Welcome, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you with your issue.
You should pressure wash the deck and any loose paint will likely come off in the process. Once the deck dries you'll need to spot prime any areas that have no paint.
You might want to consider a product like Rust-oleum Restore
to paint the deck
The prep for Restore is a bit different than for regular paint
thanks, XXXXX XXXXX up...
we have a sander and a deck cleaning solution. in the event we want to stain the deck instead of painting it, should we sand off the preexisting before cleaning it with the solution, or clean it with the solution, and then sand off what doesn't get cleaned off?
also the rustoleum restore you recommended...we're applying that after we paint/stain?
If you sand the deck to the point where you remove all the paint and get down to clean wood you won't need to use a cleaning solution. Just clean off the saw dust with a broom or vac
but what about the rest of the deck that we haven't sanded off? so should we sand before clean, or the other way around?
The Restore product is the best solution for decks in not so good shape. It will give you a solid color durable surface. Check out the product at the link I posted. It may not be the look you want if you're considering staining. Sand first then clean.
if you want to stain