How to Restore Faded Composite Decking

Are you looking for a way to restore your faded composite decking? We understand how frustrating it can be when the beautiful color of recently installed composite decking starts to fade due to sun exposure, wear, and tear, or other environmental factors. Fortunately, restoring the look of this durable material doesn’t have to take too much time or money. 

How to Restore Faded Composite Decking

If you’re looking to breathe new life into your outdoor space, one area often overlooked is composite decking. Even if your deck has become dull and faded from outside elements over time, there are simple steps you can take to revive it back to its original beauty.

From selecting the right cleaners to apply to or replacing warped boards with fresh materials, this blog post provides all the knowledge necessary to know how to restore faded composite decking. Keep reading to learn how to make your composite deck look new again.

What Will You Need?

Before you begin, gathering the materials and tools necessary to complete the job is important. These are the followings:

  1. Garden hose
  2. Soft-bristled brush
  3. Mild laundry detergent or soap
  4. Composite deck cleaner (optional)
  5. Replacement boards (if applicable)
  6. Safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection
  7. Garden sprayer (for applying cleaners and sealants)

Once you have the necessary materials, you can start restoring your composite decking.

10 Easy Steps on How to Restore Faded Composite Decking

Step 1: Clean the Decking Surface

The first step in restoring faded composite decking is to clean it well with the garden hose and soft-bristled brush. If your deck has particularly tough stains, you can use a mild laundry detergent or soap mixed with warm water to help remove them more effectively. It’s important not to use harsh chemicals that could damage the composite material.

Clean It Well With the Garden Hose

Step 2: Rinse the Deck Thoroughly

After cleaning, make sure to give your deck a thorough rinse with a garden hose or pressure washer. This will help remove any dirt and debris that may have been left behind from the cleaning process. Additionally, rinsing will help prevent soap residue from leaving streaks on the surface of your decking boards.

Step 3: Inspect for Any Damage

Now it’s time to inspect each board for signs of damage like warping, cracking, rotting, or splintering. If you find any signs of damage, replace them with new pieces before continuing to restore faded composite decking. Don’t forget to wear gloves and eye protection for this task!

Step 4: Apply Composite Deck Cleaner

If desired, you can also apply a composite deck cleaner to help remove any remaining dirt and grime. Ensure to follow the instructions on the product label for proper application. Be careful not to use any cleaning products that contain chlorine, bleach, or other harsh chemicals as this could damage your composite decking.

Apply a Composite Deck Cleaner

Step 5: Let the Deck Dry Thoroughly

Once you’ve finished cleaning and applying any cleaners, it’s essential to let your deck dry completely before continuing. This will help ensure that any sealant or stain applied in later steps will adhere properly and last longer without peeling or cracking. You can use a fan or dehumidifier to speed up the drying process.

Step 6: Sand Away Any Rough Spots

Use medium-grit sandpaper to lightly sand away any rough spots on your composite decking boards for best results. This will help create a smooth and even surface that will better accept sealant or stain. Be sure to use the sandpaper in a circular motion with light pressure to avoid damaging the composite material.

Step 7: Apply Stain or Sealant (Optional)

If desired, you can also apply a wood-safe stain or sealant to your composite boards for additional protection from the elements. Make sure always to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test a small area of decking before applying it to the entire surface. Also, wear safety gear like gloves and eye protection when working with chemicals.

Step 8: Let Dry and Cure

Once again, after applying the product, be sure to give your deck enough time to dry and cure completely. Depending on the product used, this step can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. You can use a fan or dehumidifier to speed up the process.

Give Your Deck Enough Time to Dry

Step 9: Rinse One Last Time

Just before you finish, give your composite decking one last rinse to remove any residue that may have been left behind after staining or sealing. This will help ensure a clean and even look for your finished deck. If you use a pressure washer, be sure to use the lowest setting possible in order to avoid damaging the composite material.

Step 10: Enjoy!

Your composite decking is now ready to be enjoyed! With proper maintenance, it should stay in good condition for years to come. Be sure to check your deck regularly for signs of wear and tear, and avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the material. Now you know, restore faded composite decking!

By following these steps, you can easily restore the look of your composite decking and enjoy it for years to come. With regular care and maintenance, you can keep it looking great and ensure that it lasts for many seasons to come. Have fun, and enjoy your beautiful deck!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Clean your composite decking regularly. Pressure washing is the most efficient way to remove dirt and debris, but you can also use a brush or cloth.
  2. Use a gentle cleaning solution of mild soap and warm water when needed to remove more stubborn stains.
  3. Avoid using harsh chemicals such as chlorine bleach, which can cause damage to the composite material and lead to discoloration over time.
  4. Apply a UV-blocking sealant product designed for composite decks every two years or so to protect them from fading due to ultraviolet light exposure.
  5. If possible, keep your deck in the shade during peak sun hours in order to minimize fading caused by direct sunlight exposure. Taking these extra precautions will help keep your composite deck looking new for years.

By following these tips and tricks, you can easily keep your composite deck looking great for years to come. With proper care and maintenance, you’ll be able to enjoy your composite decking season after season!

5 Things You Should Avoid

1. Pressure Washing: Pressure washing can be too aggressive for composite decking, causing the wood fibers to break apart and become more vulnerable to sun damage.

2. Harsh Chemicals: Harsh chemicals like bleach or oil-based cleaners can discolor or fade your composite decking, making it look worse than before.

3. Abrasive Scrubbing Pads: Abrasive scrub pads may cause scratching and permanent damage to composite decks, making them less attractive in the long run.

4. Excessive Sanding: Sanding down a faded composite deck can lead to more deterioration of the material, as it removes layers of protective coating.

5. Neglect: Leaving your composite deck exposed to the elements without regular upkeep will only make matters worse, resulting in a worse looking material over time.

Avoiding these five things can go a long way in keeping your composite deck looking its best.

What is the Best Paint for Composite Wood?

When it comes to painting composite wood, the best paint to use is latex-based enamel. This type of paint forms a protective barrier around the surface of your deck and won’t chip or peel off easily.

Make sure that you choose a product specifically designed for use on composite decks to ensure it won’t damage the material. You may also want to consider using a primer before applying the paint to help ensure better coverage and longer lasting results.

Consider Using a Primer

Additionally, it’s important to remember that composite decks should not be painted unless specifically designed for this purpose. Consult the manufacturer of your decking material before attempting to paint it, as some materials might not hold up well with a coat of paint applied. 

Overall, using the right type of latex-based enamel is the best option for painting composite wood and can help extend its life while keeping it looking great. By following these tips and careful preparation, you can achieve beautiful results and enjoy your newly painted composite deck for years to come!


All in all, composite decks are the go-to choice for homeowners looking for an attractive, low-maintenance outdoor solution. While these decks may require a bit more TLC than traditional wooden decks, restoring them to their original glory is no difficult feat and will leave your deck looking spectacular with minimal effort.

Be sure to choose the right cleaning supplies, prepare the work area, and complete occasional sealing jobs to extend the life of your composite deck. With some elbow grease and patience, you can revive your faded composite decking in no time! 

Hopefully, this article on how to restore faded composite decking has been helpful in providing you with the information you need to get your composite deck looking great again.

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Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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