sanding the deck questions


Old 08-15-04, 12:50 PM
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sanding the deck questions

We have already stripped our decks. One of them we have already brightened, but not the other two. I had a conversation with the Cabot customer support rep where he suggested we try sanding our deck to improve the absorption/penetration of the stain. So.... we are lightly sanding the deck that we already brightened, using a 80-100 grit sandpaper (as suggested by Cabot). Don't know if it matters, but we are using a belt sander.

My questions:
- if we sand the stripped deck, do we still need to brighten it? And, if so, do we brighten it before or after sanding it?

- how do we know how "deep" we should be sanding to get the best stain penetration?

- And, are there other things we can do that will increase the stain penetration for our deck? We've stripped everything, so I don't think there's any leftover old stain (not to mention, it was 8 year old stain).


Last edited by cksck; 08-15-04 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 08-17-04, 11:11 AM
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Ummm... can anyone answer my questions?
Old 08-18-04, 06:12 AM
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have a little patience

The deck experts are pretty busy this time of year. Give them a little more time to answer.

Not sure what you mean by "brightened". Do you mean cleaned it?

You don't need to sand it very deep. Just a light sanding to remove any old finish/crud that would be on the surface.
Watch the nails/screws when sanding.
Old 08-19-04, 09:44 AM
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> The deck experts are pretty busy this time of year. Give them a little more time to answer.


We used a cleaner/brightener for our redwood decks. We went ahead and brightened the one that we already sanded and it looks good. Haven't stained it yet, so can't say anthing about that yet.

I've heard conflicting advice on what grit sandpaper to use when sanding. Cabot said 80-100, other folks have said 60-80. What we want is to increase penetration of the stain into the wood, so, any thoughts on what grit to use?
Old 08-19-04, 03:02 PM
Everett Abrams
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When washing a deck with a stripper you should apply the brightener immediately after while the deck is still wet. This does many things including neutralizing the surfaces for better adherence. If using an oxalic based brightener it will be quick acting and you will notice "missed areas" quickly. It also opens up the pores of the wood and will remove any iron stains you may have.

A belt sander is better than an orbital because you do everything with the grain of the wood. An orbital sander will go against the grain as well. From experience I have never sanded to open up pores of the wood. You try to do as little sanding as possible and not change the character of the wood. If you are sanding, light as recommended. I have seen too many homeowners sand their decks and have issues. They sand in spots and areas and not the entire deck and after sealing can't understand why it appears blotchy or different all over. It is because you have changed the wood texture in those sanded areas therefore, when sealed that issue is accentuated because of different penetration rates.

Sorry it too so long for an answer!

Last edited by Everett Abrams; 08-19-04 at 03:03 PM. Reason: spelling
Old 08-21-04, 10:39 AM
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Thanks for the info!

> Sorry it too so long for an answer!

No worries! On most forums, once a message slides down off the top of the new posts list, it means it won't be discussed. So, I just assumed that was true of this forum and got worried it had slid past folks. Thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it.

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