DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Flooring (
-   -   Floor sanding crisis. (

Bobcat23 06-21-2008 02:26 PM

Floor sanding crisis.
Hi, this is my first time posting. I'm feeling dejected and demoralized because my home repair project is going awry.

I rented a floor sander for the weekend to work on my hardwood floors - never done this before, so it's all new. There's only one rental place in my small town so choices are limited. I rented an old orbital sander and brought it home, plugged it in, and it ran for about 30 seconds before blowing out the circuit breaker (marked at 20amps). Repeated this process about twenty times with different circuits until finally tried the one circuit marked at 30 amps. This time the sander didn't trip the circuit - but it ran for about thirty seconds then shut down on its own. Now I'm stuck in the middle of a project and I don't know what to do. I keep resetting it and restarting it - and it keeps shutting down. The rental place is closed until Monday.

Does anyone have suggestions on ways that I can work out this problem on my own? Or are my floors not meant to be sanded this weekend?

glennjanie 06-21-2008 10:19 PM

Welcome Bobcat:
You don't need the stress of nursing the rental palce's junk all weekend.
Go to your nearby Lowes and rent their orbital sander. It is a flat, square sanding surface and does a good job if you don't have any wax on the floor. They will also furnish a video to give you exact directions on how to do the job.

triple D 06-21-2008 11:29 PM

If there is no Lowes.......
Look at the sander and find the tag with the voltage and amperage, then tell us and someone will tell you where and what to hook up, or plug into. Good luck, hear from ya soon......

Bobcat23 06-22-2008 09:50 AM

Thanks so much to both of you for your replies (and moral support). The orbital sander that I rented is a really old looking machine - it's marked 13 amps and 115 voltage, which means that I should be able to plug it into any outlet in my house - but I can't. I've tried every outlet but none of them work. I'm starting to think that it's a problem with the sander. Curses! Hopefully the rental store won't make me pay the full amount when I return it tomorrow. In the meantime, my local Lowe's is unable to locate their one rental orbital sander (!!), and there are no other rental places within 60 miles, so I just bought a hand sander and I'm starting to strip paint with that. It seems the only option...

glennjanie 06-22-2008 08:00 PM

Hello Bobcat:
I admire your tenacity, you'll be at it for a long time with a hand sander. Sorry about the Lowes tip.

Bobcat23 06-24-2008 07:50 PM

The forum advice has been really helpful because Lowe's recovered their orbital sander just in time for our project! So we returned the junk from the first rental outlet and rented the Lowe's random orbital for a few days. We're in the middle of the project now - focusing on two rooms and a hallway upstairs, practicing for the all-important living and dining rooms downstairs later in the summer.

It's a real learning process for us, I have to admit. If any first-time sanders read this, I would have to say (1) the project takes longer than you might anticipate, (2) it makes sense to buy your own hand sander because those things are very handy, and (3) force yourself to be methodical and patient because it can help compensate for any newbie mistakes.

Of course, we haven't applied stain and finish yet, so the final product remains to be seen. The floors are coming alone really well now, and they look great in their "raw" state, but I'm worried that the stain will bring out small imperfections in the sanding. We'll find out in the next two days...

inspectorD 06-25-2008 05:41 AM

Good to hear
Glad you received a sander that works. Good advice, patience is the one thing you need. As you vacuum the floor on all fours, pay attention to any swirls or gouges. The scuffs will show up as you stain and urethane. Don't worry about it to much, furniture, throw rugs and use will help with the first few days of fretting over the great job you did.:D
My floors barely have some swirls, I call it old time character.;)
Even the pros gouge...the floor that is.:eek:

Bobcat23 06-26-2008 07:55 AM

I have a final question about this floor project...

We applied the stain (polystain) on of the two bedrooms but unfortunately we didn't do a very good job and it turned out uneven. It also has some noticeable swirl marks where we didn't apply with the grain. It's been about 16 hours since application.

Can we sand over the uneven and swirly parts and reapply stain there, trying not to overlap with the original coat? Can we try to even out the entire floor with a second coat? Or do we just live with it?

Thank you again...

glennjanie 06-26-2008 01:00 PM

I would even it out with a second coat. OR you might possibly get the desired results by washing it with paint thinner; perhaps it would soften the stain again and re-distribute it.

inspectorD 06-26-2008 01:45 PM

What type of wood are you staining. If it is pine floors you should have a wood conditioner applied first to even it out for the best results.
Do not re-sand the floor, this will not help much. Try applying more stain to the areas which need it. You can do this until you seal it with poly. Once you seal it you cannot fix it easily.
Also if there was ever any pets which urinated on the floor ,you will get spots which will be darker. There is no fix for that, and may be why the floor was painted in the first place.
Good luck and post some pictures if you can.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:33 PM.