Why Sanding a Deck Can be an Issue 4.7/5 (91)

This post was updated on March 1, 2022

Sanding A Wood Deck

Sanding A Wood Deck

Why Sanding a Deck Can be an Issue

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 2022. See below for an article about Why Sanding a Deck Can be an Issue.

Feel free to leave a comment or ask questions below.


Sanding your deck can reduce stain penetration

One of the most frustrating problems that can crop up when you decide to stain or restain your deck is that the stain doesn’t absorb into the wood correctly.

There are a number of different reasons this can happen but one of the more common issues is that the boards were not correctly sanded or prepared for the task. Today we will examine the main causes behind poor absorption and explore some of the measures you can take to negate this issue in the future.

The problem

Often, we don’t invest much thought into the sanding process and just get on with it without careful planning. This is where your difficulties will arise.

When sanding any type of wood to prepare for a new coat of stain, you have to be ultra-careful with how much you sand the wood and the level of sandpaper grit you use.  Anything more than around 60/80 grit is too much and will leave the wood overly smooth. This essentially means the pores are too small to absorb the stain or gloss correctly and it will take more hard work to finally prepare the wood for absorption.

The solution

A good wood stain finish always starts with the correct sanding preparation. It is important, to begin with, a power sander and always finish by hand to reach difficult areas. Remember no more than 60 or 80 grit paper.

The next step is to clean the wood thoroughly after the sanding. Deck cleaners, also known as deck wash are used to lift dirt and unsightly mildew which accumulates over time.

Most deck cleaners contain soaps to help them clean effectively. The downside to the soap is that raises the PH level of the wood. This can make the wood appear darker in color, and the higher PH balance also makes it more difficult for the stain to penetrate.

The way to reverse this after using a deck cleaner is to apply a wood brightener. A wood brightener contains a mild acid formula that will neutralize the higher PH balance caused by caustic soaps. The effect is that the wood’s PH balance is restored and the wood is brightened back to its natural color. This will ensure that your wood looks natural and will shine through as it should after the stain is applied.

All that’s left for you to do now is stain the wood. If you are having trouble with stain penetration then follow the steps we have outlined in this guide – over sanding does not have to be the end of the world. Simply sand the wood again and make sure to properly clean and brighten it before reapplication of your stain.

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L Hamm
L Hamm
1 month ago

We have just finished stripping and cleaning/brightening our 20 year old Cedar deck. It is in very good condition, with the exception of some the stair boards and a few spindles on the stair railing that were rotting, (they are exposed, and rest of the deck is covered). We have used Sherwin Williams SuperDeck semi-transparent originally and had recoated 4 times, and the last time it had started to peel off (down to bare wood in some spots.) It was more like a paint than semi-transparent. Want more of a stain look to allow woodgrain to show through. Not sure what product to use, we have a short window of temperatures staying above 40’s and not wanting to leave the whole deck unprotected over winter?

Fo Sf
Fo Sf
1 month ago

I have a fairly old redwood deck and fences. Because stripper (followed by brightener) didn’t remove all the old (film-forming) stain, I’ve had to sand some areas to remove that. While in a moderate climate zone, we’ve had recent rain and more is expected over the next 2 weeks. This has delayed the remaining sanding and the staining. How many weeks can the unstained redwood be exposed to the elements before it adversely affects the wood (both aesthetically and structurally)? And any suggestions for protecting the exposed wood until I can complete the sanding and stain it? While the deck is small enough to tarp, there’s too much fencing to do that. FYI, the deck is smooth surface and the fences are rough cut. Thanks very much for your advice.

Fo Sf
Fo Sf
1 month ago

Thanks for the reply. We’ve previously used RAD and this year used Woodrich HD-80 (both followed by brighteners). They left quite a bit of fur that required much sanding, a tremendous amount of work. Are there any gentler products that would still be effective yet wouldn’t cause furing? For same reason, we’d prefer to go with garden hose rather than power washer. We’d also prefer a gentler product to avoid further inconveniencing our neighbors. For protection, they’ve already had to relocate their patio furniture and wet their plants twice. (The contractor originally rinsed THE HD-80 off too soon and thus had to repeat the process.) Thanks!

