Floor Sander on a Deck: Sanding Without Ruining Your Wooden Deck

People who want to sand down a wooden deck are often confused when they go to the hardware store for the first time.

To fix or fix up a wooden floor deck, you can use a lot of different machines and tools. A floor sander on a deck can be one of the methods to retreat the look of your terrace.

Then, how exactly can you do this deck maintenance? Get all the info about it below.

Can You Use a Floor Sander on a Deck?

When it comes to whether floor sanders on the deck are possible or not, the answer is a yes; you can use this method to retreat your deck. Many people choose this method to help their deck to look like a brand new one. Some places also provide floor sander service.

However, before deciding to use this method, you should consider several things, such as the type of floor sander, the budget, and the time. When you cannot choose the floor sander on your deck, you can choose another method like stripping to retreat it.

Type of Floor Sander for a Deck

You may find several types of sanders for refinishing hardwood floors in your area. Make sure you know those types before you choose the best sander for a deck.

1. Belt Sander

This sander is powerful to remove stains, finishes, and smooth high spots. Maximum sanding performance on wood, plastic, or metal. For fast sanding of large surfaces.

They are bigger than orbital sanders and have a square shape. At the bottom are two parallel rollers where the strip of sandpaper is put. The job of these rollers is to turn the abrasive, which, when moving, makes it possible to sand large surfaces in the direction of the grain.

It’s one of the best sanders you can buy. It has a lot of power, works quickly, and is perfect for hard work on large surfaces. It does rough sanding but isn’t very accurate, so you shouldn’t use it on furniture or surfaces with curves.

Typical uses include grinding and sanding large surfaces like raw wood, full boards, and beams. They can also be used to remove old paint or wax from doors and shutters, especially plain and simple, or to sand wood floors like parquet when the varnish needs to be removed and the floor’s original look restored.

2. Orbital Sander

Orbital floor sander on the deck is commonly used for finishing, removing little material. Consisting of a square or circular sanding pad, the machine will move in a small orbital pattern. Although it takes more time to use the sander, it causes less damage.

This type of sander is also called a vibrating sander because it sands by vibrating and turning on itself in an oscillating motion that makes smooth scratch-free sanding. It has a rough base that moves back and forth. They are very common sanders because they can be used for many different things, are easy to use, and work well. They are best for medium-sized surfaces.

It is mainly used for semi-finishing work, such as sanding medium-sized pieces, such as boards, door frames, skirting boards, straight-line furniture, etc.

There are two shapes for the plates: rectangular (suitable for working on flat surfaces) and triangular (specific for sanding corners).

3. Random orbital sander

Also called rotor orbital. Of great power, versatility, and resistance, this type of sander performs eccentric movements, both rotating and oscillating. It turns around an axis that is not in the center but is slightly displaced.

When you use coarse sandpaper and sand in a circle, you can work on large surfaces and remove a lot of wood. It would be best if you used fine-grain sandpaper to make the final touches on a job.

The flexible plate can polish and shine curved surfaces and edges. It is also used to sand doors with decorations and moldings or surfaces with many layers of paint that need to be removed because it is so good at roughing up surfaces.

4. Edge or Triangle Sander

An edge sander, known as a hand-held sander, will be the best choice to sand each edge that is hard to reach by other sanders. To sand corners, edges, small holes or other places that are difficult to access. Perfect sanding with ease. However, it can cause severe damage when you cannot use it properly.

What is the difference between an orbital and an eccentric (random) orbital sander?

The movement is the main difference between the two types of sanders. In orbital sanders, the vibration of the skate is the movement. On the other hand, the eccentric ones add a circle to that movement. This makes each of them better for a specific job and the orbital more useful.

Which is better, an orbital or a rotary polisher?

Many people have different ideas about it. We recommend an orbital polisher, especially if the user is a beginner, and a rotary polisher only if the user is a professional with training and experience.

What kind of use are you going to put the sander through?

The type of tool chosen depends on how often it will be used.

Professional: For daily, continuous use requires a lot of power and is suitable for many jobs, including large surfaces and the hardest ones.

Superior: For the most experienced and picky do-it-yourselfers who need to do many different jobs around the house.

Medium: for regular use and jobs that come up now and then.

Simple: for one-time, specific, or small jobs.

Which One is Better, Sanding or Stripping the Wood Deck?

Sanding and stripping the wood deck are the two popular methods to maintain your deck. Both ways will effectively remove varnish and paint. In this case, you need to choose the best method for your deck.

