Refinishing 100 year old pine Floors- Help

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  #1  
Old 10-03-18, 12:58 PM
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Refinishing 100 year old pine Floors- Help

Hello. I have decided to refinish my floors myself because of the price, saving up to get them done is not working out well. My house has been a construction zone for months, kids are not in their rooms so I decided I need to just do it. I have a background building and finishing electric guitars so I am familiar with stains and poly.

The wood floors are 100 year old pine, and have not been finished in probably 40+ years. There is no poly on it now and a lot of the area have no stain. These are my questions and considerations

- Going to rent large floor random orbital sander because the ease of use
- Probably only need to make 2 passes rather then 3 because there is basically no finish on the floors now…floor is practically bare
- No need to rent edger? Because I have orbital and belt sander already?
- Should I use wood filler on floor? Pine is rather porous
- Plan on staining the floors dark color
- Where can I find guidance in fixing creaks in floors and stairs?

And additional considerations will be helpful.
Thanks!!
 
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  #2  
Old 10-03-18, 08:35 PM
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Plan on staining the floors dark color
Good luck, pine is not known for staining well, especially dark tints.

As to creaks, you have to find each one and address it as makes sense - like if a nail has popped and is allowing a board to rise and fall a bit.
 
  #3  
Old 10-04-18, 04:56 AM
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I'd be leery of using a belt sander anywhere on the floor - too hard to control the depth of the cut. An edger is quicker than an orbital sander. You'll need a sharp scraper for the corners and other areas you can't easily sand.

Pine alternates between hard and soft wood. The hard spots won't accept as much stain [will be lighter] The best way around that is to apply a wood conditioner first. It slightly seals the wood making it take stain more consistently. Because it seals, the stain will be a little lighter than it would be otherwise. While I've used wood conditioner on doors and such, I've never done so on a floor.

Use filler sparingly as it would be the weak link in the floor and since filler doesn't always stain well large areas of filler tend to look unsightly.
 
  #4  
Old 10-04-18, 05:22 AM
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I had Wide Pine floor Boards re-finished in my 1832 FarmHouse a few decades ago, and they spent most of the time counter-sinking the old "square cut" nails to a uniform depth BEFORE starting the sanding.

Otherwise, the nails would have quickly ripped up the sandpaper, regardless of whether it was a belt or orbital device. Lots of dust !

That counter-sinking is the really tedious part. The Pine took the stain very well . . . . some with Oak, some Mahogany. Remember to use furniture pads afterwards, the softwood is easily dented.
 
  #5  
Old 10-10-18, 07:53 PM
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Guys thanks for all the help!! Man this project was way rougher than I could imagine. It literally took me 2 days to get to the bare wood. I thought that since the lacquer was all worn off it would be easy but what ever stain they had on their was a beast. It gunked up the 36 grit sandpaper within 30 seconds. Hitting it with 20 grit on drum sander was not quick enough, I tried scraping but that worked but to tedious. Finally I used 20 grit on corner sander and that did the trick, but hard!!

Now i am seeing some shiny parts on the floor, not uniform bare wood color. I am assuming that this is do to sanding irregularities from using the corner sander. Alot of it came out when i went to the 36 grit drum sander but not all. Should I assume that when I move to 60 then 100 that will all come out? or should I try to get them out with the 36 grit paper?

Thanks! back to it tomorrow
 
  #6  
Old 10-11-18, 03:09 AM
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I suspect that the "shiny parts" are part of the wood . . . . the naturally formed resin which is resident in old Pine woods, and gets harder with age, like a polymer. I think resin is what causes some ancient woods to harden into fossils called petrified wood and the Petrified Forest.

Hard as a rock, it is. That's part of working with Old Pine . . . . which is called a 'soft" wood.

I wouldn't expect the shiny parts to go away; that's part of the "character" !
 
  #7  
Old 10-11-18, 05:38 AM
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Sanding irregularities from a drum sander are usually dips [from not moving fast enough] or bad scratches from going across the grain. As mentioned above while pine is a soft wood it also has spots that are hard. That is why a wood conditioner is important IF having an uniform color is important to you. Like Vermont, I'd embrace the character the old wood presents.
 
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Old 10-11-18, 06:45 AM
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Awesome! Thanks. Yeah this Pine is not "Soft" in some spots remind me of maple
 
  #9  
Old 10-11-18, 06:45 PM
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Finished....well sort of. A lot of those spots I thought were light marks are scratches/swirls....this happened because i needed to use the 20 grit corner sander to get up the varnish... Any suggestions on how I should fix this? I was thinking my palm orbital sander may do the trick? I don't have the rental equipment anymore!

Thanks
 
  #10  
Old 10-11-18, 08:21 PM
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Also any recommendations on floor filler for holes will be great!
 
  #11  
Old 10-12-18, 03:20 AM
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The sanding scratches need to be sanded out using finer grit. Your orbital sander should work ok although it may be a little slow. I don't remember the brand name but flooring stores sell a paste you smear over the cracks and such. It gets sanded off when dry leaving the filler just in the voids.
 
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