All day Saturday we spent sanding each part of the deck, and also sanding and sealing our table and chairs that go on the deck. Like the deck, our furniture was overdue for a refinish. On Sunday, we applied a coat of stain to all parts of the deck.
It was a TON of work, and both Mark and I had aches and pains in new places when it was all done. But now it's done and drying. It was a huge project on our list for a year now, and at last it is done. What appeared to be a ratty, creaky, old deck, ready to be replaced, now looks almost new, and feels very solid to walk on.
We let the kids use the power sanders on the deck while we sanded the railings and sunk all the screws. As you can see, almost all of the original red stain is gone from erosion. What is more, a lot of the screws were sticking up 1/4 inch above the wood, the boards creaked, and the grain of the wood was so weathered it was as bumpy as a washboard.
Just sinking the screws made an immediate difference. The floor no longer creaked and shifted, and we could move around without catching on screw heads.
Mark used a belt sander for some of the railings, but others were so bad he had to use a hand planner.
There is something very satisfying about using a sharp hand plane. It is like popping bubble sheets.
We rented a big floor sander for the day. It took five sandings of the whole deck (about 8 hours) to get it flat and smooth.
While Mark sanded the floor of the deck, I sanded and stained our table and chairs. It was harder work then you'd think. We re-coat our teak furniture every spring, so there was 3 years of weathered varnish to get off.
On Sunday we stained, starting with the railing and detail work.
In the 2nd half of Sunday, we started coating the floor with rollers on poles. We were racing the clock at this point since it was supposed to rain that evening. Our stain was oil-based, so it wouldn't wash away, but it needed to have enough time to absorb and dry in the wood so that the finish didn't look muddled.
The finished deck. It is not completely dry yet, so it looks darker and shinier then the final result.
Hooray! A big project done!