I'd like to sand my deck, put in many years ago by someone else, so
that I can stain it. Currently there are a couple of layers of paint
peeling in many spots. I tried to use sodium hydroxide, but that
didn't work well. I also tried a pressure washer and quickly learned
that I would end up with a fuzzy deck.
I believe that sanding is my best option.
However, I'm not sure what kind of wood it is made from. I believe it
is cedar, but wouldn't want to sand it if it is made from pressure
treated wood which can contain arsenic.
Can someone please help me to identify the wood? It should be obvious
for anyone who knows wood from the pictures I took showing the grain:
Your best bet would be to remove one board and
take it to a lumber yard.
1. The yard foreman should be able to identify the
timber and its age, thus tell you whether it would have
been treated, and if so with what.
2. Photos certainly suggest cedar: but
2a. The main reason for using cedar is that (when
properly drained) it needs no copper or arsenic
treatment t preserve it.
2b. Cedar is soft thus unsuitable for paint. It is
usually coated with stain (different from paint in
some respects: ask the timber yard.)
3. Ignorant owners may indeed have painted cedar.
But these deck timbers look well-perserved,
suggesting the deck was well-built and the natural
chemicals in cedar have preserved it well.
Sanding to remove an old/damaged finish is usually
a bad idea for old timber and a bad idea for cedar.
But any deck to be refinished should be lightly
sanded to make it as smooth as possible.
No photo showed how the deck boards were fastened
(e.g. nails or screws or concealed clips.) No photo
showed a ruler for scale so we assume these timbers
are (nominal) 4 inches wide.
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