Best way to clean up a badly peeling deck before painting

Floor sander or pressure washer? Or will both work well? Thanks.
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Assume you are talking about a wood, not plastic-composite deck. I would pressure wash and let sit for several days to dry out. Sanding is drastic and reduces the amount of wood flooring and thus the strength of the floor. Maybe one time is ok, but not repeatedly.
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If I am able to clean it up real good with sanding, I am going to try oil based stain. (This is pressure-treated wood but is at least 20 years old.) My experience with latex "stains" is that they act just like paint.
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