One of the perks of having real wooden decks is that you can refinish them. Homeowners enjoy altering the style of the decks by changing the stain to give their exterior a whole new dynamic. It also happens to be very popular DIY project. The physical labor is manageable, the supplies are affordable, and the work isn't particularly technical. The hardest part about refinishing a wood deck is usually the removal of the existing stain. This article explains the best way to remove stain from a wooden deck surface.
How Much Do You Need to Sand?
There are a few different techniques and methods you can use to remove a stain finish. First of all, if you are going to apply the same color stain that you currently have on the wood, you don't necessarily need to sand off all of the existing stain. If your current finish is in decent shape, you just need to lightly sand it to create a uniform texture. That is, your surface is bound to wear down unevenly, and sanding it will make the surface more consistently smooth, even if you don't take off all of the existing stain. This process will help the new stain absorb more evenly when you apply it. However, if you are going to stain your deck a completely different color, you do want to completely sand off all of the existing stain. This way your new stain color will basically look brand new.
Power sanders are probably going to be the most important tool for the job. However, you will also need some handheld sponge sanders to reach all of the corners that power sanders cannot reach. The job is much easier if you start off with a medium grit (about 80) sandpaper to remove the majority of the stain, and then step up to a fine grit (over 160) sandpaper to smooth out the surface and create a finish that is ready for the new stain application.
Even if you are using a power sander, the job is going to be strenuous. Since you need to be down on your hands and knees while applying pressure, it can be rough on your back. Wearing a pair of kneepads can definitely help reduce stress.
When you are done sanding, you will need to wipe down the deck with a wet rag to soak up all the sawdust. When it dries off again, you should give it a final sweep and it will be ready for the new wood finish.