Amy D.
Amy D.
5 months ago

Trying to redo a 10 year old deck. Some splitting, black and green. Had nothing on it existing. Power washed it clean. But transparent stains are turning out very very dark in color. I’m assuming this is because the wood is so dry and soaking up alot? Even the lightest stains are just so dark. Is there something I can apply to the wood so the stain won’t be so dark? Can I mix a clear with a transparent stain to lighten it up? Does this have anything to do with the fact it was only power washed? Any suggestions for stain?

Last edited 5 months ago by Amy D.
Debbie
Debbie
6 months ago

I’m rehabbing a 25 yr. old deck. Floor, top rail and steps have new pine boards (weathered for 6 months), but railings, stringers remain with redwood stain. I’ve started sanding the railings, stringers and 4×4’s, to remove the redwood color and to remove some of the sun damage from the wood. The contractor says I don’t need to continue sanding; he’ll clean and brighten the deck and then stain – 2 coats of semi-transparent on the floor/steps and solid on the railings, stringers. Thoughts?

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Debbie
Debbie
6 months ago

My arms and hands thank you!!! They’re still vibrating a week later!

Free
Free
7 months ago

the deck is 12 years old. neglected greying splitting and splintering and green stuff
Ive sanded it with 60 then 80 grit
There is still stain on railings and spindles…
Shall i use a stripper
Then a cleaner
Then a brightener

My original intention was to use behr deckover…the company said i could paint over existing stain
But the reviews for this product and others of its kind are not good
So I thinking solid stain
I jjst want to prep correctly

Venjayc@gmail.com
Venjayc@gmail.com
8 months ago

We are in Northern Ontario Canada. We built a new western red cedar deck in 2019. In 2020 I scrubbed the deck twice with Palmolive and oxy twice. After it dried, we stained the deck in the mid afternoon in the shade, with one coat of Olympic clear waterproofing sealant. We were told to expect two years because of the climate. Please see the attached picture. We are looking at staining again this year but want to make sure the preparation is correct including sanding. Thank you in advance

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Venjayc@gmail.com
Venjayc@gmail.com
8 months ago

Thank you very much. We understand with red cedar, different colors and grains (if I have that right). We are seeing small fibers. I know pressure washing is a no no. Can I use a deck brush still for deck preparation?
Appreciate the help

Venjayc@gmail.com
Venjayc@gmail.com
6 months ago

So I tried a Bob Villa oxy clean method. Not very good results. Only did half the deck. Western red cedar. Lots of fibers. Hand scrubbed with deck brush. Little nervous to use my gas power washer on the deck. We only want a semi transparent stain. First attempt in 2020 was Olympic transparent.
Any preparation advice
Thanks again

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Anthony654
Anthony654
1 year ago

I stripped & brightened deck, then sanded. Looks like good chance of rain over the next week. I’m using Ready Seal. Can I leave deck sanded over a wk or two and then stain when there’s clear weather or would i have to start over…seems to be differing opinions on this. I guess the only other option is to seal and hope for no rain for 24 hrs. Thanks

Anthony654
Anthony654
1 year ago

Thanks. I did a test area with the cedar stain and the darkish gray grain parts turned black, so looks like tigers stripes. Should i brighten the deck again or use a darker stain like pecan?

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edwin
edwin
1 year ago

I have a deck and had some one come out and power wash it and it got all messed up. Sanded it today and added a coat of stain and I think I sanded to smooth. The stain did not take well. What should I do

Ed Schutte
Ed Schutte
1 year ago

Brand new deck, aged 5 months, all sealed except my wife placed a metal plant stand on the unsealed deck and when we moved it it left a rust stained ring. My wife got out a palm sander and sanded the ring out but used the whole surface of the sander to do it. Now we have a two foot in diameter “whiteish” mark on the deck. My thought is to not stain it and let it weather for a few months to “darken” it up some, then seal it. What would you do?, thank you in advance for your advise

John
John
1 year ago

I’ve had to replace some boards on my deck, so they look different from all the others. How can the deck be prepared for staining so all the boards look the same?

