How To Sand Your Wood Deck 4.8/5 (9)

by Deck Stain Help

Update for 2019: How To Sand Your Wood Deck

We appreciate your input here at Deckstainhelp.com as we continue to be your go-to source for the latest in deck restoration news and trending topics through 2019. See below for an article about How To Sand Your Wood Deck.

Feel free to leave a comment or ask questions below.


How to correctly sand your deck before staining

Hot To Sand a Wood Deck

Hot To Sand a Wood Deck

If you’re fed up of 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 deckUsing 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 recommend 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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Tina
Tina

Hi we have cedar deck live in Midwest. We have stripped and sanded old stain of 3 years. I know the next step would be brighten and stain. This is covered porch steps are out in open. Now running into fall worried about leaves falling and staining. Should we wait until spring to stain (I know will have to clean and brighten before stain. ) Or should we give one coat now second light coat in spring. If so can we use cleaner on again for leaf stains before second coat. Going to be using twp 1500 Thanks

Urvil
Urvil

How long after brightening should you wait to stain?

Melanie
Melanie

Don’t have time to order Cleaner and Brightener. My husband is almost done with the sanding. We got Restore a deck stain. Should have ordered the cleaner and brightener. Is there anything I can get at Lowe’s or Home Depot that will do the trick. I live in the Seattle area

Mick
Mick

Had to replace 3 redwood deck boards. Sanded them. Can’t wait for them to age. Any suggestions? Should I just put one coat of Defy Extreme stain on the new redwood boards or go ahead and put two coats on? The deck is 5 years old and I have sanded it down completely and will put Defy Wood Cleaner followed by Defy Wood Brightener. How many coats on the 3 new boards. Thanks for all your info. It is very helpful.

Benjamin Hammar
Benjamin Hammar

Is it a good idea to use a rotating surface cleaner attachment on my pressure washer?

Paul
Paul

Hey there – My wife and I purchased a home last year and it looks like the owners just slapped on a coat of Arborcoat without prepping the deck. As you can imagine, there are spots of the deck where I can literally peel off 4 ft pieces of paint. How should I go about stripping this and what product would you recommend I put down after? FYI I think the deck is quite old based on the look of the wood underneath. Thanks!

Alison Cartwright
Alison Cartwright

Hi! I am a little confused. I bought the RAD cleaner/brightener kit for my old weathered deck. Do I pressure wash, then sand, then use the RAD? Or, do I sand, then apply the cleaner, then pressure wash it off? Or must I pressure wash twice?

Carol
Carol

Hello! I stripped my cedar deck and now have been sanding it but started with 120 grit before I saw your article. I am continuing with 80 grit now. Should I quickly revisit the areas that had the 120 so things are even? Or just leave it and continue with the 80? Thanks!

James Barber
James Barber

Hi! I’ve read several places that say to sand right before staining, and that if it rains after you sand, you need to restart. Is that really true? I’ve power washed my deck, and I’m trying to decide if I should sand next, then clean/brighten…or the reverse. Great site BTW!

Matt
Matt

“Help” I sanded my cedar deck but I’m still seeing some grey spots it seems impossible to sand out. Also it is going to rain tomorrow should I wait to put the Gemini cleaner and brighter until after it rains? See pictures below

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Matt
Matt

Ok thanks got it it all off! Would you recommend the Gemini cleaner and brighter now or after it rain?