How To Sand A Deck To Give It Life Again

Your deck is found in the exterior of your home and is a structure that’s crucial to its curb appeal. Over time, the wooden planks in the decks will be withered. But, the good thing is, you can restore them back to life.


In order for your deck to look good, it should be properly sanded first and then applied with any sealant and colorants you wish to apply. A well-sanded deck will turn into a clean space that can help entertain guests. Sanding takes time and effort, but the beauty you’ll get from sanding your decks will be worth it in the end; you’ll be proud of it.

The following are ways of proper deck sanding to give your deck life again:

1. Prepare the Deck

Before you start sanding, you should make sure that your wood planks are completely flat. Make sure there are no nails poking out of the wood. If there are, these nails could potentially rip your sanding belt and delay the process.

Make sure all the boards are nailed down evenly and simply use your hammer or nail punch to nail down any board or nails that are sticking out.

2. The Right Sanding Device

It’s important to know that most wood used on decks are softwoods, which can become malformed when using power sand tools with a very rough grit. Grit refers to the amount and size of abrasive particles in sandpaper. The larger the abrasive materials, the more material they remove, but they create more scratches.

Belt sanders are not advisable to be used on softwoods because they tend to gouge softwood more easily. Oscillating or orbital sanders are recommended.

Orbital sanders are better because they’re more compact. You can use them with one hand since it can easily be gripped. Orbital sanders are often regarded as finishing sanders because they produce ultra-fine work, such as rounding sharp edges and making a smooth level surface.

3. Sanding the Railings

The railings are the most visible part of the deck because it’s raised. It’s important to get a fine look for your railings by sanding it properly. The handrails must be especially smooth to avoid incidents due to splinters.

Use an 80 to 100 grit sandpaper for the railings, and it’s important to painstakingly sand every crevice. You may even have to sand this part by hand because some sanding devices will not be able to sand the crevices properly.

Take note that you want a smooth surface, but not too smooth to the point that sealants can no longer penetrate the wood.

4. Sanding the Deck Surface

Sanding your deck is different from sanding your hardwood. In hardwood, the aim is to make it as smooth as possible.

When sending exterior decks, you should use a sandpaper with a roughness of 60 or 80 grits. Don’t use 100 grit or above because it’ll smooth the wood to the point where the pores close.

You need the pores exposed when you apply a sealant so it’ll be absorbed by the wood. Only use medium pressure on your sander and see if your deck surface has an even appearance.

5. Sanding Board Edges

Depending on your board design, sanding the deck board can be challenging. In some cases, the board may be hard to access when using a power tool. Thus, the need to use a smaller detail sander for the task.

Detail sanders are compact in size and have a triangular-shaped pad. Detail sanders do very specific jobs. The pads can be changed and you may need spare pads if you want to sand with your tool. Detail sanders are great for reaching the hard to reach grooves and spaces in your board edges.

It’s important to first use a coarser sander to remove any raised bumps on the wood and irregular textures. After using a coarse sander you can then follow it with a finer one to completely smoothen the surface.

Same with sanding the desk surface, use a girt of 60 to 80, and make sure the results are even looking. As mentioned, you need it to be even so the stains and sealant you’ll use later will be absorbed evenly into the grain.

Final Thoughts

Properly restored deck areas make them beautiful and delightful living spaces. Bring your deck area back to life and get the curb appeal of your home back. Do regular maintenance of your deck by sanding it. Be a proud host as you show guests your restored deck where you can now finally entertain or simply enjoy an evening with family.

About the Author Laura Bennett

Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.

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