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Old 07-10-2008, 07:04 AM   #1
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Sanding and Finishing a New Deck??

What's the best way to sand a new deck? Should I just use a belt sander or can I rent something bigger that would be more efficient? The deck is about 400 sq. ft. Also, what finishing products does everyone recommend for cedar? I think I want to keep the natural wood color and just us a clear sealer. Any suggestions? Thanks,



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Old 07-10-2008, 03:49 PM   #2
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For sanding the deck, I've rented a floor drum sander before when refinishing decks and it worked well, as long as the nails/screws were set below the surface, and you take care not to gouge the wood with the drum. Otherwise, I just use my 6" Festool random orbital sander.
As far as clear finishes for a deck, I don't recommend them. I've yet to see a clear finish that either protected the wood from the weather, or didn't fail after the first year. I'm an advocate of solid stains, as they provide the most protection for a deck. Just my opinion, fwiw.


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Old 07-12-2008, 08:18 AM   #3
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Orbital sanders are the way to go, forget drum sanders...Orbitals use a sheet of self-adhesive sandpaper that costs about $5 a sheet. I used three sheets of 36-grade coarse sandpaper to remove a solid stain that had deteriorated in about 3 seasons.

IMO solid stains, that lie on the surface, although they protect better from the suns rays, tend to crack and peel because of the physical expansion and contraction of the wood. Use a penetrating sealer to protect the subsurface from water and contains a UV filter. But leave the surface alone - unless you like painted wood of course...
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses guys. I think I'll go with an orbital sander and a clear sealer. I like the look of the raw cedar contrasted with the white vinyl railing. I'll post pics when its all done.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:49 PM   #5
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Message to leroy

Hopefully this isn't too late but be sure to use what they call fast and deep pentrating oil based stain on your cedar deck. With cedar if you use a clear stain/sealer the cedar will turn grey within 8-12 months. You need to use a pure oil based stain with at least a little bit of tint in it. Cedar decks need to be refinished every 2-3 years. Brands to use; Ready Seal, Baker's Grey Away, Total Wood Protection and Cabot's Australian Timber Oil although it can be really expensive.

Last edited by npanco; 07-24-2008 at 07:53 PM.
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