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I recently cleaned my deck using Behr deck cleaner and want to re-stain it before the winter. Do you recommend sanding the entire deck, or just the affected areas where the stain has come off?

I was thinking of renting a belt sander for the day just to get the rough spots and re-stain with the same stain. There's a tub of it left over from the previous owner.

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Rent a floor sander from the big box store. You don't have to tell them you are using it outside. –  DMoore Sep 9 '13 at 20:43
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2 Answers

I wouldn't belt sand any outdoor deck, especially with a commercial belt sander that your talking about. More damage will ensue. Take the $60.00 you'll spend on the rental and buy a Makita Palm Sander. It takes a 1/4 sheet of sandpaper to load onto the pad to sand. Buy some 80 grit sheets and some 120 grit sheets. Grab a beer and get down on your knees and feel for rough spots, sand lightly with the 80 grit on all the rough spots on the deck. The electric sander will make light work of sanding the deck without going to far. Then swap out for the 120 grit and hit all the spots again and your ready to stain/seal once you do your clean-up.. that size deck may take you 2 -3 hours total, good luck.

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I wouldn't go up to 120 grit on a deck. I always use 60-80 grit. –  decker Dec 25 '13 at 18:00
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Honestly, I have tried large floor sanders and they don't do a good job. Deck boards often are cupped and warped, if even slightly and you won't be able to sand the whole thing easily.

I also would not bother with a belt sander.

I use a Random Orbital Sander and get on my hands and knees. One board at a time. With a good sander and paper this goes pretty quick.

I use 60-80 grit sandpaper.

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