Hi - Wanted to thank you in advance for such a useful and helpful site.
Regarding my deck: it's about 5 years old, and has only been stained once, when it was first installed. I used PPG Sunproof Akyld/oil toner, Naturaltone. This transparent stain is mostly gone in areas with sun, and faded and blotchy in the more protected areas.
I'm wondering if I could get away with just stripping my deck prior to brightening and staining, or would it be better to sand? The wood seems mostly in good condition. Please see attached photos, the one that is up against the house has less weathering due to being out of sun and rain mostly.
Also, wondering if sanding ends up being the preferable option, should I use a 5 inch or 6 inch disk sander. Boards are 5.5 inches wide, and I reasoned that a 5 inch sander would be a better fit, as it wouldn't need to straddle two boards at once.
Just strip and brighten for prep. Use the RAD Stripper with both additives: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/restore-a-deck-stain-stripper-booster-thickening-gel-review/
Thanks for the response. I'm about to start as per your recommendation, but noticed a disclaimer on the RAD stripper, saying it will darken cedar wood. Did a quick test, and this seems to be the case. Will the brightener bring it back to a lighter tone? Thanks