Thomas A Salisbury
Thomas A Salisbury
1 year ago

Any downside to staining the douglas fir deck after only using 40 grit on a belt sander rather than doing another sanding course using 60/80 grit as you discuss in your article? Wouldn’t the rougher deck absorb better and hold up better? The deck is only 1 year old, but I am sanding the deck due to significant grain raising issues on many boards as well as some stain peeling in the Sherwin Williams semi-transparent stain. The deck is on the south house side, so it gets consistent sun. The deck is located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. I used number 1 doug fir 2x4s, but not sure what that means these days as far as quality is concerned. Thanks.

Greg Worrel
Greg Worrel
1 year ago

I built a cedar bench next to my pool last summer. I pre-treated all the cedar with Ready Seal before assembly. Now it needs retreating. I sanded it down in spots to correct minor height differences and remove a few sliver hazards. My plan is to clean it with Sodium Percarbonate then brighten it with Citric acid. I am just wondering if the cleaning and brightening will even things out, or will the sanded portions stand out? Thanks.

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Dennis Young
Dennis Young
1 year ago

After 3 years of my cedartone deck the stain I used did not stay. Not in all spots but various enough to make it look terrible. So I flipped over all the boards and now working with the other side which is now no longer toned. I have pressure washed it and ready for the next step which I am told is sanding. All I read is to use belt sander 60-80 grit. Correct?

VV wisc
VV wisc
1 year ago

Hi,

We have a 1 year old deck. It is pressure treated lumber and the original owners put a down deck-over paint before selling this to us 11 months ago. I don’t think this was ever cured and was a quick job to sell. Now a year over, we have peeling, Etc.

I power sanded the deck as pressure washing didn’t help. Except for the edges, most of the old Stain is out. Really tough to get the edges clear. Some questions.

A) I plan to clean and brighten before staining. Do I need the deck to sit for a period of time after brightening or Is it ok to stain right after.

If it helps, we live in Wisconsin.

B) our plan is to stain this solid gray ( defy or RAD). I am guessing this should work on top of the current sand deck with stained edges?

C) we have a few chips in the deck. What caulk can I use here?

Thanks in advance!!!

Tessa
Tessa
1 year ago

I just bought a house with a huge deck. The issue is that the deck is 20 years old. My kids get splinters when walking barefoot on it. Do I need to sand it to get the splintered wood smooth? I tried using a 36 grain sand pad but it’s breaking up the wood more. I want to stain it a different color as well. What process should I use here?

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April
April
1 year ago

I have sanded my pine deck with 120 grit, I know now I should have used 60 grit. How do i open the pores back up?

Vrp
Vrp
1 year ago

Hello
I have a 5 year old deck.(10’x17’)
No coating on the deck as of now.
I’m in Toronto.
Deck has turned grey in color now.

I’m planning to refinish it , can you please guide me through the process and type of stain to be used ..
My questions :

+Which type of sander I need use ?as I will be renting one.
+Stain -taking into consideration the geographic location and would not like to have a frequent maintenance..?
+Do we need to put a sealer after stain???

Looking forward to Your expert Advice .

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Denise
Denise
1 year ago

Hi,
we are having the cedar deck sanded to remove what’s left of the solid stain. Can we stain the deck with a semi transparent stain or do we have to use a solid stain again? Thanks in advance for your input.

Nadia M.
Nadia M.
1 year ago

Hi, I’m hoping you can help me. I’ve just used the RAD stripper and brightener to strip the railing and spindles of the ugly Superdeck stain from a few years back. Railings/spindles are regular wood (might be cedar) but the deck floor looks a IPE hardwood. The ipe is natural color, it grayed out already and it looks nice after I’ve cleaned it. Unfortunately I’ve dropped some RAD stripper on the IPE floor and it stained it and it won’t come off. I’ve washed it right away with water but it’s still so ugly. Can you please let me know if I can fix this somehow ? Pls see picture. Thank you.

Nadia M.
Nadia M.
1 year ago

Sorry, picture didn’t upload before. Please see below, thank you.

IPEFloorRADStripperStain1.jpeg
Nadia M.
Nadia M.
1 year ago

Thank you for your reply. Is RAD (Restore-a-deck) a good cleaner to take off the gray from the IPE and get rid of the spots caused by the stripper ? I know I’ll need to use the brightener after the cleaner. But please note I do not intend to stain the IPE afterwards, I want to keep it natural. I will maybe use just a clear IPE oil. Which cleaner would you recommend for that ? Thanks again.

