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I've been told I can not strip this stain off and need to sand it off. The spindles can stay as they're in good shape still. It's about 800 sq feet plus stairs. What would be the best and most time effective way to tackle this? What would be the best sander and paper grit? enter image description here

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That looks like paint to me. Anyway, I don't ow why you wouldn't be able to strip that off. I've done very similar jobs with great results. Get some of your favorite stripper and try a small section. I think you'll be surprised at the results.

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  • Thank you for your comment. It is Sherwin Williams SuperDeck Stain, Semi-solid. I was going to use Restore-a-Deck to strip it, but their customer service advised me that it was a solid, regardless of what the can says and that I have to sand it off. – karla May 7 at 16:56
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Solid-color stain is very similar to paint in appearance. I'm not sure why it wouldn't be strippable, though. That said, it would take a lot of stripper for that deck. I'd probably rent a floor sander (plate type, not drum type). Use a medium grit so you don't have such a hard time removing sander marks with fine grit later.

That and a random-orbit sander for the shoulders of the boards should do the job. Eventually.

You might try stripper for the railing, though, or simply replace the balusters.

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