Tuesday, October 9, 2012

All Hands on Deck

While I've been cooking, Craig has been sanding the deck.

He started the deck refinishing project the week before we went to Yosemite by renting an orbital sander.  Unfortunately he and that sander did not get along and he promptly returned it!

When we got back from our trip he spent most of a week trying to hire someone to come and do the sanding for us. But it seems the local "Deck Doctor"  doesn't sand decks, and would not recommend anyone who did. He said he just does repairs and stains without sanding.

We had the decks replaced some years ago, and at the time we stained them with an oil base stain.  We were told we would need to sand them and re-stain every few years to keep them looking good.  But time flies by, and except for sanding and re-staining the top surface of the rails we have not done anything to them. Over the years the stain has faded, worn off, and the wood has discolored in places.  If we just put on more stain the discolored areas turn black.

Last week Craig rented a drum sander and it worked much better for him.  

In one afternoon he sanded the upper deck and part of the lower deck.  About 450 square feet.  Enough to start with.

He then worked with his belt sander on the edges.
He sanded for several days.

On this day the weather was a bit cool in the morning. A reminder that winter is coming and soon it will be time to shift to indoor projects.

Finally it was time to stain. 

I applied the stain with a roller one board at a time. 

Then Craig wiped off the excess. 

Working together we finished the areas he had sanded in one day.

Before he sands the rest of the flat deck area, which is mostly under cover, Craig is going to work on the two flights of stairs, and the small deck outside the kitchen door. He wants to see if he can buy a larger belt sander for that.

It's hard to believe the railings were once the same shade of "redwood" as the deck is now.

My knees are old, and I cannot kneel without great discomfort. But I can sit, and so I am now in charge of sanding the railings with a hand sander.  

Only 516  2"x 2" upright rails! 

I'm pretty sure I won't finish until spring. I will work on them section by section. Sanding and staining as I go. Working when the weather allows.

I couldn't find a pair of goggles to protect my eyes from the sawdust, so I dug up the ones I used for skiing. Maybe I should use this for a new profile picture! 


  1. Wow, you've been busy!!

    That last photo is hilarious.

  2. Holy Cr*p that's a lot of sanding!
    As they say in Jamaica, *respect*

    We'll (well, I should say *I*) will have some similar work to do when we get back to our house in Canada. I can't say I'm really looking forward to it.
    I've used a floor sander enough to not have any issues with that, but ours is all beams and ceilings and stuff. *sob*
    I don't even want to think about it.

  3. You guys sure have a lot of energy & patience for sanding & staining but if nobody else will do it I guess you have no choice. The deck is looking good........

  4. Wow, that is a LOT of work! Our house projects look simple in comparison. You guys are doing a great job staying motivated and keeping at it. I know it is not easy to maintain that over time. I got so sick of doing house projects all the time.

  5. Now that is an outstanding look you have there. You'll be rivaling Donna Cave with your ensemble! :)

  6. Your place is going to look so wonderful you won't want to sell it. Love the picture. The mask looks like a duck bill. Too funny :)

  7. that picture gets my vote for your new profile pic!

  8. Haha a good use for ski goggles :)
    Knowing how big your deck is, I think I would be overwhelmed. Staining/sanding decks is a big job in itself. Good work..

  9. Um, no. Keep your profile photo as is. LOL!

    Whew! That's a lot of work.

  10. LOVE your new look! (And the deck looks awesome!)

  11. Your deck looks great. I know you are proud after all the hard work is done.
    Hey a new bank robber look! :)

  12. 516 rail posts!!! Geez whiz, that's a lotta sanding. At least you have the proper outfit for it. Hilarious (the outfit, not the work).

  13. Oh my gosh I would find that overwhelming and I would retreat to my bed or maybe go camping. Good for you both for keeping at it - I'm really impressed. The results are well worth it.

    BTW - I think I'm going to stick with plastic when we build ours!

  14. I can't imagine having to do all the work you guys have done, and still have to do.

    LOVE the new profile photo. :)


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