Proper Sanding Techniques Can Reinvigorate a Floor
Sanding your floor can be a moderately challenging task but worth it in the end. Think about how much better your weathered floors will look. Here are the 7 steps to take to properly sand your floors:
- Gather the Equipment – Specific Equipment is required. Renting both a floor sander and an edge sander will be helpful. You will need sandpaper, for both pieces of equipment, in three different ranges – 36 grit, 50-60 grit, and 80-100 grit. A scraper may be needed for the corners where neither an edge nor floor sander and reach.
- Set up – When sanding a floor, make sure to isolate it with a plastic drop cloth and tape. Not taking the time for this step will allow sawdust to circulate all over your house. Make sure you have a dust mask to protect yourself from the circulating saw dust and ear plugs for the noise. Don’t forget to check for loose nails sticking up before beginning.
- Start Floor Sanding – Begin with the drum sander and apply the 36-grit sandpaper. Make sure that before you start it that the sandpaper isn’t touching the ground. The sandpaper must always be moving, or you will leave grooves on your floor. Make sure you always go with the grain of the wood. Start in a corner and go in a row until you reach the end and keep repeating in rows until you reach the end of the floor. When you see the finish isn’t coming off anymore, change the sandpaper. If you need to stop moving the machine, be sure to move the lever to the up position so you don’t leave grooves.
- Edge sanding – Follow the same steps used with the drum sander for the edge sander for areas not reached. Put on the 36-grit paper and sand the perimeter of the room. Important: Do not put the entire machine’s weight on the floor or you will leave scuff marks.
- Repeat steps with medium-grit sandpaper
- Repeat steps with 50-60 grit sandpaper
- Move to the corners – Most likely the sanders did not get to the corners, unfortunately, you will have to sand them by hand.
- Clear the Room – Vacuum up the dust. Look for any imperfections such as holes or scratches and fill them with wood putty. Let the putty dry for an hour and don’t let anyone walk on the floor in the meantime.
- One More Time – Repeat drum sander and edge sander steps with the fine-grit 80-100 sandpaper. Sand the corners by hand down to the same level. Make sure to thoroughly vacuum up the floor when you are all finished.
- When everything is all clear you may want to consider staining it and putting on a finish.
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