Ask a question

The Bunnings Workshop community can help with your home improvement projects.

How to sand & stain my weathered timber deck?

Just Starting Out

How to sand & stain my weathered timber deck?

Hi there,


I recently bought and moved into a house with a 5m x 3m timber deck on the upstairs floor (the carport is directly beneath it), and the deck looks like it hasn't been taken care of very well, it's looking weathered with grey and thirsty looking areas, uneven and patchy staining, and has several scratches from furniture and possibly a dog.


After looking at posts on this site and others, I thought I might be able to get away with just vigorously cleaning with Intergrain Deck Cleaner, and then apply 2 or 3 coats of Intergrain Deck Stain (in Merbou colour).

However after doing the clean the other day, the deck looks even worse for wear, and the scratches and patchiness of the previous stain are very apparent (see attached images).

I'm thinking now I probably need to sand the whole thing back to bare timber.

The upright posts also have wire balustrades running through them, which don't look to be easy to take out and reassemble without re-crimping(?) the wires, so I am hoping to avoid having to take those wires out.


My questions are:

  • based on the attached pics, am I right in thinking I really do need to sand the whole thing back, re-do the deck clean, and then and only then apply the coats of stain?
  • in terms of sanding:
    • I'm pretty sure I will need to punch in almost every single nail (there are many) as they are nearly all protruding somewhat from the level of the deck
    • should I hire a floor sander or a handheld belt sander for the main deck?
    • to sand the upright posts without removing the wire balustrades, could I use a detail sander or an orbital sander maybe that can fit between and around the wires?
    • for the horizontal railings, should I use a belt sander for these?

Thanks for any advice on the matter, I'm not hell bent on doing a perfect job on this, but I would hate to go through the whole staining process and still see all the scratches and unevenness of the previous stain enshrined under it.

I if the uprights are going to be too tricky to sand without taking the wires out too I'm also ok with leaving those and just doing the main deck and the horizontal railings.


Apologies for any wrong nomenclature, I'm pretty new to the DIY world :smile:




Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to sand & stain my weathered timber deck?

Hello @Chats83 


Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. It's sensational to have you join us, and thanks for sharing your question about sanding and staining your deck.


In order for the stain to properly penetrate your timber decking, it will be necessary to sand the entire surface of your deck. I'm aware that you are not after a full detailed revamp, but I'm afraid it will be necessary to do a proper sanding of the surface, or you will get a patchy finish on your deck.


I suggest hiring an Orbital Floor Sander along with a Floor Edger. This will remove all the old stains on the timer surface. It will be necessary to punch in all the nails on the deck to prevent tearing the sanding pads on the sander. As for the posts a detail sander should be enough to remove the old stains without having to remove the wire balustrades.


Here is a link to our best advice: How do you stain a weathered deck?


Here are some handy step-by-step guides:



I also suggest having a look at these projects by Bunnings Workshop community members:





If you have any other questions we can help with, please let us know.




See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!

Why join the Bunnings Workshop community?

Workshop is a friendly place to learn, get ideas and find inspiration for your home improvement projects