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joeyL 08-10-2013 09:04 PM

Wood floor sanding
Hello, I've been trying to sand an area of our hard wood floors to test the new stain color. We are attempting to refinish ourselves. I'm having trouble getting the sander to take off the finish. I bought a palm sander and am using a 40 grit paper. It seems the only area that is coming off is where the planks aren't level. I figure that I would need to use this to sand around the perimeter, but its not working.

The flooring is solid oak, but I'm not sure of the what the finish would be. I was told to try nail polish remover to determine, but that didn't seem to take off the finish. I tried wood stripper as well, but no luck. I'm out of ideas! How difficult should it be to get to the raw wood with a palm sander? Thanks.

How hard should it be to remove

oldognewtrick 08-11-2013 01:15 AM

Is the floor painted or is it a stained finish? How old is the flooring?

joeyL 08-11-2013 05:50 AM

It's a stain finish and at least 10-12 years old. I'm guessing its a factory finish. We moved in last year, so not sure.

oldognewtrick 08-11-2013 06:10 AM

When you say palm sander, what type is it?

joeyL 08-11-2013 06:31 AM

Ryobi S652D. Uses 4.5x4.5 sanding pads. Thanks.

Drywallinfo 08-11-2013 07:50 AM

For sanding a hardwood floor, you need some heavy-duty equipment. I have sanded floors in 3 homes now using a rented drum sander and edger sander for the perimeters - this is a beast of a machine and great care needs to be taken not to gouge the floor. You ease the sander down as you are moving it and ease it back up. There are also heavy duty orbital sanders you can rent that are not as aggressive as the drum sander, but might work for you - you will find this orbital sander to be a lot easier to handle and you won't gouge like a drum sander. You may want the orbital sander even if you are using the drum as you can finish sand before coating and also sand between coats. A lot of what I say is summarized in the video linked below. As a final note, the corners can not be sanded by the edger so you will have to sand by hand or with help of a small square hand palm sander.

joeyL 08-11-2013 12:32 PM

Thanks for the info and video link. We will be renting the larger equipment if we pursue doing this ourselves. I haven't been able to get the palm sander to take off the finish around the perimeter. I was going to use an out of site perimeter area to test the color of stain we want, but this sander isn't taking the finish off. I wasn't sure how difficult it should be with a 40 grit pad.

Do you also like water or oil based stains?

Drywallinfo 08-11-2013 01:20 PM

It is tough to get down to the wood - as I remember I did the by-hand corner work by first starting with a stripper to get down to the wood and then finishing with sand paper starting with as coarse of grit as possible and following with progressively finer grits.

When I did my floors I always refinished them natural - they were maple floors. So I can not comment on the stain.

I used oil-based poly on several floors and also water-based poly on the last floor. The oil base held up much better to traffic but would progressively darken. The water-based poly was not as durable but did not darken, so you could lightly sand over the top and touch up worn areas as years went on. Water base dries faster so you could finish the whole job much faster and cleanup is easier. New products are being developed all the time so there may be a water-based poly now that is durable.

Jungle 08-31-2013 01:35 PM

You can get manual floor sander, like a mop. Sand it down a bit then paint it white for a rustic look.

maddygill 02-21-2014 04:45 AM

You may consult the flooring experts. I recently got my home decor done and got the trendy flooring so I highly recommend Hardwood flooring Sale Chantilly.

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