How to Sand a Wooden Deck

If you have a dull, faded, ugly looking wood deck, it is pretty much predictable that you will surely get angry during the time you get to look at your beaten up deck. This is a clear warning that it is time for you to do the deck sanding and refinishing.

So, check the article for your proper understanding of this DIY task.

Necessary Equipment For Wooden Deck Sanding

Deck Sanding Steps

Below, you will find out the proper steps that you need to follow to sand a deck.

Step 1: Restore Everything 

You should start by sweeping the deck with the push broom. This will remove any debris that is piling up with time. Check the joints of the fasteners. If you find them snapped from their position, use the screws, and drill it. Along with the drilling, use the screwdriver bits, nails, and a hammer.

However, if the boards are out of shape, use the decking screws to attach the boards in the joists properly.

Step 2: Do the Cleaning

Take a bucket and mix the detergent with warm water. Use a sponge or mop to clean the whole deck. After that, splash the area with clear water and give it time to dry for at least a day. When it is in the process of drying, check any extra debris in the area.

If you manage to find out some between the boards, use the paint scraper in the gaps, and gently pull out all the hidden debris.

Step 3: Deck Sanding

Take the floor sander and sand the deck gently. Don’t do it very fast as this process requires patience. Use the 20 grit sandpaper and remove any materials during the sanding. The lower the grit sequence of the sandpaper, the higher the materials are removed, but some scratches get also created along with that.

Therefore, check which grit sequence fits with your wood deck. It is best advisable that you should start with 50 grit sandpaper (to be on the safer side).

Thus, sand all the corners and under the bench smoothly with the palm sander along with the sandpaper. Likewise, use the vacuum cleaner to remove all the generated dust due to sanding. If you don’t have this device, use the leaf blower as a good alternative. Consult with your neighbors firsthand as the blower creates noises.

Step 4: Fill Any Kind of Cracks or holes

Now, as the whole deck is appropriately sanded and cleaned, it is time for you to fill all the holes, scratches, and cracks. In this case, epoxy wood filler is a perfect choice. The filler is excellent in repairing the wood to its original form within a concise time.

Hence, take the putty knife and apply the filler gently. Press the knife hard to make sure that the bonds are formed strongly in all the disoriented areas. After you finish, leave it to restore.

Step 5: Finish it off

Apply the sandpaper again to the wood deck, and level up the grit sequence in this case. You can also use any best wood sander for this step.

If you have started with 20 grit sandpaper, increase it to 36- grit. If it is not matching with your satisfaction, level it up again to 50- grit. This process will help in removing any scratches that might have been left accidentally.

Then again, vacuum the area to clean the deck. Give it a final shot by increasing the grit sandpaper sequence up to 80 or 100. You will be able to make the whole surface smoother than usual. Clean the deck afterward.


Use the proper equipment and follow the above steps so that you can get your job done easily and smoothly.

Sand a deck before staining.

Best of luck!

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David has been a Craft & woodworking enthusiast for 10 years, and in that time has written huge resources on Sander, woodworking, and tools.

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