Looking to stain a deck within the next month. The wood is in good shape, just needs a new coat. I'm hearing that I probably shouldn't sand or even power wash but just take a cleaner to the current wood/stain and then stain again. I did want to get the BBI home improvement expert's opinion though.
sanding depends on condition of the wood. If its in good shape I would not bother. But put two coats of stain on
but when I had a wood deck I'd pressure wash before staining.
Just make sure the setting is low enough you're not going to score the wood. If your deck is soft wood you night need to skip pressure washing.
If you're not going to pressure wash it, I'd at least clean it with a mop and some deck cleaner first.
Sanding I'd skip for an already stained deck you are re-staining. The most I'd do is check for rough spots or areas you think could use sanding and manually sand them with low-grit sand paper (like 60).
Are you using a solid or semi transparent stain?
If solid, I'd recommend using a deck primer first, that way you can skip sanding.
make sure you give it at least a couple days to completely dry out
Things to be aware of:
1) Protect your home with plastic sheeting to prevent the spray from discoloring your paint or siding. The few minutes you spend taping and sheeting will be worth it.
2) If you decide to pressure wash, be careful what tip you use. Use the green tip as that has the right amount of fan @% degrees) and pressure. Avoid the red tip. it is like a laser beam and will scar your wood. If you're not careful, you will 'burn' the wood with marks. Be sure to spray in a fanning motion and never stop the wand on the wood. Wash all the way through like you are sweeping a floor in big strokes.
3) Let it dry completely before applying whatever it is you'll put on next. If you use a paint gun/sprayer, TAPE AND SHEET EVERYTHING! That shit flies everywhere.
4) My bro likes Cabot. Looks really nice provided the wood is in good shape. If the wood is mensa mens, Cabot makes a product called DeckCorrect which is for worn wood. I'm sure there are other cheaper products, but Cabot is the shit.
Hope it goes well, bro!