Bob
Bob
1 year ago

Hello,

Installed our deck last March, and let it age until now.

Purchased TWP 1500 Pecan for our stain.

The container says to prep the wood by using a household bleach solution and lightly power washing the wood.

Do I still need to use a wood brightener? Will the pecan color look different with or without using a brightener?

Thank you in advance

Ruth
Ruth
1 year ago

Hello,
My deck is approx 12 years old ipe mahogany.
I live in a wooded area which results in dirt/mold accumulating on the deck.
I am thinking of having the deck sanded being sure not to smooth it out too much and close all of the pores.
Every year or two since installation, I have methodically cleaned the deck following the cleaning/brightening routine. I have used a variety of products after the cleaning.
Those products were Australian Timber Oil and a couple of other products targeted at exotic woods.
I performed these cleanings and timber oil, etc. procedures doing each board at a time for a deck approx 24 x 12 feet.
My efforts have never been rewarded. The only time the deck looked good was when it was brand new and when it rains.
The timber oil, etc. did not produce an even color. i
Still, the ipe mahogany is extremely strong and I have not had to replace deck boards as in the past. this is good.
I would like to use an opaque latex stain to beautify this deck. However, this is not the proper course of action.
Is there any thinking “outside the box” that can help this situation. Such as, putting a layer of X over the top of the deck….like trex?

THANKS FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND SYMPATHY

Dusty Rivers
Dusty Rivers
2 years ago

Oxyalic acid ruined my 6 month old PT pine deck. I carefully followed directions, and rinsed thoroughly. It looked great as it went on, but even after rinsing each board at least 6-10 times, it dried with a white film. I spent a few months working with the manufacturer, to no avail. I’m now sanding it down now, but I still need to get some mildew spots out. Do the oxygen based cleaners work well? And should I use it before or after I sand?
Question #2, I have trees and humidity in Virginia, with a north facing deck; any advice on stains that inhibit mildew?
I’d also like to get it done before winter, but the temperatures are cooling down.
Thanks!

Dawn
Dawn
2 years ago

Have what I think is a pt pine deck, unsure of age. Was very grayed and weathered. Pressure washed, then used valspar deck cleaner and brightener (hadn’t yet learned everything I now know from this site). Still could see old stain (Olympic woodland oil) unsure when previous home owner applied. Started sanding some blotchy areas which has snowballed into sanding the entire deck by hand. It’s looking amazing after this step, but having to use 40 grit. With this step taking so long and honestly thought I’d have the job done by now, coupled with reading about how sanding can actually decrease absorption looking for guidance on next steps. I am in Omaha, Nebraska and the weather is turning fast here. Wondering if I should go over everything with an 80 grit, if that’s even necessary, leaving the deck over the winter, coming back in spring when conditions permit with RAD brightener followed by TWP 100 or if there’s anything I’m not considering? Thanks for all the help! Appreciate it greatly!

VINCENT CARROLL
VINCENT CARROLL
2 years ago

I have an approximate 600 sq ft cedar deck that is 5 yrs old. We never prepped the wood prior to staining and now the finish is peeling off the deck. I want to sand it down and have done some research as to the grit 60/80, but some of the board edges are uneven so I am unsure which style (rental) sander to use to ensure Im not on my knees with a palm sander to get the areas missed. Can someone give me any advice.

Thanks, Vince

Ben
Ben
2 years ago

Does anyone have any experience using the product ECO Wood Stain? It claims it is a one application approach? I was keen to use this product as it is very clean with no toxins. If I weren’t to use this product what product would you recommend for someone who has auto-immune/easily irritated by chemicals?
Also I feel the pain of all those currently sanding, I am about 4 days in now sanding my 500 sq foot deck! Yikes it takes a long time! 😯

Carol
Carol
2 years ago

What kind Of hand sander is the best to use on a deck?

Rick Willson
Rick Willson
2 years ago
Reply to  Carol

Drum sander. 8″ Home Depot. Done over 3,000 this way.

