Sanding Cedar Deck Boards: New Decks 

Sanding cedar deck boards is a fundamental step in deck preparation.  In addition to creating a smooth surface that feels good under bare feet, it’s important for proper stain absorption. Sanding opens the grains and removes any surface glazing that might remain from the milling process. 

We recommend using a random orbital sander to speed up the process. A drum type floor sander could damage the deck if it’s not used properly.

What is Mill Glaze? 
If you look at new cedar deck boards, you might notice a sheen or glossy film on the surface. That’s mill glaze. The machines used to cut boards spin at high speeds, resulting in high temperatures. When the hot knives come into contact with the surface, the sugars in the wood react creating a film. If the glaze is not removed, stain will not properly penetrate through the surface. 

Tips for Sanding Cedar Decks 

Choose the Right Grit & Tools 

Selecting the appropriate grit for sanding is essential. For cedar deck boards, use a coarse grit (around 60-80). We recommend using a random orbital sander with 60-grit and finishing with a 80-grit if needed to remove circular marks. 

We don’t recommend using a drum type flooring sander because it’s very easy to over sand areas resulting in an uneven surface. 

Check the Weather Forecast 

Wait for a stretch of clear weather before sanding. You want to be able to sand and stain your deck before rain arrives.  

Order Pre-sanded Deck Boards 

Sanding can be time-consuming. If you want to streamline this part of the deckbuilding building process, consider opting for pre-sanded deck boards. Most retailers don’t offer cedar deck board pre-sanded, but since we have a mill onsite, we can run boards through our commercial drum sander prior to delivery. This is a low-cost option that saves a lot of time (and headaches!) on-site. 

Interested in learning more about this service? Give us a call and one of our salespeople would be happy to answer any of your questions.  

Streamline Your Deck Project  

As a working mill and lumber supplier, there are additional ways we can streamline your deck project: 

1. Grooves for Hidden Fastening Systems 

Integrating a hidden fastening system can significantly enhance the look of a deck by eliminating visible screws. Our mill can easily add grooves for the most popular hidden fastening systems, allowing you to save time during installation and achieve a cleaner, more polished look. 

2. Factory-Applied Finishing 

For the ultimate time-saving solution, consider a factory-applied finishing option. Pre-stained cedar deck boards accelerate the installation process and offer extra protection against the elements, ensuring a longer lasting and resilient deck.  

Sanding your deck boards is essential to ensure a smooth surface, better stain absorption, and a longer lifespan for the deck. With our additional in-house milling options, you can elevate your deck installation to a new level of efficiency and quality. 

Contact us to learn more or to place an order.