is made for composite materials, but, if you don’t have such a product, you can use warm water and gentle soap. You’ll need a stiff-bristle brush to remove any mold, pollen, or grime stuck on the surface. The cleaning solution needs to be hosed off, which means that you’ll need to wait for it to dry before doing anything else.

Protect The Surrounding Area + Remove All The Nearby Items

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When the structure is completely dry, you should first remove any items that are located nearby and if you cannot remove them, use a plastic sheet to cover the items up. You should definitely not skip this step since the staining product might damage the surfaces of the furniture or other items.

So, once you’re done protecting everything, you should apply the finish according to the user manual that you got. Depending on your preferences, you can use either a brush or a roller. Keep in mind, if you use a roller, you’ll still need a brush in order to cover all the corners properly. If you notice that the nails popped up, you should go over them with a brush.

Lastly, when you’re done, you must ensure that there isn’t any excess finish pooling on the surface. If you don’t remove it, it’ll create shiny spots all over the area, and it’ll also prolong the time it needs for drying. If you notice excess finish, simply grab your roller and roll it out.

Allow it to Dry Properly

According to the experts from, you must ensure that you allow the first layer to dry properly before you even think about applying a second one. You should not try and apply the second layer before the drying time is complete. If you make this mistake, it will surely influence the overall result you’ll get in the end.

Why Did It Fade in The First Place?

There is a wide range of reasons why this might have happened to your deck, however, some of the most common reasons include things such as:

  • Exposure to Extreme Temperatures – one of the most common reasons why all decks fade is exposure to extreme temperatures. If the structure is constantly exposed to the sun, it’ll probably change its color, however, the good thing is that they’ll only become lighter. Why is this a good thing? Well, it’ll be easier to restore it then, for example, wood that will turn completely gray when exposed to extreme temperatures and weather.
  • Low-Quality Materials – generally speaking, the lower the quality of the composite material, the more likely it’ll start fading. Hence, if you noticed that the materials start fading, it could be possible that the boards are low-quality. This is especially true if you installed the structure when it first became available on the market since the entire concept wasn’t developed enough at the early stages.
  • No Maintenance – we mentioned at the beginning of the article that a lot of people think that this decking option needs no maintenance, however, that isn’t true. If you didn’t maintain it frequently, it’s quite possible that that is the reason why it started fading. So, when you finally restore it, ensure that you regularly sweep and wash it, especially if you don’t want to be applying a finish every year.
  • Using The Wrong Cleaning Solutions – even if you did clean everything regularly, you might have been using the wrong cleaning solutions, which is something that can cause discoloration. Besides causing it to change the color, the solutions you used might have damaged the surface, meaning that you might need to change some of the boards. Additionally, if you used a power washer, it’s likely that it contributed to the overall condition.


Restoring a faded composite deck might seem like a daunting and complex task, however, by following all of the tips mentioned in the article above, you’ll be able to make the entire process easier, less time-consuming, and more importantly, you’ll be able to ensure that you don’t further damage the material.

So, now that you’re aware of all the steps you’ll have t go through, you might not want to lose any more of your time. Instead, return to the beginning of the list above and start with the first step we mentioned – which is finding a suitable finish made specifically for composite materials.

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