How Can I Update My Old Deck?

Decking is a great way to give you an area to relax in your backyard. However, if you’ve had decking in place for a couple of years, it can start to look tired. To make sure that your deck can last you for many years to come, you will need to properly maintain it so that the wood doesn’t start to rot and become unsafe.

But how can you update your deck to make it look as good as new? The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can update your deck to make it look even better than it did before.

Restore Your Deck

Of course, one of the most obvious ways to update your deck is to restore it to its former glory. This could be as simple as giving it a fresh coat of paint or reapplying stain to ensure the wood is protected from the elements.

You will need to properly prep the wood beforehand, of course. This will include giving the deck a good pressure wash to get rid of any muck that’s accumulated first.

It’s also advisable to remove and clean any flaking stain from your deck. When you’ve done this, you should allow it to dry out properly for a good few days before you can apply a fresh coat of stain.

When it comes to choosing the right stain for your deck, you have three options: clear, solid, or penetrating stain. Solid stains will need to be stripped off again in the future before you can apply a fresh coat. Penetrating stains will need more frequent coats to keep it looking fresh. Make sure to wait for a couple of sunny days before painting your deck.


A great way to freshen up your deck is to add a couple of planters around the place. This should help to give your deck a new lease of life, as well as be very beneficial for the local bees and other insects. You can add a variety of planters along the steps of your decking, or in the corners.

Installing a tiered plant stand gives more room for your plants to grow, and can create a more interesting focal point in your garden. If your decking is short on room for planters, you can instead opt for a railing-mounted planter instead. You won’t even need to buy a specific planter that you hook over the railing - you can create your own using some guttering.


Adding outdoor lighting to your deck can help to give it a new lease of life. This can create an environment that appears fresher and more inviting. The only difficulty you’ll have is choosing which lighting to add to your decking.

Fairy lights are an attractive addition that will be perfect throughout the year. Or if you have planters on your decking, you can add some solar light stakes to them to create a more cozy atmosphere in the summer evenings.

Upgrade Railings

If your deck railings are looking a little worse for wear, it may be time to upgrade them. You can opt for a different style of railing to replace it if you want to rejuvenate your deck without having to replace the whole thing.

Chances are you’ll need a contractor or carpenter to help you design and install your new railings. There are lots of detailed connections that you’ll want to get right so that your decking will last you for as long as possible.

Is it better to sand or strip wood deck?

When it comes time to apply a fresh coat of stain on your decking, you will need to get rid of the old stain first. The two most common ways of getting rid of stain is to either sand or strip the deck.

Stripping uses chemicals to remove any existing finish from decking. This can even remove things such as mold, wood grain tannins, mildew, and algae from the wood. These chemicals are able to better open the pores of the wood and penetrate it better.

Stripping is much faster than sanding, however, the chemicals can be quite harsh depending on the product you opt for. It will also be important to wear a mask so that you don’t inhale the fumes.

Sanding of course involves sanding away at the surface to strip it back to the bare wood. For the majority of sanding jobs you will need a power tool. This can be very time consuming depending on the amount of decking you have, and may not be possible on some decking depending on where the screws are. Sanding will also make your decking thinner.

To choose the best between the two methods, you will need to weigh up how much time, effort, and money you have to get the job done.

Do I need to remove old stain before restaining a deck?

This will depend on the type of stain you have used on your deck previously. If you are using the same type of stain, chances are you won’t have to remove it before you can apply a fresh coat. However, if you’re using a new stain or are replacing a very old stain that’s flaking away, you will need to remove this first.

Should I repair or replace my deck?

Knowing when to repair or replace your deck can be a challenge. It will mostly come down to the number of repairs you have to do. If the repairs are only small, chances are you can get away with just repairing these broken parts. If the cost of repairs is starting to become more of a problem, it will likely be cheaper to replace the deck.

In Summary

So there you have it! You now know several ways to rejuvenate your deck and make it feel brand new. One of the best ways is to remove any old stain and apply a fresh coat of paint to your deck. Or you can include things such as planters and garden lighting to give your deck a new lease of life.