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Upgrade Your Deck and Add Finishing Touches

Updated September 25, 2020

Marc M.

By Marc M.

Whether you just completed a new deck or want to upgrade an existing deck, you can add extras and accessories to create a custom look with a lot of personality. See the complete deck project at

Upgrade Deck Railings

Deck Railings Upgraded with Metal and Contrasting Balusters.

One thing you can do to make your deck really stand out is update the railings. On wood decks, consider replacing the traditional wood balusters with metal. Sleek, black metal balusters accent a traditional wood deck with a modern touch.

If you want a new look for your composite railings, some systems make it easy to change the style of balusters. Just remove the top rails with a mallet and go from white to black balusters for a contemporary look.

Good to Know

If you replace the balusters on wood railings, plan on installing new top and bottom rails. The original rails will have visible fastener holes.

Deck Lighting Ideas

Solar LED Deck Lights Mounted on a Railing.

Lighting always makes a deck shine and it's really helpful on stairs. To install low-voltage lighting:

  1. Cut the holes.
  2. Mount the fixtures and covers.
  3. Secure the transformer near an outlet.
  4. Rout the cables.
  5. Connect the lights.


Solar lights are simple to mount because they don't have cables.

Adding lighted post caps is a simple way to illuminate your new gathering space. These deck post lights are available in solar and wired models.

On the decking, puck lights can be installed using a drill with a hole saw. The lights sit flush with the decking and provide a nice, soft glow around the perimeter.

Good to Know

Wiring is easiest to install while framing your deck.

If you’re mounting wired post lights on composite railing, you’ll have to disassemble the railing to run the wiring. Then drill a hole through the sleeve, run the wiring inside the sleeve and through the decking, then slide the sleeve back over the posts. Attach the light and railing components.

Deck Benches

Wooden Bench Covered with Composite Deck Boards.

Use deck materials to create a matching bench for extra seating. You may even be able to use materials left from your deck build. On a composite deck, use treated lumber for the framing and composite decking for a smooth seating surface.

Lattice Skirting

Deck Skirting Made Frome Lattice and Deck Boards.

Dress up your deck with lattice skirting. Attach framing to the posts and screw on lattice. On a composite deck, finish the look with vinyl trim to cover the posts and composite material to cover the joists. Make a wood deck stand out with skirting cut from deck boards. You can mount them on the posts or on the rim and end joists. When the boards are in place, add a fascia board to cover the deck edges.

More Deck Upgrades

A Pergola on a Composite Deck with Patio Furniture.

Don't forget about other furniture and accessories:

Watch the complete deck series at

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