This post was updated on January 18, 2022
How To Sand Your Wood Deck 2022
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How to correctly sand your deck before staining
If you’re fed up with looking out at your peeling, dull, grey, sun-beaten deck then it’s time to think about re-staining the boards. As every DIYer knows – this begins with the correct surface preparation.
Step 1: Power washing
Before you start the sanding process, begin by power washing the surface of your deck. Using a deck stain stripper will help to remove old coatings.
Remember, softer woods like cedar may require a less powerful stream of water. If you are using a pressure washer, then make sure to keep it on a lower setting and hold it a little further away so as not to raise the chips and cause splinters.
After pressure washing, leave the deck to dry for up to two days, depending on the local climate.
Step 2: Choosing the correct sanding tools
Sanding removes any raised wood fibers from power washing and opens the pores of the wood to assist in soaking in the stain or sealer.
It is important to use the correct sanding grit on your deck. The recommended sanding grit is 60 to 80. This is because a higher grit could make the deck too smooth, and will close down the pores of the wood. Closed pores make it more difficult for the stain to be absorbed and could lead to premature stain failure.
Use a hand sander or belt sander. To remove a solid deck stain or paint, you may need a floor drum sander.
Start with 60 grit paper and finish with 80 grit. Make sure to sand all wood evenly.
Step 3: Final Prep
After sanding, it is suggested to lightly clean and brighten the wood. This will help open the wood grain so the stain can dive even deeper into the wood. Better penetration = better stain performance!
With the right equipment and a fair dose of effort, you should be able to restore your deck and enhance the beauty of the wood.
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As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.