Thursday Dilemma: Red(wood) in the Face

Last week we expressed some concern about matching the stain on the old, existing deck boards and the new ones we used to repair it once we finally have the deck professionally cleaned and stained (more on that here).

Deck repair DIY

We had a few great suggestions (including using vinegar to weather the new deck boards) on how to match the boards and were feeling pretty confident that our repairs wouldn’t cause an issue with the overall look of our new stain job.

And then we had our first fencing and deck contractor out (dun dun dunnnnnnnn).

He informed us that our existing deck was built using redwood, not pine as we had assumed. Even when stripped of the old stain and weathering, the old decking will be a completely different color than our shiny new pine repairs. Looking at the pile of damaged boards we removed, I don’t know how we didn’t notice before.

Redwood Decking

Now we’re in a quandary on what to do. Do we replace the remainder of the deck boards (which will cost about $500)? Do we try to stain the new boards with a redwood stain prior to staining the entire deck? Do we paint the thing?

Help! What would you do?

14 comments

      • Lindsay says:

        You can probably test that theory out by sanding down one of your old boards and trying a couple shades of stain mixed together on a scrap piece of pine. We have an old deck and chose to use a solid stain rather than replace all our boards in a similar situation. I would not recommend going to the solid stain (basically paint) because your dogs’ nails will wear it down quickly. I’d replace the rest of the deck boards if you can’t find a matching stain.

        • littlehousebigheart says:

          Thanks for the advice, Lindsay! Solid stain is exactly what the first contractor recommended!

          We were worried about the dog’s nails scratching off the stain before, but now that you mention it, we’ll be sure to avoid solid stains!

  1. Stacy says:

    Is it possible to alternate the woods? It would mean throwing out some of the old but not having buying all new and then any differences will looked planned. But I agree, to do a test run of the stains first. Good luck!

    • littlehousebigheart says:

      No, that’s a really good though! Unfortunately, redwood is about $80 for a 16 foot board (if you can even find it). Decks aren’t built from it anymore, so we don’t know if we could even find any. And since we replaced (I think) 11 sixteen foot boards… it would get expensive and be cheaper to replace all the decking with pine. Crazy, huh?

    • littlehousebigheart says:

      I wish we could do that! Even if we could find the redwood boards though, we can’t afford enough to replace all the pine (which we’ve already spent not a tiny amount on).

      And we can’t paint the deck; the our puppies’ claws would have it looking horrible in just a few weeks. We’d end up with a maintenance nightmare.

      PS. So glad you stopped by, Carissa! That little man of yours is looking so handsome!

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