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How to sand deck boards

Wooden decks are an asset to the exterior of any home. Just as with the rest of the homes' exterior, a wooden deck must be properly maintained to preserve its beauty and increase its lifespan. Part of the maintenance is sanding deck boards. Over time, deck boards may become splintered, stained or damaged. Sanding the deck boards will even them out and make a neat, even surface to apply a sealer or stain, or simply to keep them smooth.

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  1. Clean the deck boards thoroughly. Use a deck cleaner and scrub brush to removing dirt and debris from the deck. Repair any boards that are loose and secure any loose nails or screws.

  2. Rent an orbital sander to make sanding the deck easier and less tiresome. Although you can sand deck boards by hand, it is a lot of extra work and will take a significant amount of time, especially if you are covering a large surface area.

  3. Place a large piece of 36-grit sandpaper onto the floor of the deck. Place a piece of one-inch thick nylon matting on top of the sandpaper.

  4. Tilt the sander back and roll it directly onto the sandpaper. Place it back into the upright position and lock the handle into place.

  5. Power on the sander and begin moving it slowly over the deck boards. Work in sections about 100 square feet or less. Continue running the sander back and forth over each section until the boards are at the level you desire. Avoid letting the sander sit in one spot for any length of time as this will remove a lot of wood quickly.

  6. Power off the sander after each section is completed and sweep away the dust from sanding. Continue sanding in 100 foot sections until all of the deck boards have been sanded as desired.

  7. Go over the deck boards with a finer sandpaper, such as 80 or 120 grit, if you desire. The finer grit sandpaper will smooth out the surface of the deck boards further.

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Things You'll Need

  • Deck cleaner
  • Scrub brush
  • Hammer
  • Orbital sander
  • 36-grit sandpaper
  • 1-inch thick nylon matting
  • Broom
  • 80 or 120-grit sandpaper

About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.

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