My deck is about 15 years old. I believe the previous owner stained it only once, when it was built. I've pressure washed it, and now am getting it ready for re-staining. However, a lot of planks have cracked surface, pictured below. What should/can I do to prepare areas like this for re-staining?

cracked surface


Ouch, that looks like a splinter waiting to happen to someone barefooted. You won't like the answer: sand, sand, then sand some more. A belt sander with coarse paper would take it down to smooth pretty quick, then you could switch to a vibrating sander for your medium and fine grit sanding steps.

You might consider renting a commercial type drum or vibrating sander normally used when refinishing hardwood floors, depending on the size of your deck. I would definitely consider it to save my back!

  • What about the random orbit floor sander? The rental cost is about the same as a drum floor sander. I wonder which is better for this job? – Zoomzoom Oct 18 '15 at 14:28
  • Also, what do you think about patching it with wood filler or putty before sanding? – Zoomzoom Oct 18 '15 at 14:54
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    I would wait and see, sanding alone may remove (or reduce to inconsequential) many surface defects. It is an outdoor deck after all, I don't think you or anyone else should expect natural wood to look "perfect". In fact, some of the beauty of wood is the natural distressing and variation, IMO. – Jimmy Fix-it Oct 18 '15 at 16:28

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