Preparing to refinish hardwood floors on my own...


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Old 11-10-14, 03:50 AM
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Preparing to refinish hardwood floors on my own...

Lots and lots of latex paint drops all around. I was wondering if I have to scrub these off by hand prior to refinishing or will the drum sander take them right up?

Thank you
 
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Old 11-10-14, 03:58 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

The drum sander will make short work of any paint splatters. Have you ever used a drum sander before? They can be pretty unforgiving! You have to keep them moving to prevent sanding waves into the floor
 
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Old 11-10-14, 07:36 AM
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I'll second that warning! The drum sander will not only remove paint splatters, it will remove your floor if you're not careful!!
The sander cuts deep and fast and it takes some practice keeping it moving. Be careful and be ready to retract drum smoothly and quickly.
 
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Old 11-11-14, 09:48 AM
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Thank you for your advice, will save me hours of being on my hands and knees with chemicals. I will practice and practice with a drum sander before I use it on my hardwood.


Thanks again
 
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Old 11-11-14, 12:34 PM
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Putting a sanding disc on a buffer is a lot more diy friendly. They also have large pad sanders that are supposed to work well although neither are as fast a drum sander ..... but they are more/less idiot proof

Stripping the floor with chemicals is never a good idea! too many fumes in a enclosed space and then you still need to sand before the floor would be ready for stain and/or new finish.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 06:03 PM
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Refinishing using Orbital Sander

I was going to post my own thread but this is similar .

I am planning to finish the hardwood floor one room (about 12 X 12) .

Can it be done with a Orbital Sander ? Do not want to use a heavy and bulky drum sander. I am planning to buy a orbital sander for this but it will still probably be cheaper than hiring a Pro (and I can use it for another room later )

Assuming I can do this job using a Orbital Sander, how much time do you think it will take ? Also, any recommended model I should buy ?
 
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Old 11-13-14, 03:40 AM
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A small orbital sander will work but do you have the patience to do the whole floor with it? I know I don't! I've never used one but they rent a pad sander that is more/less an orbital sander on steroids. I've rented an edger to sand small rooms although I wouldn't exactly call 12x12 small.
 
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Old 11-13-14, 10:12 AM
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how much time do you think it will take
Approximately one year

Just kidding, but a normal orbital sander just doesn't cut enough to be practical.
The varnish on the old floor is pretty hard and the wood becomes harder with age.
If you do want to attempt it, start with some serious discs, like 40 grit. See how much the discs clog and if you think it's doable. Once the finish is off, it will get easier to sand.
You could also try scraping the floor before sanding. This would save you the trouble of having to sand off the varnish. Keep scraper nice and sharp and don't let it skip.
 
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Old 11-14-14, 09:15 AM
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Is there any option other than a drum sander. The horror stories of drum sander making me avoid it. Heard there is something called flat sander but could not get much detail.

Another question --- for another room, the floor is in good shape except for a few patches where owner probably stuck a rug liner or something. How would it be if I sand those spots and then restain whole floor (without sanding the whole floor) ?
 
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Old 11-14-14, 09:30 AM
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A buffer with a sanding pad/screen works well for diyers. There is also a giant pad sander that can be rented, I've never used or seen them used but from what I've read they sound decent. Both are slower than a drum sander .... but they are a lot more forgiving!

You have to have raw wood to apply stain to! If you wish to restain - the entire floor needs to be stripped of all finish. If you just want to freshen it up, you can lightly sand the floor and apply a fresh coat or 2 of poly.
 
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Old 01-03-15, 07:09 PM
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Finally I got the sanding done with my 5" Orbital Sander. Took about a week (2 hours a day). It is a lot of work but looks good now. First round with 60 grit , second round with 150 grit. I used about 6 - 7 pads for each grit. Removing old stain is particularly difficult wood joints and I tilted the sander a bit to put an extra effort on those.

Time to apply poly (I am skipping staining) and I have some questions --

1) I have already vacuumed , now shall I clean the floor with a rag and mineral spirit ?

2) Is it worth applying seal coat on bare wood ?

3) What is the best applicator to apply poly -- shall I use Lambskin applicator OR a roller or something else ? Read about special roller for wood application but could not find any in HD or Lowes.

4) shall I apply in a zig-zag pattern or straight along the grain ?

5) Any other tips
 
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Old 01-04-15, 04:00 AM
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#1 - you don't have to but a wet thinner rag will remove more dust. It will also give you an idea of what the wood will look like once the poly is applied [while the wood is still wet with thinner]

#2 - The 1st coat of poly seals the wood. You'll need to apply 2-3 coats, sanding lightly and removing the dust between coats.

#3 - A lambswool pad or brush gives the nicest application. You could use a roller [1/4" preferably mohair] but it's apt to leave a bit of orange peel.

#4 - It's ok to initially zig zag the poly onto the floor but it needs to be laid off in a straight line with the grain of the wood.

#5 - sand between coats and always remove the dust. Strain the poly if you think there might be any trash in it. Enjoy the finished product when you are done
 
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Old 01-04-15, 05:28 AM
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Thank you marksr .

I tried a small sample of high gloss oil based poly ... the wood looks dark red. We prefer to have a much lighter shade. Do you think Water based OR Oil Modified poly will give a lighter , wood colored shade ?
 
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Old 01-04-15, 05:32 AM
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Oil base poly will deepen the colors naturally in the wood. Waterbased poly doesn't change the look of the wood any other than giving it a sheen. I don't have much experience with the modified poly
 
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Old 01-25-15, 07:04 PM
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Done !

Thank you all for help.

I just completed refinishing hardwood floor using a 5" (2.8 AMP) Orbital Sander. Hand Sanded corners and under baseboard heat. Here is what I did (and mistakes I did) --

1) Sanded using 60 grit and 150 . --- Mistake: I should have started with 50 grit , then 150 and finished with 220 grit. My one looks OK but would have looked better had I used the right grits.

2) Cleaned with Vacuum followed by tack cloth followed by damp cloth (since I finally decided to use Water based Poly) . -- Mistake -- Need more cleaning ... clean, clean and clean.

3) Stained with a oil based stain (because I thought of using Oil based Poly initially). Cleaned again.

4) Applied Varathane Water based Poly (Gloss) using a Foam applicator. It dries in less than 2 hours . After second coat , it looked great. I applied 4 coats with a light sanding after 3rd ... Mistake -- should have rented a buffer

Overall it looks good ... could have looked better had I -- 1) decided on using Water based poly from the beginning ; 2) cleaned some more ; 3) Covered head with a cap (hair falls on floor and is stuck on the poly) .
 
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Old 01-26-15, 03:56 AM
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150 grit is generally ok for the final sanding prior to the stain application. If the wood is sanded with too fine a grit it closes up the 'pores' of the wood making it harder for it to accept stain. It's fine to use oil base stain under waterbased poly, you just need to make sure the stain has had plenty of time to dry - no fudge factor like you have when top coating with oil. I've only used waterbased stains a little and don't care for them as they dry too fast and make it difficult to get a nice looking stain.

You should always sand between coats of poly as that will promote good adhesion.
 
 

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