Removing deck "paint"

we have several decks on our house.
They need some love.
I want to put a translucent cabot's stain on them, but...
They are convered it a grayish "paint" that appears to be a latex. Which sucks for a deck that gets beaten with Calif sun and winter rains (no snow to speak of - 1 slush storm in the last 2 years that left 1/2" for an hour).
With a garden hose washing off dirt, SOME Of the paint will come up. Hence my desire to replace it. But short of using a scraper on my hands and knees for days (4 decks around the house), what are my options?
I'm not sure of what the wood is. I might be redwood or something else.
1"x6" boards.
I'm worried that a power wash would harm the wood.
That said, I chatted with a contractor who is an ex-painter who was working on a driveway project. As we were waiting for an inspector and having a coffee, he suggested that I might look at some of the new plastics that have come out and just REPLACE the wood planks. Very costly to do and I'd like to avoid it on most of these decks for now.
While I could re-do these with the same thing, they really should be stripped first. I'd like transparent, but could live without it if I need to cover a little bit of remaining color that would be there.
Thoughts?
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this is why I disagree with Consumer Reports recommendation of solid color stains..... how do you remove them from a deck before re-staining as directions say. In your case you are trying to remove completely to use semi-transparent stain. Probably impossible but Home Depot and Lowes sell some stuff to try.

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snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com says...

You can easily sand them off using a floor sander. See my other post.
Regards,
George Wenzel
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George Wenzel, B.A. (Criminology)
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says...

I'm in the process of re-doing my deck. I rented a floor sander from Home Depot (total cost $77 for the rental and purchase of the sandpaper and backing pads). My 12' by 20' deck took about 4 hours to sand down to bare wood, removing two layers of paint/stain (not sure which).
Regards,
George Wenzel
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Be sure to wear dust protection since the dust is toxic.

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snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com says...

Only if the wood is treated. Plain sawdust from non-treated lumber isn't toxic.
Regards,
George Wenzel
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George Wenzel, B.A. (Criminology)
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Can be sensitizing.
On Sat, 14 Aug 2004 22:21:38 -0600, George Wenzel

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snipped-for-privacy@recursor.invalid says...

Forgot one thing - it might be toxic if you're sanding old paint that contains lead. Depends on how old the deck is, I suppose.
Regards,
George Wenzel
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George Wenzel wrote:

1994 :) 1997 on a side deck.
I think it's safe unless they sought and FOUND lead paint. But then, I'd not have to repaint if it was lead (that stuff lasted forever and looked good).
This is the first time it's been repainted.
Looking UNDER, I see no markings about treated or not. it's color makes me THINK it's redwood (which would make sense given the Bay Area and that I'm 2 miles from some sizable trees (and holes from 600 year old trees removed to build SF 150 years ago).
Sanding it is.
Thanks.
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Use a floor sander but countersink nails first, or use chemical remover. But many woods darken ugly, there is a reason why it was painted. try a small area to see if the wood is nice and stain it. Sanding will remove most water damage but maybe you will have to stain it dark to look good. It is an experiment.
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