Sanding Wood Floors and Refinishing


This article is about sanding wood floors and refinishing, and in this case the floors are in an old farm house, with one floor being painted a gray color from an oil based paint.

Removing the Old Paint

Trying the floor sander on this paint did not go to well, as the paint just glued itself to the sand paper on the drum.

So to make life a little easier I used a paint scraper on it first to get most of the paint off, and while this requires a fair amount of time, it did work well.

This room was only 12 by 12 feet, so the scraping didn’t take too long.

After that the rough sand paper on the drum floor sander lasted a lot longer with only going through about 3 or 4 of the sand papers.

Also, as the floor was not level, it took a while to sand out the higher spots.

There was a few carpet tacks to pull out, as someone must have had a carpet covering this floor at some point in time.

Sanding

Once the rough sanding was complete, which can take a while depending on the condition of the floor, than you can go to a medium like number 40 or 80 sand paper for 5 or 6 passes before switching to the fine sand paper for finishing your floor.

Then you can use an edger around the outside of the room where the drum sander can’t reach. Start with the rough paper, than down to medium and fine.

Also, is a good idea to take off any small 3/4 inch moldings around the baseboards, so that your not left with a line showing after sanding, and replace these after floor is finished.

If you have any closets that are too small for the drum sander, than the edger can be used in them, and a small mouse sander with its v shape works well for the corners.

You will find that some small sanding is required where the drum sander might have left some marks.

Random Orbital sanders

If you have a random orbital sander it can be used to remove any spots where the drum sander overlapped.

Usually giving the floor a good vacuuming, and using a strong light you can see any places that need a touch up sanding.

Dust

You will also wont to cover any doorways that are open with a plastic or blanket of some kind.

Even with the dust bags on the drum sander and edger, there always seems to be dust, and would suggest wearing a mask when sanding just to help keep you healthy.

Floors

If your floor is very uneven with some high and low spots than your first rough sanding should be across the grain of the floor boards to level them out.

Usually most floors are fairly level, so the sanding is with the grain of the wood,

And always get enough sandpaper, because the more often you have to change paper, the faster your floor sanding will go.

Start with a 24 grit, than 40 or 80 grit, than up to 120 for the fine sanding.

Once your floor sanding is done, than its time to get out your shop vacuum, and take your time to clean up all dust on the floor, windows, walls, and anything else in the room.

Polyurethanes

Next question to ask yourself is what do you put on your floors, and that depends on the individuals likes.

For my own floors I used Minwax Polyurethane clear gloss, and have seen other floors where a satin finish was used, which is not so shiny.

One floor in my log house was done with an oil based Polyurethane, and is still standing up to the wear and tear of every day traffic.

Most of these Polyurethanes require 2 coats to be put on, but a third coat can be applied with a 4 to 6 hour drying time between coats.

Always give a light sanding between coats, and a vacuuming, where light sanding means using fine sand paper to go over the floor lightly.

A sanding attachment used for gyprock works well, and you can even use a broom handle on them so is easier on the knees.

Staining

If you decide to stain your floors for a darker look, than is best to follow the recommendations on your can of stain.

Most stains can be put on with a rag or paint brush, and wiped in the direction of the grain of wood to give it a uniform coverage.

Also, would suggest wearing a pair of rubber gloves and knee pads when doing this.

Allow your stain to dry completely as per instructions on the can, before applying a Polyurethane to protect the floor.

There are some finishes that are a two in one, where the stain and protective finish are done in one step.

One thing about applying stain is to always try it out first on a scrap piece of wood, or in a closet corner to see how it looks first.

Minwax

Minwax has a Polyurethane with an oil base that does not require sanding between coats, so this will save you some time when applying, and they also have a water based Polyurethane for hardwood floors.

The Minwax also sells a top coat with a crystal clear finish, that gives a very durable finish, and again requires no sanding between coats.

Having used this product myself have found it to be excellent to apply, and does stand up to traffic.

Sanding by Hand

Some people do attempt to sand small rooms by hand, which means using a belt sander, or random orbital sander.

The belt sanders do work, but take a lot of time, and the sander has to be of good quality to be able to do a floor or outside deck.

One thing I have used on a small floor is the motorized gyprock sanders.

