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diyerinatl 05-20-2012 04:38 PM

Rejuvinating a deck
I have a weathered deck, 2X6 pressure treated pine installed with spiral shank galvanized nails. I am thinking about setting the nails about 1/4 inch and then sanding or planing the surface of the boards. What do you think? What is the best tool to set the nails? The trim carpentry nail sets seem too small for this.


user1007 05-20-2012 05:31 PM

You can find a larger diameter nail set but those type nails may fight being set down under the surface.

Also, you sure you don't want to see what the boards look like on the other side before committing to resurfacing the exposed side? You might be better off flipping them over.

firehawkmph 05-20-2012 06:10 PM

if you decide to set the nails, get a drift punch made for automotive use. They have different diameter ends and are larger than a nail set. As far as flipping the boards, I've never seen that done with any success. If the deck was nailed with spiral shanked hot dipped galvanized nails, they usually break before they pull out. Set your nails and get a large belt sander (4") and a handful of rough grit belts. You can clean things up pretty well with that, depending on how big your deck is.
Mike Hawkins:)

user1007 05-20-2012 06:41 PM

Mike, agree with you except that sometimes flipping the boards works out. Given the spiral nails it would be a chore and they would probably have to be cut off with a saws all or something.

What worries me is that the OP is starting with treated pine which is pretty soft to start. I guess success depends on how bad the surface is. Since the OP is suggesting sinking the nail heads 1/4" I guess I assumed he was thinking of sanding or somehow power planing off a fair amount? The good news if this is the case is that the wood is soft pine and it could go fairly fast.

robertcdf 05-20-2012 07:35 PM

A 40D or 60D nail with the end blunted makes a fairly good nailset for larger nails.

diyerinatl 05-20-2012 08:29 PM

Thanks for the replies. Good ideas on the nail set. The deck boards have grooves on the underside that I think are intended to minimize warping. Flipping is not an option.


jaydevries 05-20-2012 09:23 PM

most of the time a good pressure washer and the right tip will clean them right up the reseal the deck after a few days of drying. if it is real bad after that you can let dry and use a floor sander "can be rented" to smooth out as needed then seal

House Engineer 05-20-2012 09:56 PM

Good luck on your project! I tried to do the same thing. My decking was too cracked and the sanding was not coming out too well. So I ripped off the decking and installed composite decking with stainless steel screws. I pre-drilled and used a countersink bit for all the screws. It looks awesome and I'm happy I went that route.

hand drive 05-21-2012 07:47 AM

you might want to do a sanding test run before committing to nail setting all of those. as mentioned above, the idea of using a 20,40,or 60d nail for a punch is great! for my nail punch I start out with a smaller trim type punch and after use it wears down and turns into a regular size punch. a tip for punching nails- at the time the deck was built the nail is not always driven in perfectly vertical when driven so try and determine if the nail head is on an angle and drive the punch in at the angle of the nail head. also, sometimes after the first slam with the punch, the nail head will bend one way and the nail the other. use the punch on an angle and try and straighten the nail back up and then redrive/punch it down directing the point of the punch against the raised side of the bent nail head. hope that made sense.

puttster 05-21-2012 08:05 AM

Pressure washer can chew up that soft wood, though there is no other good way to get the mildew off, if that is the problem. Well, sanding I guess.

diyerinatl 05-21-2012 04:09 PM

House engineer, I looked at composite and liked everything about it except the expense. I used a belt sander on about a square foot to see how it would work on a small space. I think it will be fine.

Hand drive, Yes that made sense. There are definatley a number of nails that were not driven straingt. I thinkt I can set them with a large blunted nail. I will just grind the end off.

I already pressure washed. The part that is under cover looks great. I want to remove the shallow grooves that are all over the part exposed to the sun. I think this will work and make it look much like it did when it was new.

Thanks for all the help!

kwikfishron 05-21-2012 04:28 PM

199 Attachment(s)
Rent a belt floor sander.

It will make real quick work of it.

Ravenworks 05-21-2012 04:32 PM


Originally Posted by puttster (Post 925680)
Pressure washer can chew up that soft wood, though there is no other good way to get the mildew off, if that is the problem. Well, sanding I guess.

You need to be careful,been doing mine every 3 years for awhile now.

hand drive 05-22-2012 08:22 AM

It is great you have it figured out! please post before and after pics if you have time to do so

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