My parents’ deck and Juliet balcony was built in the 70’s and definitely looks worse for the wear. It needed a good sand and stain and I got it in my bright head that I was the girl for the job. I’d never refinished a deck before but after a few YouTube videos I was basically an expert. So we collected the materials and tools and I got to work (at 2pm because I was sure it would be quick and easy too!)
The minute I put my safety goggles on I was ready to go. I started with the handrailing using the Mouse hand sander. This wood wasn’t as worn as the floor and was pretty easy going. It says to apply medium pressure but medium pressure for a 6ft man is a lot more work for a 5’4″ woman, but I got it.
I thought the sides, especially the outside one, would be hard but really it got easier to do the longer I did it, even when leaning over the edge. To get the entire railing done took about an hour.
Once it was all sanded, I applied the stain. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so it was hard for me to see all the paint lines and not freak out a bit. But it dries perfectly and beautifully.
I started on the floor but after one board I quickly realized the little hand sander was not the tool for the job.
My dad ran out and became the proud new owner of a belt sander and entrusted it to me. It was much quicker and easier! Be sure to buy 60 or 80 grit belts and plenty of them! For this 9 plank balcony we went through 6 belts and just made it.
If you look at the deck below you can remember just how bad this balcony looked. Sanded, the wood was so beautiful I almost didn’t want to paint it! We swept the dust away and cleaned off the wood. We even used an electric blow up machine to blow the dust out of the little corners. It worked well. All that was left was to stain it. This time I just slapped it on without perfection because it was hour 6 and I was beat.
I let the stain dry overnight. In the morning it was the slightest bit tacky still so by tonight it should be good to put my reading chairs back on. I pulled the curtains back this morning and was like “WOW! That looks awesome!” I really felt accomplished. It felt good to look at the fruit of our hard labor and know we and my parents will be able to enjoy that balcony for many nights to come (without getting splinters in our feet!)
If you have a small balcony in need of some love it’s the perfect Saturday afternoon job that really shows a huge difference. We are going to go back and chip off all the weathered splinters on the spindles and restain it gray to match the house and color it is now once the floor stain is completely dry. Then, it will be a balcony beautiful enough for Romeo to scale any summer night.