Justin Velazquez
Justin Velazquez
1 year ago
Reply to  Carol

I second the drum sander, and will add edger to the mix for the edges and railings. Doing a deck with a palm sander is CRAZY. Like cleaning your bathroom with an electric toothbrush!
Drum sanders and edgers have a bit of a learning curve. If you are going to do it yourself, I would recommend the YouTube channel “How to sand a deck.” It is a British guy, but he knows his stuff. One of his videos is a reaction to the top hits on YouTube about sanding a floor. His techniques are tried and true, and he demonstrates and explains the science of wood sanding very well. Best of luck!

Tux
Tux
2 years ago

I have sanded the surface but want to sand in between the wood slats if possible to get rid of the darker stain. There is about a 3/8 inch gap. Final goal is a grey semi-transparent and I’m afraid I’ll see the old dark stain in the gaps. Please advise on tool and or method.

Esmidio Benitez
Esmidio Benitez
2 years ago

Hi, I have some question about sanding decks:
1. Do you know what is the best technology abrasive for sanding what brands?
2. What is your better recommendation to sanding and clean a Ipe wood deck and other oil woods or harwoods.

Best Regards

Brad M
Brad M
2 years ago

I have a 330 sqft deck and have been sanding a total of 15 hours on and off now. L I am almost done but never thought it would take this long. I had to resort to 40 grit to remove the failing deck paint. This has been a frustrating process. Once done should I use a cleaner and brightener ?

Shelly
Shelly
2 years ago

We have a 30 year old deck that we put Behr DeckOver on and within a year it started peeling. We scraped most of the paint off but few stubborn places remained, so rented a sander and my husband used 20 grit sand paper to remove the rest of DeckOver paint. We realized we over sanded our deck and it has furries on it and it so we have let it weather for 6 weeks. In that time, I have purchased Restore-A-Deck, cleaner, brightener, and semi-transparent stain but I think we might need to re-sand or buff out the deck first. How to fix this so my deck will be ready to stain?

sam
sam
2 years ago

I have a brand new, untreated deck on the Oregon coast that has weathered for a few months now. I did the water test and it seems to be ready. Since it had greyed and collected some mild dirt/algae quite a bit, I decided to apply a 30 second cleaner and pressure wash. Didn’t realize a brightener would have been ideal, and now I’m left with a whole lot of fuzzies in certain spots. Pictures attached.

Looks like it’s okay to apply brightener even after the wood has dried, but I’m stuck on what to do with the fuzzies.
I’m finding a lot of conflicting info about whether I should sand or just let the fuzzies be. My plan was to sand the fuzzies down using 80 grit hand sander and pole sander (or if you think orbital is okay I’ll do that), and then apply a brightener (using defy), let it dry, then do the stain (using ready seal). But I read on another article of yours that you should NOT sand new wood. So I’m frozen, not sure how to proceed.

I guess I have a few questions:

Is it okay to sand fuzzies off of untreated wood?
Should I brighten first before sanding? or after?
Is it okay to use an orbital sander on 80 grit or is that risky?

Thanks so much!

Rob K
Rob K
2 years ago

Living on the west coast in a marine climate I stain my deck every 2 years. As a result I only sand it using 60/80 and then directly apply the stain.I have had good results but wonder if by not cleaning after sanding leads to a quicker breakdown. I use an oil base

Liz
Liz
2 years ago

What kind of brand of stain do you recommend?

David
David
2 years ago

I have sanded, washed and brightened my deck and am ready to stain (after 48 hours of dry weather). After removing the old solid stain, I found the cedar has an uneven “two-tone” natural color to it. I was planning on using a semi-transparent stain. Will that even out the coloring? I don’t really mind the two-tone, but I don’t want it to look like a mistake. Would it look weird to leave it?

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Jayme
Jayme
2 years ago
Reply to  David

Oh my gosh, that wood grain is stunning!!!

Rick Willson
Rick Willson
2 years ago
Reply to  David

Thats the woods natural color. Its a blend of heart (Red) and sap wood (white). Its a bit lower quality of wood as heart is more dense (middle of tree). There is no way to make a single color is using a semi-transparent sealer (which you NEED to use to avoid future sanding). Ive used what they now call 1500 series TWP and like Calif redwood color. Ive used over 4,000 gallons gallons of TWP in 30 years. I was fortunate to speak to the inventor of the product. He also formulated the paint that coats the Alaska pipe line.

