Stripping and Painting Floor Boards on our Deck

Painting floor boards on our deck took it from a very dark, very well used redwood to a warm, inviting lighter cedar color. Click on the picture to the right to see the old redwood color better. That is our cat, BJ, in the picture.

Cedar is a nice warm color so we decided to sand the old deck to get the dark redwood stain off of it. I would recommend sanding to make the deck floor smoother before you paint even if your deck floor had not been previously painted.

1. First before we sanded, we made sure to drive any protruding nails or screws below the surface.

2. Then we sanded. We used the Clarke floor maintainer. Below is a picture of the Clarke floor mantainer. Also get the adapter, which is a foam pad about one inch thick, and some sanding screen for the actual sanding.

Sandpaper tends to rip off quickly so use the screen. Hang on to this machine as you sand as it has loads of torque. It can be difficult at first then easier to use as you become familiar with how it works. If you have been in the military, you may remember this as the floor buffer used in every government building.

3. After we sanded, some of the original stain remained so we applied deck stripper to further help to get rid of the dark color.

4. After stripping the deck, we washed it again with TSP. Then hand sanded in some of the stubborn spots where the redwood stain remained using a random orbit sander. It made it nice and smooth.

5. Next, we applied the new stain and allowed time for it to dry. Go by the instructions on the can.

NOTE: Don’t forget to also stain the sides and the wood that is visible.

I used a semi-transparent penetrating oil product that offered water clean up. This enhanced the wood grain and had a durable water repellent finish for our painting floor boards. I also used a Wagner DeckMate application device and although it has a cute set of brushes that supposedly apply finish between the boards, I still had to go back with a brush to get it to look the way I wanted.

Dave Altman

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