It’s Deck Sanding Season

It’s that time of year again, Trees are budding, Snow is pretty much gone, and your deck is becoming an eye sore. There is no exception all wood products exposed to the elements are going to need some maintenance. Some people will tell you “use cedar or pressure treated it doesn’t need to be maintained” but this just isn’t the case. So you decide I’m going to re-finish my deck, below are the steps you are going to have to follow.

Step 1 – Cleaning

Once everything is removed from your deck it’s time to start cleaning, your best option is to use a pressure washing set to spray on a wide fan as to not damage the wood and start spraying. Make sure to test the spray on a hidden area of the deck so if you do damage it you know to go to a wider spray. If you find that the paint or stain isn’t coming up easily you may need to add a deck cleaning solution to your pressure washed or even a stain remover. Let sit and dry for a couple days.

Step 2 – Sanding (Shop

When it comes to sanding you have a number of options each having its up and downs. You can rent professional floor sanding equipment like a drum sander or an edger sander that will do the deck in no time but this equipment is designed to be used on flat floors so if the wood has cupped some sections of the wood won’t be sanded. The most common option people use is a handheld belt sander and a palm sander/ Orbital Sander for the tighter hard to reach areas. When sanding the spindle and railing you will need to use a variety of sanding techniques including using lose sandpaper or shop rolls in your hard for the curved and tight sports.

Starting sanding with a coarser grit something around 60 grit would work best working your why up to 80 grit and finishing with 100-120 grit to give you a nice smooth finish. It is recommended you start on one side and work your way across so you don’t miss anything.

Once everything is nice and sanded it give the deck a good sweep (you can also use a leaf blower or vacuum) and prepare for staining.

Step 3 – Staining

Now I will be the first to tell you I’m not an expert when it comes to staining but everything I have read and experienced says don’t be shy, the thicker the better. So when selecting your stain/paint make sure it is solid. Applying according to the manufacturer instructions.

Step 4 – Maintenance

As a guide you will be looking to re-stain the deck every 2-3 year but Mother Nature has her own agenda so that may change. As a rule when it rain and the water stops beading up on the deck surface it’s time to re-stain.