David
David
2 years ago

So how long after the wash should can you wait to use the brighter? Likewise, after brightening how long can you wait till you stain?

Thanks

David
David
2 years ago

Brand is #1deck
Using Dark walnut Semi-Transparent Water based

William
William
2 years ago

I am in the process of staining a deck for my neighbor but I am using a stain that is at least a year old and a lot of it has hardened in the bottom of the can. Vigorously stirred it and applied on a couple of boards and the color after drying is a totally different shade of brown? Is this stain just too old to use?

David
David
2 years ago

So I’ve completely stripped a solid stain/paint off my deck, and am done sanding thoroughly. I want to use a dark semi-transparent stain, versus another solid stain. Wood is in good, not great condition after all the sanding. Should I be okay? Or am I doomed to have to use another solid color stain?

And if okay, what steps should I take after the sanding to get the dark semi-transparent stain right?

William
William
2 years ago

Can a deck with uneven boards (some are at different elevations) be sanded I was told by Contracter it cannot because some would be hit and others would not when sanding and also the nails in the boards would tear up the sand paper.

Josh
Josh
2 years ago
Reply to  William

First pound in any nails that are sticking up. Then use a hand belt sander on each board and then it doesn’t matter if the boards are uneven. The contractor said no because he wanted to use a huge drum sander that you push around like a carpet cleaner which is fast and easy. Find a contractor who’s not afraid of a little work. You might have to pay more, but if your current contractor is telling you that you need a new deck, I’m betting hand-renewing this one will be cheaper.

Rick Willson
Rick Willson
2 years ago
Reply to  William

You absolutely can. You countersink nails or screws. Pressure wash (water only). After it dries it can be drum sanded. The higher boards will be plained down first. I go as low as 16 grit on an EZ 8 drum. Ive done this process at least 2,000 times in the last 30 years (thats actually my picture oat the top of this article. Realize deck stain help 100% wants to give you the best information they know. The below decks all had nails or screws.

Im a general contractor in Calif for over 30 years now.
Willson Deck Restoration and Construction.

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Adam
Adam
2 years ago

I have a mahogany deck that hasn’t been stained in over 2 years and now has a lot of mildew and fading. Pressure washing doesn’t get it clean enough. I plan to sand with a belt sander at 60 grit. Should I pressure wash it after sanding before staining? Or can I go ahead and stain without cleaning or using s brightener? I will be using Armstrong Clark hardwood oil stain.

jay
jay
2 years ago

i was told not to get the wood wet after sanding that if i used cleaner or it rained on the wood after sanding id have to do the whole sanding process again.

however your saying sand & then use the cleaner & brightener & then stain.

so many online searches say sanding is last step before staining

are there any issues with applying the cleaner & brightener after sanding ? or the wood getting wet after sanding?

thx

Ken
Ken
2 years ago

We had a new cedar deck installed about 10 days ago. It has been rained on twice and water seems to absorb into the new deck boards, except for 3 or 4 boards. Do we need to do anything or can we just go ahead and stain with the semi-transparent stain after a few days of drying. Thanks!

Jesse
Jesse
2 years ago

I power washed, cleaned and brightened then stained my deck 2 years ago with SW Superdeck solid stain. After 2 years the stain all peeled off on nearly every board but some new boards that I replaced. The deck is weathered and previous owner did not care for it. Was this due to poor prepping? Should I sand this time around for better penetration? If so, you recommend sanding first then cleaning and brightening? Thank you!

Jesse
Jesse
2 years ago

Here is a photo. Same recommendation? Thank you again for all your help!

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Jesse
Jesse
2 years ago

If 95% of the stain is removed with the pressure washer do I need to still use a deck stain stripper? Or move on to Sanding? Thanks again for your help!

Rick Willson
Rick Willson
2 years ago
Reply to  Jesse

Use a rented squar buff sander (Home Depot or rental places). Go 36, 60, and finish with 100. Take your time, you’ll be amazed at the results.

