The Best Way to Sand Down & Refinish a Deck


The deck is one of the primary entertaining areas of the American home during the warm months. Often the gathering area for barbecues and other outdoor gatherings, the deck has evolved into another section of the American home. However, the deck will be exposed year-round and will need to have special care in order to avoid rotting or infestation by pests. Any homeowner can remedy this problem before it manifests.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor sander
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Scrub brush
  • Wood stain
  • 4-inch natural hair brush
  • Rent a floor sander from your local home improvement store. Sand the deck with the floor sander, taking care not to go too deep into the wood. You will have to sand by hand around the posts and rails if you cannot remove them.

  • Scrub the deck with a brush and water. Rinse the deck off. This removes the last of the debris, giving you a clean surface with which to work.

  • Allow the deck to dry completely. Once the deck is dry you can start staining. Start at the rails closest to the house. These will take more time, because you will have to be careful not to get the wood stain on the house. If it gets on the house, wipe it off immediately.

  • Continue staining the deck. Always stain the deck with the grain of the wood. The bristles of the brush will force the stain deeper into the wood this way. Try to work on one deck board at a time. This allows for even drying.

  • Allow the deck to dry overnight. Examine the deck after it has dried. This will give you the chance to see if some areas have been missed. If the deck absorbed large quantities of the stain you may have to apply a second coat.

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  • "Complete Deck Book"; Jeff Beneke; 2002
  • Photo Credit Relaxing Deck image by gardenia from
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