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Part 2: Finishing and Refinishing Hardwood Floors

In part 2 of 3, we discuss what you need how to sand your hardwood floors. sanding hardwood floors

Sanding a Strip or Plank Floor:
Tools: Drum sander, edger, nail set, putty knife, hand scraper, file, sanding block.
1) Setting up the drum sander- Make sure the drum sander is unplugged while you load the coarse grip sandpaper.

  • ·         Wrap the sandpaper around the drum, tucking the ends into the slot (make sure the paper is tight).

refinishing hardwood floors2) The first sanding- Use a coarse grit sandpaper. Make sure all of the old finish is removed. If you have to go over it again with a very coarse grit, do so.

  • ·         When you’re ready for the first pass through, lower the drum slowly and move out as soon as you feel it touch the floor (if you allow the drum to bite into the floor before you move it, it will gouge the floor).
  • ·         The forward rotation of the drum will pull the machine forward. Be sure to keep it in hand at a steady pace.
  • ·         As you come near completion, get ready to lift the drum off the floor while the sander is still moving. If you try to stop the drum and then lift, it will gouge the floor.

3) Sanding around the borders- It’s time to load the disc sander with the same coarse grit as the drum sander and sand the areas the drum sander could not reach. Work on these areas until you have removed the same amount of material throughout the floor.

  • ·         After you’ve completed sanding, vacuum the floor.

4) The second sanding- Load the drum with the medium grit and make a second pass over the whole floor.

  • ·         Then with the edger, go over the edges once again.
  • ·         If any, set exposed nail heads using the nail set and fill these and any other holes with wood putty.

5) Scrape the edges- Before the final sanding, use a hand sander to clean out the hard to reach places like corners or areas around pipes. Sand toward you while exerting downward pressure.

  • ·         Once you’ve scraped away all the old finish, use a sanding block to go over the scraped area. Finish off by using the same grit you plan on using for the final sanding.

6) The final sanding- With the fine grit, go over the entire floor one last time with the drum and edger.

  • ·         After you’ve completed sanding, clean up with the vacuum again.
  • ·         Make a final sweep of the floor with a moist rag with mineral spirits.


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