Painting and Decorating TipsHow to Paint Varnished Wood [Everything You Need to Know]
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If you’ve had a hardwood floor at home for a very long time, you might have noticed that it’s not as smooth and shiny as it used to be in the beginning. Wooden floors are durable but their looks can suffer a lot from the passage of time, even with good maintenance. And after a while, sanding and varnishing become the most logical renovation solution.
If you’re a DIY-er at heart, you might be wondering how to sand a wooden floor by yourself. Luckily, this isn’t a task that requires skilful expertise. Even if you don’t know anything about floors, it’s enough to follow our simple guide and you’ll do a wonderful job. So, keep reading! This article is for all of you who:
Floor sanding is a renovation process that involves removing the top layers of a wooden floor with abrasive tools and materials. The process includes three stages – preparation, sanding, and varnishing. As a result, the wooden floor becomes smooth and shiny. You can sand a floor by hand, or you can use modern sanding equipment. Every DIY-er can choose which method to use. Sanding by hand allows more control of the process but it’s also a slow and tiring task. Using modern equipment is fast and easy but professional machines aren’t cheap to buy or rent.
Before you begin the sanding process, you should prepare the floor. Here are the most important things you should do prior to taking out the heavy equipment.
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You’ve emptied your room, gave it a good clean, replaced some unsightly floorboards and hammered all those pesky nails into place. It’s finally time to start stage two. Here is how to sand a wooden floor with specialised equipment:
Cover all vents, doorways, and light fixtures with plastic sheeting and have your hoover close on standby. Also make sure you’re wearing old working clothes, as they will definitely get dirty.
You can ask the clerk at the rental store how to use it. Make sure the drum sander’s rear wheel is tight and that the drum stands flat on the floor. Add the appropriate starter grit sandpaper – for most floors that’s 36-grit. Test the drum sander on a hidden floor area, for example in the closet, to make sure it’s working properly. If it creates a dust cloud, you have to stop and check if the dust bag is properly attached.
Move at a 7 to 15-degree angle to the direction of the floorboards. Don’t stop in one spot while the sander is on, as it will leave an imprint. Sand the whole area at the same angle. This should level out uneven parts of the floor. When you get to the wall, move the sander back to your starting point. Turn around and sand the other side of the room, while moving along the same angle. Leave the edges unsanded.
Once the first sanding stage is done, take a break for half an hour and allow the dust to settle. Then, come back with the hoover and clean it up.
The first sanding has removed the old floor finish, however most scratches will be visible. Load the 60-grit sandpaper and sand by starting from the opposite wall. Sand along the grain, directly along the boards.
Just like last time, give yourself a break for the dust to settle and then come back to clean up.
Load the 100 grit sandpaper and repeat the process from the opposite side of the wall again. This third pass should remove any scratches from the floor. Again, let the dust set and clean it up.
Load the edge sander with the 36 grit, and then with the 60 grit sandpaper. For the first pass, sand in a clockwise zigzag pattern. On the second pass, make sure the edge matches the rest of the floor. Using the 100 grit sandpaper on an edge sander is NOT RECOMMENDED if you are an amateur, as you might end up burning the floor and paper. And, clean up the area.
After the sanding process has finished, it’s time to varnish the floor and lock the new beautiful look of your floor. First, you need to know what varnish to use.
The duration can vary depending on the square feet of the working area, the general state of the floor, and the sanding method you choose. If we assume you have to sand the floor in a single standard room, that doesn’t require any serious repairs during preparation and you’ve decided to sand by hand, it should typically take up about 6 or 7 hours. As a quick comparison, for a professional sander who would use specialized equipment, it should take no more than 2 or 3 hours.
You don’t need any specific skills to know how to sand a floor by yourself. As long as you have the right tools, any DIY-er can handle it in two days. However, if you don’t have the time, or desire to do this on your own, you always have the option to call a professional floor sander to do the job for you.
Your hardwood floor will at some point need sanding and varnishing in order to look smooth and shiny. If you know where to get the right tools and if you arm yourself with patience and put the proper amount of effort, you will once again have beautiful hardwood floors.
Have you ever sanded a floor by yourself? How long did it take? Tell us in the comment section!
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