Repairing poor quality refinishing job on hardwood floors?

Old 05-07-08, 08:51 PM
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Repairing poor quality refinishing job on hardwood floors?

I hired an incompetent contractor to widen a closet door opening in my bedroom, and they ripped out all of the hardwood floor in the closet (and the two boards just outside the closet opening) to install the new frame. Their refinishing job was beyond awful -- apparently they didn't bother to vacuum the floor before applying the finish, etc., so the floor feels gritty and rough, and you can actually see bubbles in the finish with dirt underneath. They also left a visible boot print in the middle of the closet floor! (The color is also not an exact match to the rest of the room, but since it's mostly just the floor in the closet, I can live with the color variation, if I can just fix the finish problem.)

Is there any way that I can save this beyond bringing someone else in to sand down the floor and completely redo it? I hate to do that for a closet floor, though this problem also affects the two boards in front of the closet, so I need to do something to remedy the situation. A friend suggested using steel wool to try to smooth the floor out. Would this work? Any other ideas??

Thanks in advance to all the experts out there -- this forum is a lifesaver!
Old 05-08-08, 03:07 AM
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You have to sand with something flat. By hand is enough - just start with a grit course enough it does not clog up. That'll take the blips off, and dull/scratch the finish. Then apply another coat.

If you need to clean down into the wood, then I guess hand sanding is still the best option unless your closet's huge. Power sanders are ungainly in cramped quarters and likely to yield valleys and ridges, as is a belt sander. Use a very aggressive grit. You may be surprised how quickly a 40-grit paper backed by sanding block chews down to wood.

Before finishing a floor, I dust the ceilings, walls, floors, everything, wait a while for dust to settle, then break out the vacuum...

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