Removing OLD paint, splatters, drops, gobs, mess from hardwood floor

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  #1  
Old 12-26-16, 01:17 PM
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Removing OLD paint, splatters, drops, gobs, mess from hardwood floor

I THINK this is a wood floor thing, not a paint thing, so...

We have an old house. In the master bedroom we lifted a corner of the carpet and found an original wood floor underneath. BUT, at some point in the past someone apparently painted the room, and I THINK may have sprayed the ceiling (and maybe the walls), but in either case the whole floor is covered with large gobs of paint and LOTS of small spots of paint. I looks like what I think of as overspray when spraying paint.

And, of course, being more than a little crazy, we really like wood floors and intend to bring this one back and refinish it. BUT, first we've gotta get all the paint off. Time isn't a big issue, so if the paint removing and sanding are slow and fiddly, that's ok.

I looked online and found recommendations to use a plastic putty knife, which does remove SOME of the surface of the large globs, but there's still a lot of overspray and globs to remove.

I tried a little Goo-Gone and it seemed to remove most of the remaining paint. Not perfect, but not too bad. I read about Motsenbocker's #5, which I'll see if I can find locally. I ALSO tried some rubbing alcohol, which was recommended and it APPEARS to remove whatever the floor's finish was. I'd THINK it would be varnish, but I can't imagine that simple rubbing alcohol on a cloth would bother floor varnish, and this stuff came up...

SO, I'm looking for y'all who know a lot more about this than I do for ideas on removing the paint, then on doing a LIGHT sanding 'cause the wood isn't as smooth as it should be for finishing. It's not BAD, just seems to need a little finish sanding to make it really smooth...

I've got everything from quarter sheet sanders to belt sanders, so I know I can sand, but I'm looking for ideas on the best way to get the last bits of paint off and smooth the wood floor for finishing... I DEFINITELY DON'T want to be using one of those big, aggressive drum sanders on this. I THOUGHT about using one of the large rotary-type sanders they rent (they have 3 round pieces of sandpaper about 8" wide on them) with the 50 grit sandpaper that goes in a circle. I've seen the results of those and they leave a lot of scratches across the surface...

SO, first problem - what's a good way to get all this paint off?
Second problem - what's a good way to do a light sanding to give me nice, smooth flooring to varnish?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-26-16, 02:08 PM
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Ideally you'd sand and refinish the floor. Assuming it's latex paint, products like 'goof off' or 'oops' will soften and removed dried latex. Since there sounds like a good bit to remove I'd get denatured alcohol [not the same as rubbing alcohol] If the floor's finish is oil base these products won't remove the finish [might dull it] but can remove any wax that has been applied. I rarely get around water based polys and don't know whether or not these products will affect it.
 
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Old 12-30-16, 04:40 PM
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<mumble> I THOUGHT I put a reply in here yesterday, but must have had a senior moment or something...

Anyhow, thanks marksr, for the reply.

I'm trying to minimize the amount of attacking we do on the floor. I did a little research that said a floor polisher with a 3M abrasive pad (the local rental place has black pads that are more aggressive and red ones that are less) would be much less destructive than one of those monstrous drum sanders... I also found a random orbit floor sander that's supposed to be much more user friendly than the drum...

I ALSO found something called Motsenbockers #5 and bought a bottle. BOY, DOES IT TAKE OFF LATEX PAINT! A little spray, let it sit, wipe off the paint or use a scrub brush... I did about 4 square feet and it came out pretty good. I'll know more when we have the whole floor exposed, but I MAY be able to use this stuff, then a VERY light sanding (I used a quarter sheet finishing sander so it'd go in the direction of the grain) just to smooth the wood, which feels JUST a BIT rough, but not like the grain has been raised.

SO, taking the drum sander out of the equation, would the floor polisher with the 3M pads work well for whatever's left over from cleaning the paint off? Am I going to go through 10 pads in a 16x20 room or will this be relative painless? Will the rotary polisher do the job WITHOUT creating a lot of cross-grain scratches or is it pretty benign?

I did some reading on poly finishes, and they were pushing the water based poly over the oil base. We've always redone the floors with oil-based poly 'cause we LIKE the warm color. Water based clear and they claimed it COULD raise the grain... Oil or water base?
 
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Old 12-30-16, 04:42 PM
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I prefer oil based because I like the little bit of amber color it adds. Water based can raise the grain, yes.
 
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Old 12-31-16, 02:59 AM
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I also prefer oil base, both because it dries to a harder film [wears better] and it deepens the colors naturally in the wood. The main selling point for water based poly is the reduced drying time between coats.

A floor buffer with an abrasive pad is slower than a drum sander but a LOT more diy friendly!
 
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Old 12-31-16, 01:57 PM
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Cool... Oil base it is... And an abrasive on a buffer for that little bit of scuffing I'd like...
 
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