How to Sand a Deck with a Drum Sander

If your wooden deck has lost its original beauty, it is time for you to take some measurable steps. If you leave it as is, it will fade and turn ugly with time. You wouldn’t want that, right?

So, to solve this problem, you can use a drum sander and sand the deck to make it look as good as new. 

The following article will provide you with further information regarding this. Read on to find out more. 

Table of Contents [show]

Get All the Required Equipment 

  • Drum sander
  • Palm sander
  • Sandpaper (Grit sequences: 20- , 36- , 50- , 80- , 100-) 
  • Decking screws (3 inches)
  • Screwdriver bits 
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Wood filler (Epoxy)
  • Paint scraper
  • Putty knife 
  • Detergent
  • Sponge / mop
  • Bucket
  • Leaf blower
  • Push broom
  • Vacuum cleaner

Steps To Follow

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

Step 1: Check Everything on the Deck

First of all, take the push broom and sweep the deck. Make sure all the visible and hidden debris are cleaned away. Check the fastener’s joints, and, if it is not in its original position, fix it again by drilling the screws into it. Use the nails, hammer, and screwdriver bits along with that. 

If you find out that the boards are not in their regular shape, take help from the decking screws. Use them to connect the board with the joists. 

Step 2: Clean the Whole Area

Pour water and detergent in the bucket. Mix it to form a solution and damp a sponge or mop onto it. Gently clean the whole deck with the sponge or mop. Throw some clean water on the area and leave it for a day to dry. 

At this time, check for any invisible debris on the surface and between the boards. If you find some of it mainly between the boards, pull all of it out with the paint scraper. 

Step 3: Start Sanding

Take the drum sander and start sanding the deck. Don’t be in a hurry and be patient throughout the whole process. Start with the 20-grit sandpaper. If necessary, switch it with the 50-grit, depending on the condition of your wooden deck. 

Always remember that the lower sequenced sandpaper is used to sand on very rough surfaces and the higher one you can use for the finishing touch (mainly to sand around the edges). 

For sanding the corners and below the bench, use the palm sander. After the sanding part is done, clean the newly formed dust with the vacuum cleaner. You can also use the leaf blower as an alternative. 

Step 4: Fix the Cracks or Holes

As you have completed the sanding and cleaning, you can now shift your effort towards filling the scratches, holes, and cracks. Use Epoxy wood filler in this case, as this product is very efficient at repairing any uneven areas in a small amount of time. 

Take the putty knife and start applying the filler onto the problematic areas. Always press the knife so that the bonds between the filler and the areas get tight. Leave it for some amount of time after that. 

Step 5: Finish It 

Start sanding again, and this time, you should increase the grit sequence of the sandpaper. If you have sanded with 20-grit, change it to 36- or 50-grit. Choose the best one according to your preference. This process is critical, as the change in sandpaper grit will sand all of the untouched scratched areas that you might have missed.

Vacuum the area again, and, for the finishing touch, use the 80- or 100-grit sandpaper. After smoothening the rough surfaces, clean the area again. 


Get a good understanding of this article and follow all the steps precisely. Consult with experienced workers for additional suggestions (if necessary).

Have a good day!

David Harper

I'm David, and I've been a craft & woodworking enthusiast for over 10 years. Sanders Guide is the place where I share some tips, tricks and reviews on all things DIY, tools and of course sanding!

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