I have a deck that's maybe 10 years old and the previous owners used paint instead of stain. I want to remove the paint and I already started with the Behr Premium Stain and Finish Remover, but it's not removing every coat in each area. I was wondering if I should use a Belt or an Orbital Sander to complete the job.

This all started because the railings weren't up to code so I tore them down and I decided to redo the entire deck, because it was peeling.

Before & After Behr Deck Stripper

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  • These are before and after photos of the Deck Behr Stain & Finish Remover. Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 15:12
  • In my experience it's not an either/or deal. Use stripper to get as much off as possible and then sand off the rest with a big drum sander as someone said below. An orbital sander will be a waste of time, and it will leave 'orbit' marks you don't want. If you you do it by hand with say a 180mm disc sander/grinder you risk not getting your deck even and level, having patches with changes in gradation and divots. Use a big puppy on wheels and get it right. No matter what just stripping alone won't be sufficient, you will have to sand.
    – Benjamin R
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 9:59
  • Thanks Benjamin, I'm renting a drum sander from Home Depot this afternoon evening for a day. Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 12:25

2 Answers 2


The wood looks to be in good shape; this is fortunate. I think your best bet is to use a large drum sander from a rental place; just make sure all the nails/screws are sunk below the level of the boards. If you use small power tools, it will take a lot of time, effort, and sandpaper. If you plan to re-use the spindles and they are painted, a grinder worked better for me than any orbital or belt sander.

  • The spindles are gone as well, But a large drum sander would be my best option? Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 16:06
  • In my opinion it is. But I'm not a professional, so a pro weighing in couldn't hurt. Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 16:55

I have used a gurney on my decking taking away old paint comes up a treat Remember not to get to close if it is a powerful one as this could start ripping up the timber You can purchase a decent one from Bunnings for around $200 then I'm sure your use it on other areas as well

  • I am not familiar with a 'gurney'. What is a gurney?
    – DAdkins
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 14:44

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