How to Use a Belt Sander on a Deck?

How to Use a Belt Sander on a Deck

Among the different types of sanders available around the market, belt sanders are highly popular among users for sanding decks. This is because decks usually have a rough surface with a majority of splinters that require high speed and power for removal, which is the main forte of belt sanders.

Thus, these products are mostly used with coarse sandpapers to achieve a smooth finish for future staining and other related purposes. However, beginners are often unaware of the functionality of these sanders as well as the sanding process. So, this article offers a step-by-step guide on how to use a belt sander on a deck along with various tools that can be used in the process. So, keep reading for more information in this regard.

How to Use a Belt Sander on a Deck?

Tools Required for Sanding

Deck sanding can be a hectic task especially if you lack proper tools and equipment for sanding. With appropriate accessories, you can reduce the time required for sanding to a great extent and achieve the desired results without compromising on any aspect.

Tools Required for Sanding

However, over the years, we have observed that the majority of the users are not extremely familiar with the appropriate sanding tools and their functions and often do not utilize them wisely. Therefore, we have included various pieces of equipment that can be used for sanding.


The first and foremost requirement is the hammer. Similarly, you can also use drills as an alternative to large projects that require additional time and effort. Both these substances have their own functions that reduce the burden on you. The basic task of the drill is to make holes and insert screws into the desired area.


Similarly, a hammer allows you to knock down any loose nails or insert new nails into the wood to secure it properly. We highly suggest using hammers that are made up of fiberglass core because of their high durability and enhanced sturdiness.

Power Washer

A power washer is essential in preparing the wood for sanding. It is used to improve the quality of wood and increase its suitability for sanding.

Power Washer

In most cases, the wood that has been power washed before sanding displays better results than the one that is not pre-treated.

Belt Sander

Belt sanders are specialized tools that perform the actual sanding task. These are characterized by high performance and time efficiency and are generally recommended for large areas that are usually difficult to sand.

Belt Sander

There are other types of sander available in the market as well, each having its own specifications. However, belt sanders are most suited for sanding decks because of their top-notch attributes and remarkable abilities that make them stand out among others.

Steps for Sanding a Deck Using Belt Sander

After you have prepared all the required tools for sanding, the next task is to sand the deck itself. Below we have compiled a brief step-by-step guide on how to use a belt sander on the deck for your convenience. So, keep reading the article if you want to know more about the sanding process.

Step 1: Washing the Deck

As mentioned earlier, power washing is highly useful; before the main sanding activity. It prepares the wood and leads to better results. Washing the wood before sanding can help you view the splinters clearly and eliminate all such problems during the sanding. For this purpose, we suggest keeping the pressure of the washer between 1000 to 2000 PSI for best results.

Washing the Deck

It will not only help you to soak the wood better but will also wash out all the debris and dust that might have build-up on the wooden surface over regular use. Similarly, this optimal pressure also prevents the washer itself from getting damaged and also protects the deck as well. High pressure can easily damage the deck which can lead to future issues. Once you have washed the deck, examine it carefully and look for any cracks on the surface for further treatment. Also check out how to use a belt sander on hardwood floors?

Step 2: Preparing the Deck

Once the deck has been washed, wait for 48 hours before it dries completely. After all the moisture has been evaporated, examine for any loose screws or nails on the deck. Use a hammer or drill to secure them properly before proceeding with the next step.

Step 3: Sanding the Deck

Now it is time to move towards the actual task. We suggest sanding in a downward motion on the exterior surface to achieve a smooth finish. Moreover, for sandpaper, we suggest staying between 60 to 80 grit as it will offer you the best staining output. Using grit higher or lower than this can affect the staining in the long term and can negatively impact your overall result.

Sanding the Deck

As mentioned earlier, the belt sander is mostly recommended for the job because of its ability to quickly sand rough areas. We also suggest sanding the small areas and piles of wood to complete the task as quickly as possible. Also, if you are a beginner make sure to adjust the speed and power of the sander according to your abilities in order to control it properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are belt sanders good for the deck?

Yes, belt sanders offer high power and speed that enable you to sand rough wood surfaces with utmost precision and accuracy. Furthermore, using coarse sandpaper with a belt sander can further improve its performance by effectively removing the dust and debris from unwanted surfaces.

What grit sandpaper should I use to sand a deck?

For decks, it is mostly advised to stay between 60 to 80 grit sandpaper because of its better performance and dust removing abilities. Higher or lower grit than the specified number can lead to staining issues in the future and can significantly impact your performance.

Do you wash the deck after sanding it?

Yes, you should wash the deck before and after sanding it to remove all the unwanted splinters and debris from the wooden surface. Most deck cleaners or deck washes are available around the market for this purpose and allow you to achieve the highest level of cleanliness without affecting the wood. After washing, make sure to dry the wood completely before proceeding towards the next step.

Wrapping Up

Belt sanders are highly useful when it comes to sanding coarse wooden surfaces because of their increased speed and power. Moreover, these products work perfectly with various sandpapers and enable you to achieve a smooth finish in the long term. However, you must be extremely careful with the speed of the sander and must adjust it according to your skills before operating it for better control. Also, remember to wash the wood properly before and after sanding for best results.

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