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!