Author Topic: How to sand and polish a wood floor  (Read 2798 times)


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How to sand and polish a wood floor
« on: December 06, 2015, 02:40:48 PM »
How to sand and polish a wood floor

When you decide to polish or repolish an old wood floor, an essential part of the process is to sand the wood floor first. However, if the wood floor is still in good condition, you may be able to just buff it before re-coating.

Tools you will need:
  • Large floor sander with abrasive papers
  • Edging sander with abrasive papers
  • Wood filler to fill-in crevices left behind after removing nails or staples that held down carpet trim.
  • Floor sealer
  • Roller with short nap and extension handle
  • Nail punch
  • Turpentine
  • Scraper
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Disposable gloves
  • Dust mask

Follow these steps to sand and polish a floor:

Step 1:
Clear out the room entirely, and if there is any carpet, remove it and its underlay padding as well, including any tacks and staples. Check floor for protruding nails or nails at the surface. Use a nail punch and hammer to sink nails 3mm below floorboard surface, so you won’t see any nail heads when coated.

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Step 2:
If floor has been sanded and coated before, it probably doesn't need leveling. Fill nail holes with a matching timber filler. Floors that are sanded for the first time should have their nail holes filled after an initial coarse sanding.

Step 3
Seal any doors to other parts of house by taping plastic over them, to protect against dust. This floor is close to level as it has been sanded before, so just needs the combination stain/finish removed. Start with a medium-grit paper in the large sander. Align the machine diagonally across the floor, start it with the drum raised and when it reaches full speed, start moving, then sanding. This will smooth any irregularities and remove the old finish. Keep moving, and when you reach a wall, lift the drum before stopping. Never let the drum rest on the floor while the machine is on, as it will sand a depression into the floor

Step 4:
With the diagonal sanding done, repeat, but this time parallel with the floorboards. Sand as little as will do the job, because over the life of a floor, you can only sand it about 3 times before it gets too thin.

Step 5:
The large drum sander cannot get close to walls or skirting, so you need the smaller edge sander to work up against the skirting. Sand down to same level as large machine, and keep the machine moving. This will still not get into corners, so you'll need a scraper used along the grain to remove the finish and scrape and sand timber to level of rest of floor (another reason for not sanding too much).

Step 6:
Give floor, including edges, a final sand with a fine paper, then sweep up the dust and discard. Let any dust in the air settle, then vacuum floor thoroughly. Apply first coat of finish, which in this case will act as a sealer. Start by brushing around the edges.

Step 7:
Switch to the roller with an extension handle fitted to the frame. Roll in direction of timber and you will suddenly see the color of the wood jump out at you.

Step 8:
Once the first coat is dry, apply 2 more coats, allowing finish to dry between coats. The floor will be suitable for light traffic the next day, and normal traffic after about a week.

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« Last Edit: December 06, 2015, 02:51:32 PM by 3imosp »