When we put in a patio I thought I would never have to stain a deck again.... After hand sanding all the deck surfaces with 220 grit, some vacumming, wipe down and room clean-up it was time to mask and stain. A bit of blue tape, plastic and masking paper and I was ready to have at it.
After staining everything, there were some blothy spots around one of the perimeter planking joints and a couple of sanding scratches on that same side. After letting it sit overnight, I still was not satisfied with those areas. So I hand sanded again with 220 grit one whole side, cleaned it up and restained. Its good enough now to move on. Looks pretty cool even if I say so myself.