Sanding and polishing an old wooden floor will give it a new life and a shiny appearance. If you want a cheaper and better alternative, then DIY is the way to go. It is very easy to make mistakes when refinishing decolorized wood floors, even though it is a popular DIY project. The result will be a rough surface, or, in the worst case scenario, you may have to replace the entire flooring. Because hardwood floors can be expensive, it is a homeowner’s worst nightmare to ruin them while polishing.
If you decide to restore the timber flooring yourself or hire an expert, there are some precautions and tips to keep in mind. Use our tips to improve your hardwood flooring.
How do i start?
After removing all old floor coverings and nails from the floor, vacuum it and thoroughly clean it. You’ll first need a clean and empty surface.
Base shoe goodbye.
Quarter-round paneling, also known as “base shoes”, must be removed and rearranged later if it is present on the baseboards of a room. Edge sanding is done to raise the floor a little and set the baseboards on a small flat. You may not remember it, but you do. The base foot is often scuffed by edge sanding, requiring a later touch-up.
All problems can be resolved by removing the base shoe. Mark the base shoe when you remove it to avoid confusion when you reinstall it. If the base shoe is attached to the board by years of paint, it’s best to leave it in place. Leave it as is if your baseboards have not been updated and do not have quarter-round. However, you will need to touch up the paint.
Pet stains last a lifetime.
After a few sanding efforts, water stains usually fade. Pet urine stains can penetrate the wood so deeply that they cannot be removed with sandpaper. It may be worth trying a wood floor bleach, but we have found that the results were mediocre at best, and the wood was blotchy or pitted at worse. It is only possible to repair the wood or paint over the stain. Consider it a shrine dedicated to your beloved pet.
How can I tell the difference between pee and water? Pet stains look darker (dark gray with black edges), and they resemble a map of a country with many islands.
Prepare the floor for sanding, polishing, and refinishing.
Many of the steps are obvious, like moving furniture and covering all doors with plastic. Many DIYers miss these steps:
- Cover or block air grilles to keep dust from entering ducts. Turn off your HVAC system by setting the thermostat to a lower temperature.
- Remove all artwork and window treatments from the wall (unless you want to clean them afterward).
- Remove all doors leading into the room. You won’t get the sand out of under doors even if you close and open them.
- It’s easy to raise low-hanging lights by tying together two chain links with rope. You’ll hit your head a lot if you don’t.
- Use finished nails to fix any loose boards.
- When you are still standing, nail heads can gouge or tear the sanding roller. This will cost you extra money. Countersink the nails by at least 1/8 of an inch.
- Use a metal shovel to search for nails on the floor (upside-down). It will sound as if it hits a nail.
Choose high-quality equipment.
There are two types of floor sanders required. A wide belt sander is needed for most of the sanding, and a floor edge sander to sand the areas near skirting boards. There are many rental shops that sell them but do not buy the cheapest ones. Choose a new belt sander of high quality. The floor sander, also known as a floor sander, is a large machine used to quickly sand the flooring. If it’s not in good condition or you’re not using it properly, it can damage your floor.
You can purchase belts and discs from the equipment rental shop. You will need different grits. You’ll start by using 40 grit and then work your way to finer grits until you achieve a smooth surface.
Use a belt grinder on the floor.
Belt sanding is the most important part of floor sanding. This is a three-step process. Sand your edges using progressively finer grits across each point.
To avoid the belt sander from rolling across the concrete, you must turn it back before turning it on. Slowly lower the sander to the ground. If you drop the floor quickly, it could cause chatter marks or fleecing. Sand the floor slowly and steadily to achieve uniformity. The belt sanding process is divided into three phases:
- Use a coarse sanding brush against the grain to straighten the board. You can sand the board at a 45-degree angle. However, you may need to sand it at a 90 degree angle at certain points. When the floor is painted, you will need to start with a 28 grit belt. When the floor is rough and old, try 40 grit. If the floor is new, use 60 grit. Use alternating strokes to achieve a uniform finish.
- Sand finer with the grain in order to avoid cross-grain markings.
- Sand the surface using a finer belt, sanding with the grain.
Use a vacuum to polish between the sandpaper and then wrap the skirting boards with an edger. Once again, vacuum the floor and check it. After the putty dries, fill any holes in the floor with sand and putty.
Use a floor-edge sander.
You’ll need to use a floor edge sander between belt sanding. Use the same grits that your belt sander does. You will need a “V”-shaped sander to reach the corners and other difficult places. You should avoid sanding the centre of your floor. You will see swirl marks on the floor after polishing it. Also, you will have a depression. Be sure that your edge sander’s level. If you tilt it, the edge sander will gouge wood.
Get rid of the stripper.
DIYers also think that paint stripper can be used to remove the surface finish before sanding. Do not waste time. Sanding is less expensive and more effective.
Remove the corners.
Use a paint scraper after you have finished sanding to get into any areas the machine couldn’t reach. You can achieve a glazed finish that is incredibly smooth with a sharp scraper. The surface will not take a finishing like the wood around it. The areas that have been scraped should be roughened up using 80- or 100 grit paper.
Buff the floor to prepare it for polishing.
You’ll have to buff your floor before you can use an oil finish. You can rent a buffer from your local rental equipment store. Start in the middle with the buffer (100-grit screen) and work at a constant rate. Attention should be paid to areas where the edge sander has crossed the belt sander.
It is not necessary to polish a synthetic sealer/polish prior to application. In all cases, ensure that the floor is completely dust-free prior to applying the finish. Vacuuming should be done with caution.
How long does sanding and polishing a floor take?
The time required to complete the project depends on several factors, including the condition of the floor before sanding and the size of the surface to be resurfaced. It also depends on weather conditions. You can plan to spend a minimum of a week to complete the job. This will ensure that the steps are correctly followed and the work is done properly.
How often should hardwood floors be resurfaced?
If you maintain your wood floors moderately and install them correctly, you can expect to have them last for 10-15 years. This is a considerable amount of time and highlights the importance of wooden flooring for your home. Over time, it will adapt to your changing design needs. If you are looking for a new look but want to keep the elegance of wooden floors, sanding and polishing floorboards will achieve the desired result without having to replace the flooring.