I just power washed my deck because I need to restain. In some places there is no stain and in some places the stain is still on. The power washing did an excellent job removing dirt.

I have read posts that say to sand the deck and then the very next post would say not to sand. I can provide pics if needed. I will restain next weekend.

Thanks, Misty

  • 1
    Are you going to be using a solid-color deck finish or a semi-transparent finish? Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 18:01
  • Hey Jimmy, I have been looking at different stains and finishes. Because there are some large cracks in the posts, I have decided to use a product called Anvil deck a new. It is a textured resurfacer. It seems to have good reviews, So, will I need to sand then? I also saw another product made by Behr. It is called Deckover. Do you have another suggestion for me? Thanks so much. I appreciate all the advise I can get .
    – Misty
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 22:58
  • Misty, that stuff is totally different from stain. It is a solid color resurfacer, a heavy textured acrylic deck coating. If you use that stuff you will never be able to go back to plain stained wood, but if that's what you want just follow application instructions carefully. I'm sure it will come out beautifully, the fact you are asking questions means you will likely do a great job! Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 17:23
  • Jimmy, thanks for the encouragement! I would prefer to use a stain because I love to seeing the natural grain of the wood. The issue is that there are cracks in the posts that will still show if I just use a stain. I had semi transparent (cedar) on originally. I loved the look but the cracks are just to large to use this stain again. I want to get rid of the cracks or at least cover them up. Any suggestions? Also, should I sand if I plan to use the solid color instead of the semi transparent?
    – Misty
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 15:49
  • Some semi-transparent stains have a sheen (gloss/semi-gloss). If the remaining stain has any sheen, it should be sanded (just enough to knock off the gloss) to ensure your new top-coat adheres properly. Otherwise no sanding necessary, the solid-color stain should cover any leftover color from the old stuff. Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


There's rarely a reason not to sand other than the effort and minimal cost involved. It will usually result in a better final result to sand.

You get varying advice because every project is different. You haven't shown any photos, nor have you described the condition or age of your wood or the products you intend to use. With all those factors, how can you expect a clear, black-and-white answer? It's really a matter of prerogative.

  • I would agree sanding will provide a better or more uniform finish. If the deck is in really good shape it may not need sanding but many do.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 14:52

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