Update for 2019: How To Sand Your Wood Deck
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How to correctly sand your deck before staining
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 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 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.