What is the Easiest Way to Sand a Deck?
Deck maintenance is one of the main ways of prolonging its life by preventing water damage and damage by other weather elements. It also helps to prevent other forms of corrosion due to foot traffic and furniture placement. One of the main ways of maintaining your deck is by cleaning and staining it or oiling it to seal the wood plants or parquets.
And if your deck was previously painted or oiled, you will need to sand it down first before you can reseal the wood. Here is a comprehensive guide you can follow when sanding your deck before oiling, sealing, or painting it.
How to sand wood fast
Before you sand your deck, you must strip it of finishes first to make it easier to sand it evenly. You can use turpentine or a varnish and paint remover to hasten the process. Alternatively, you can use an orbital sander to remove the pain tor varnish finishes before prepping it for resealing.
Prep the deck
Power washthe deck to remove any pollen, bird poop, and debris that is lodged between the boards. This will also help to remove any sticky residue from the deck that may hinder the sanding process. Additionally, it will help to strip the wood of any oils, varnish, or loose paint.
It is vital to fix the deck by patching any holes and adding fasteners to any loose boards. If you need to replace any board, do this before you start the sanding process. The new boards will not need cleaning but may require some sanding.
This will make the sanding process much easier. If you cannot remove all the residue by power washing or do not own a power washer, use wood deck detergent and water to clean the deck.
Sand the wood
Once the wood is completely dry, proceed to use your sander with grit paper 60-80. depending on how much you need to take off the wood. Use a palm sander for sanding the corners and the deck rails and any other areas that the orbital sander will not fit.
Check the wood for evenness and decide whether a second passing is necessary. In most cases, you will not need a second passing unless you need to take off multiple coats of paint or varnish.
If your sander does not have a built-in vacuum and dust collector, use a regular vacuum to clean the deck to ensure there are no impurities on the wood before you start sealing the deck. Seal your wood as soon as possible for even color distribution and proper sealing.
Remember to wear protective clothing to protect yourself from flying wood dust particles. Ensure you wear safety goggles, gloves, knee pads, and a dust mask. Additionally, check that your send is plugged in correctly and the working area of any objects or matter that can lead to an accident.
What grit sandpaper should you use for sanding your deck?
The general rule of thumb is to use sandpaper with grit between 60 and 80. Anything above 100- grit will smooth the wood too much. Such that it will not be able to absorb stain, sealer, oil, or paint. This is because the smooth surface will have closed pores incapable of absorbing any viscous liquids making the sandpaper gum up.
Choosing the best sander
Now that you have a basic understanding of the sanding process, it is critical to ensure that you buy an orbital sander to deliver the best results.
To do this, you will need to buy a high-quality sander capable of handling the type of wood used on your deck. Here are the best sanders for wood decks in the market currently.
Top 4 Best Sanders for Wood Decks
- Makita 9403 4″ X 24″ Belt Sander
- Bosch Power Tools – 1250DEVS
- DEWALT Random Orbit Sander (DWE6421K)
- BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander (BDERO100)
Makita 9403 4″ X 24″ Belt Sander
This Makita belt sander is one of the quietest sanders in the market. and it only produces
84 decibels. It features a 4-inch wide belt with a speed of 1,640 feet per minute for fast material removal. It is built using labyrinth construction that seals the motor and bearings from contamination for increased durability.
The sander has a large front grip that is positioned for operator comfort. It also has an innovative design that enables it to sand flush to the wall using the sander’s nose and side. It has a powerful 11 AMP motor with electronic speed control to maintain constant speed under load.
Additionally, its dust bag swivels 360° for more convenient operation. Its cord is located on the upper portion of the handle for operator convenience, and it is double insulated to prevent bogging down after continuous usage.
