8 Steps to Sand a Deck: A DIY Guide

Many people do not know the benefits of sanding a deck. It can help your wood last longer and make it look better. You should follow these 7 steps to sand your deck so you get the most out of this project!

When to sand your deck?

You should sand your deck when the wood is dry and it is not exposed to any harsh elements. Sanding wet wood can lead to splinters, cracks, and problems with sealant or varnish.

Sand your deck in a place where there is not much dust. It can be outside on a tarp or even inside on top of the floor. Make sure to sand from top to bottom so that you don’t drag dirt over the wood and this will help you avoid any potential gouges. Sand away from any nails so that they won’t get too close to the wood when you are sanding vertically.

8 Things you will need for deck sanding

  1. Sanding a deck isn’t as hard as it seems, but you have to be patient.
  2. Sanding will make your wood less brittle and more porous. This means water can get in easier. Your wood should also feel softer and smoother. This will help dirt fall off because there won’t be any cracks for it to stay caught on.
  3. When sanding a deck, start with an orbital sander at 80 grit. Go towards the middle and then move outwards. Do the sanding in sections of about 16 square feet.
  4. Sand with the grain of the wood, not against it to make this process easier and less time consuming! Your sandpaper should be able to glide over your deck’s boards without getting stuck or bunching up. If one side has a lot more scratches than the other, then flip your sand paper around so that both sides get equal attention.
  5. Sand the board in small circles. Start from one side and work your way across to the other. It is okay if you don’t sand all of it because there will be more steps later on. This will make it easier for you to get a smoother feel by being patient and doing smaller strokes.
  6. Sanding the wood will take the finish off. But you can put another coat of stain on it and then seal it with something to protect it from mold or water. If you stain it, make sure not to let anything dry before moving on to the next step in sanding because that will ruin all your work!
  7. Sand your board until every rough spot is gone. Repeat the process again with sandpaper that is 100 grit, and then 150 grit.
  8. After you clean your deck, apply a coat of sealant or stain for protection. If you don’t want to finish the deck, just leave it unfinished. Then it will be harder to clean because dirt is trapped between boards.
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Do you need to sand a deck before staining?

Sanding the wood before you stain it will make the finish smooth and even. If you do not sand, then when you put on the sealant or varnish, it might not be as smooth because there is nothing to grip onto.

How can I sand my deck fast?

One way to sand your deck is to use a random orbital sander with 80 grit paper. Sand in small areas, about 16 square feet. You can control the power of the machine when it is in smaller sections. Avoid any potential gouges by sanding away from nails and sand with the grain of the wood, not against it for smoothness.



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