A summer vacation home I use in Maine has an open 12' x 24' wood porch with multiple layers of Cabot solid color oil deck stain, and I'm planning on re-staining it. The stain is cracking and flaking near the edge of the porch, probably where it's covered in snow for much of the winter:
However, the majority of the porch (away from the rail) looks just fine (yeah, could use cleaning):
I've gone at the loose areas with a hand-held scraper; some of it comes up easy, some comes up hard, and some not at all:
I'd like to know: how far should I go in getting the old stain up? Should I instead be renting a sander? The priority is for the results to be durable, although it would be nice for it to look good.