Stripping the Wood Deck

Stripper is more efficient for deck maintenance when it talks about the labor and tools needed. This method requires less effort than sanders. However, it is occasionally dangerous to use. Sometimes, the technique also causes stains on the deck.

The stripper itself is a great choice when you plan to get a darker stain. Besides, a stripper can be the right decision for an enormous deck. Even though it needs a higher cost, you will get faster work.

Sanding the Wood Deck

Meanwhile, sanding will give you a smooth and long-lasting finish, even though it requires additional time and labor. This consistent result can be your consideration for choosing this method to retreat your deck look. Sanding is also a better choice if you have a flat deck and when there is less penetration.

Pros and Cons Using a Floor Sander on Deck

Applying them to your deck, like other methods, may find advantages and disadvantages. Find those pros and cons below.


  • Better absorption of the stain

Compared to other methods, sanding the wood deck has better absorption of the stain. It is good because your wood deck will look like a new one.

  • Smoother and long-lasting

Besides, the result of the sanding is a smoother and long-lasting finish. In addition, you don’t need to do any often maintenance after this treatment.

  • Fewer slivers

Fewer slivers on the wood deck after sanding becomes another good thing you will get. It means that the maintenance will keep your deck looking good.


  • Labor-intensive

Sander on a deck needs a professional worker and machine. It relates to the budget for providing this deck maintenance.

  • Taking time

Using a floor sander on a deck takes more time than choosing another deck maintenance method, especially when you have a large terrace.

  • You cannot do this maintenance method many times

Since a floor sander on a deck will cause the deck screw or nail head to be exposed. That is why you cannot do this maintenance method many times.

How to sand decking to get good results

You don’t need a good maintenance product to sand a wooden deck outside. This only happens after a stain has been put on the wood. The stain creates a layer that flakes off, forcing the wood to remove what’s left.

Another reason to sand the wood is that it hasn’t been taken care of. It may have turned gray because it has lost moisture or because fungi have been growing on it.

Wood stains and oils are the right things to use to keep outdoor flooring in good shape

  • None of them need to have the outside floor sanded.
  • The difference between the two is the finish it gives the wood.

The advantage of staining is that it has a pigment that makes it more protective. Also, if the floor loses color in the areas that get the most sun, we know we need to go back and add another coat of the product.

If you want a natural finish, oil is the best choice. In this case, the wood stain is better if you want a uniform finish.

Using floor sander on a deck in the right way

First, you must choose the right machinery and Should not use orbital or radial sanders. This is because ipe wood, or any other tropical wood, is very hard.

This will mean that we will have to spend a lot of money on sandpaper spare parts, which will use up the whole budget.

Also, orbital or belt sanders don’t have enough power to get rid of the grayish part of the wood. The amount of physical work is enormous, and the results are few.

If you want to sand a wooden deck that hasn’t turned gray, it works better in this case, but the results aren’t always the same.

When the wood is gray, the surface becomes harder. If the product is used, it eats up the maintenance and leaves behind blackened wood. Before using the product, you must get rid of the gray area.

When using a sanding deck, you should move it toward the grain, which is just in the direction of the deck. Nope, straight across the boards.

It is wrong to turn the deck around and make circles on it. When this happens, the surface isn’t very even, and when the maintenance product is used, it shines, and textures are made against the grain.

It is better to stop the machine, move it to the new direction of the deck, and start it up again.

How to maintain an outdoor wooden floor

First, we’ll wash the surface with soap and water using a brush or, if we have one, a pressurized water gun like a Karcher. So, we will get rid of the layer of dirt that is on our outdoor flooring.

Once the wood is dry, we will sweep it and, if needed, sand it with fine-grain sandpaper to eliminate stains that won’t go away.

Last, we’ll use a roller or a brush to spread a thick layer of teak oil on the wood. We can add up to two or three layers if the wood needs it and continues to soak it up.

We won’t ever use varnishes or sealants that dissolve in water. If we did, the layer would crack over time, and we’d have to sand it all off. We could also damage the board and make it warp and curve.

Before we use our outdoor flooring, we will let it dry out. Depending on the installation, such things as how much sun it gets, the weather, etc., will affect how quickly this process goes.

We suggest maintenance at least twice a year, once before summer and once at the end, to keep the wood healthy and in good shape.

Also, we suggest that you water it often during the hottest months of the year. Doing this will protect the wood from getting dry and brittle.