Wooden privacy fence in backyard with pickets being painted red

JJ Gouin/istockphoto

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Does summertime have you itching to revamp your outdoor spaces? Maybe you've decided to go full bore and hire a landscaper. Or perhaps you're like the rest of us and you're looking for the cheaper DIY route.

If you are, in fact, part of the latter group and a wooden fence or deck makeover is high on your to-do list, there is a viral TikTok hack with the perfect solution. And since all you'll need is some pool bleach and a pump sprayer, it's a low-cost route to replenishing your wood.

If the wood on your fence or deck is looking worn — the stain or finish is peeling and flaking off — you might not need to spend time pressure washing (on a lower setting, of course), scraping, sanding, and staining. And you might not have to spend the money hiring someone else to revive the wood either. 

Instead, TikTok user @above_the_rim_kustoms shares their hack to make old wood look new: put some pool bleach (NOT regular bleach) in a pump sprayer, and spray the wood surface you want to rejuvenate. The bleach will immediately brighten your fence or deck, bringing the surface back to life.

As you might have guessed from the "TikTok made me do it" text on the video, @above_the_rim_kustoms was the only TikToker to try this hack. There are numerous TikToks that feature some variation on the DIY trick, some of which use pool shock or chlorinating liquid. Many recommend diluting the bleach with water in a 1:1 ratio, and suggest starting from the bottom and moving up to avoid streaks.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you use bleach specifically formulated for pools (the container might say "chlorinating liquid") — because it is made to be added to thousands of gallons of water, pool bleach is stronger than regular bleach. Regular bleach won't cut it for this hack.
  • If you're spraying around your grass, flower pots, or other objects, be sure to lay down a tarp or cover any objects you don't want to be ruined by the bleach
  • Again, since we're working with bleach, be sure to wear gloves and goggles, and don't wear your Sunday best to tackle this task.

Also, keep in mind that some professionals advise against using bleach on wood as it can weaken the lignin in wood and cause damage.

Maybe now it's time to get started on an inexpensive DIY garden pathway to brighten up your backyard.

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