Chris
Chris
2 years ago

Decided to lightly sand my deck to remove excessive burring and some other minor issues. Used a ShopVac to remove residue and also took a blower to the deck. However, since I was under the impression that a brightener was best used soon after the stripper, the sanding and clean-up came after those two steps had been done and the wood had dried.

So, is it necessary to rebrighten the deck? If so, does that restart the 48-72 hr wait period to stain?

Chris
Chris
2 years ago

Thanks, but have to admit I’m a little surprised by the answer, only because after sending my question I went through some other articles and came across a similar question and reply from a few days ago (the most recent): https://www.deckstainhelp.com/how-to-sand-your-wood-deck/

Can you please clarify why the answers are different when the questions are essentially the same? I’m genuinely curious if there are specific reasons for the different responses.

Traci
Traci
2 years ago

We sanded our 7-year-old cedar deck to remove old solid stain so we can apply semi-transparent. It took longer than expected and now it is too hot to apply new stain. We also had to replace a couple of rotted boards with new so I think we need to wait to stain anyway. Plan is to clean and brighten before staining in the fall when cooler. Will sanding now and staining that much later be bad for the wood? Please tell me we don’t need to sand again!

Joe
Joe
2 years ago

I made the mistake of power washing my painted deck with a deck cleaner, then trying to remove the left over paint by sanding it with an orbital sander. After I finish sanding, do I need to rewash the deck with a cleaner again before using a deck brightener, or can I just move onto the step of using a wood brightener since j already cleaned the deck before sanding? Thanks!

Sam
Sam
2 years ago

Hello, sanding railings, hemlock, to clear feathering,weathering. Do I also need to sand deck for re application of same oil if deck just needs clean/brighten? Looking for consistency of color and application. Right rail light sand. Will clean/brighten also. How long can I wait after sanding to start stain? Thanks again

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Sam
Sam
2 years ago

Ok thanks. How long can I wait after sanding to clean,brighten and stain ? Would like to space it out due to work, weather and plain old exhaustion. Thank you again. You really helped with front deck project!

Jack Penrice
Jack Penrice
2 years ago

I have just had a new deck built using pressure treated 2x12s for deck board’s. Three days of sun and some of the boards are already cracking. Do you still advise I do not stain till wood has seasoned 3 or more months ? I live in the north west and we get alot of rain. I was going to use a beahr semi transparent water based stain from home depot . Any thoughts on this?

Indy74
Indy74
2 years ago

One more question I forgot to ask. I’ve read that sanding with 60-80 grit paper will open the pores, but using anything finer than 80 grit will close the pores. You’re saying that sanding will close the pores. Which is correct? Can I sand with 60-80 grit paper without closing the pores?

Indy74
Indy74
2 years ago

I have two questions. I’m 74 years old trying to restore my neglected deck. Due to my age and the heat and humidity I’m only able to clean a few boards at a time. Will it still be okay to apply a wood brightener even when some of the boards were cleaned over two weeks ago?

After cleaning some of the boards with water mixed with Sodium Percarbonate and Sodium Carbonate I’ve noticed a very hard white film like substance in a few places. I’ve tried using an orbital sander with 50 grit paper and found the substance very difficult to sand off. Any idea what it might be and how to remove it? The decking is pressure treated pine and it was last cleaned and stained 15 years ago with Olympic clear sealant.

Stephanie
Stephanie
2 years ago

Our cedar deck boards were damaged from a power washer several years ago, were weathered/untreated after the original stain wore away, and they caused splinters. We are trying to fix these issues so that our deck is comfortable to walk on and nice to look at. So far we have used the RAD cleaner and a scrub brush (caused lots of fuzzies). We then rented a drum sander and had to use 36 grit sand paper in order to remove the ridges and splinters on the deck boards. I’m concerned that our boards are now too smooth to stain effectively. In your opinion, what are the next steps at this time… 1) Cleaner, brightener, then stain right away or 2) Wait a couple months for the wood to weather, then use cleaner, brightener, and stain? Appreciate your input.

Stephanie
Stephanie
2 years ago

Thanks so much, will do. Curious why not 2 coats of stain (we’re using Armstrong Clark).

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