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 9 x 16.1 x 9.76 inches
- Grit Type: Medium
- Voltage: 240 volts
- Power Source: Corded Electric
- Weight: 13 pounds
- 4” wide belt
- Labyrinth construction
- Large front grip
- 11AMP motor
- 1-year warranty
- Low noise
- It comes with a dust bag
- Flush sanding to walls
- Double insulated
- Bogs down after continued use
Bosch Power Tools – 1250DEVS
This Bosch electrical orbital sander features dual modes that can be accessed using a simple lever allowing you to switch from random orbital mode to turbo mode. The random orbit mode is ideal for normal sanding, while the or fine finishing and “turbo” mode is perfect for aggressive sanding. It sands five times the rate of the normal random orbit sanding mode.
The sander comes with a powerful 6.5-amp variable-speed motor with load speed ranging from 270 to 600 RPM. The sanding kit comes with a dust tube, soft backing pad, an ambidextrous auxiliary handle, one sanding disc, one pad wrench, and one dampening ring.
It is perfect for sanding wooden floors, finishing furniture, and wood polishing. Its new high-performance microcellular backing pad conforms to contours, which results in a more refined finish. It also lasts up to 5 times longer than conventional pads.
The sander also features an integral pad dampening system that prevents swirl marks. Additionally, its rugged die-cast aluminum gear housing is designed for long life in demanding applications. Lastly, the tapered, soft-grip top and narrow barrel grip are ergonomically designed for maximum comfort.
- Grit Type: Fine
- Voltage: 110 volts
- Cord Length: 8 ft.
- Length: 12 In.
- Weight: 5.3 Lbs
- Mode selector lever
- 6.5 amp motor
- Load speed: 270-600 rpm
- No-load orbit speed: 3,100 – 6,6500 OPM
- 6-inch disc size
- 1-year unconditional Bosch warranty
- Auxiliary handle
- It comes with a pad wrench
- Soft start reduces start-up torque
- Requires a firm grip for continuous sanding action
DEWALT Random Orbit Sander (DWE6421K)
This is one of the best sanders for deck finishing. It features a 3.0-amp motor that spins the pad at 12,000 OPM for faster sanding. Its separate counterweight design reduces vibration for improved comfort while sanding. Additionally, it has a dust-sealed switch to protect against dust ingestion for longer switch life.
The sander’s shorter height also allows the user to get closer to the surface for better results. And the rubber over-mold in all of the sander’s critical areas make it easier to grip when sanding.
The sander also features an improved dust collection system that comes with a one-handed locking dust bag. The dust port is designed to fit directly onto DewaltDWV010 or DWV012 dust collectors.
- Item Dimensions lxwxh: 10.38 x 7.25 x 6.18 inches
- Grit Type: Coarse
- Power Source: Corded Electric
- Amperage Capacity: 3 Amps
- Counterweight design
- Dust-sealed switch
- Dust port
- Hook and loop pad
- 3-amp motor
- 12,000 OPM
- Rubber over-mold grip
- One-handed locking dust bag
- Low vibrations
- Improved dust collection
- The Velcro pad is not durable
BLACK+DECKER Random Orbit Sander (BDERO100)
The Black and Decker sander features random orbital action for a high removal rate and a high-quality finish. Its compact size makes it perfect for DIY projects and easy to carry for small onsite jobs. It is also easy to use on projects that require maneuverability.
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He sander also features a hook and loop system that allows users to make fast and easy paper changes. It has a dust-sealed switch to keep all dust and debris out for increased durability.
- Item Dimensions lxwxh: 7 x 5 x 6 inches
- Voltage: 120 volts
- Power Source: Corded Electric
- Amperage Capacity: 2 Amps
- Hook-and-loop system
- Dust-sealed switch
- Easy paper changes
- High removal rate
- High-quality finish
- Compact size
- The dust collector is defective.
The best sanders for wood decks should have built-in safety features to protect you if the sander slips or malfunctions. It should also work with different sizes and types of sanding disks for sanding other surfaces and area sizes. Lastly, a built-in dust collection system will be an added advantage.