They actually work fairly well if your not in a hurry, and have the attachments to collect dust in your shop vacuum.

With a good level floor or deck to start with these tools can be used, but will take you a lot longer than the drum floor sander and edger.

T’he gyprock sander can cost anywhere from 300 to 600$, and to buy a belt sander another couple hundred or more for a good one.

So if you don’t have these tools on hand, than it is cheaper to just go and rent the floor sander and edger, which will get the job done faster, and mabey even better.

Finishing

So no matter which way you decide to sand your floors, one thing experience has taught me is to take your time and do a good job, and in the end you will have a great looking floor.

And before moving any furniture back in your room, follow the instructions from what ever you put on your floor for the time it takes to dry.

Many of these products require you to wait 24 hours, before moving furniture back in the room.

Conclusion

So best of luck on sanding your floors, and any comments are always appreciated.

Wayne.

 

Roof Rafter Repair

You will most likely need a new roof when you see water coming through your ceiling, or your old shingles have lifted in places or curled up.

Roof Shingles

Most shingles for roofs have a twenty to twenty five year life span, depending on the quality.

With todays climate change and the sunlight in summer seems to be hotter  it would be a good idea to check your roof every three or four years.

If you find the shingles lifted or curled up, then is close for a renew time.Shingle roof

Getting Roof Ready

If you wont to do this yourself then with a two story house is best to set up some scaffolding to work safely on, as a twenty or so foot drop is not always good for the body.

Or you can just hire professional roofers to do it for you.

The Rafters

In the case of this roof the level was down in the middle so the rafters were sagged down.

After removing the shingles and plywood and boards on this old farm house roof, we could see places that had rotted through.

Some of the old rafters were three feet apart, but that measurement varied from rafter to rafter.

Actually the roof looked like it had been built with second hand lumber, so I suppose a hundred or more years ago it was not as easy to get quality building materials, or just a lack of money at the time.Rafters

Rafter Sizes

Some rafters were two by fours and others were four by fours, seemed to be no set standard.

If you come across a situation like this then is best to put in some two by sixes to strengthen and straighten the roof.

You can run a line from one end of the peak to the other end getting it as level as possible, and use it as a reference to put your rafters up to.

If the roof is not sagged to much  then you might be able to sister two by sixes to the old rafters, or also put new two by sixes between the old rafters for extra support.

Vents

If you happen to have any bathroom vents coming into your attic then is a good time to connect there venting to the outside, as they will be easy to work on with the roof off.

Once all the rafters are up in place and level across, then the boards can be put back on and new plywood before installing your new shingles.

Then any roof vents can be cut out and new flashing put around chimneys, vents or valleys if any.Rafters

Underlay

Then the drip edge and underlay can be put on.

The underlay can be felt tar paper or the new self adhering underlay. The self adhering is an excellent product for shingle roofs, adding extra protection from leaks, and the rubberized asphalt seals around nails driven through it from the shingles.

Also would recommend it along the peak, under flashing around vents and chimneys, and in valleys before applying the shingles.

Tools Used for This Project

Hammer and pry bars.

Makita circular saw.

Reciprocating saw.

Dewalt drills 20 volt batteries.

Levels- 6 and 2 foot.

Chalk line.

Scaffolding.

 

Hope this left you with a few ideas  for repairing rafters in an old roof.

Any comments, always appreciated.

Wayne.

 

Furring Strips for Drywall

Getting a Room Ready For Drywall

If your stripping a room with one by three furring strips for drywall, they are usually placed at sixteen inch centers. Also making sure the last one at the four foot mark is centered.Furring Strips for Drywall

Sloped Ceilings

Many of the old farm houses will have sloped ceilings. If you wont to install a light in your ceiling, then just run a two by six  across the center of the ceiling.

This then gives you a place to anchor your light box so it wont be sitting on an angle in the ceiling.

This also gives strong support if in the future a ceiling fan would be installed.Furring Strips for Drywall

Closet Space

With the sloped ceilings in the room there is very little space to build a closet, so what I have done in this situation is at the three foot level on the slopes you can build either three levels of drawers, or put in shelves.

The drawer idea requires a lot of work to make, as it means making a frame work for the drawers where the drawer slides will run, and plywood for the drawers themselves with a face of pine or any type of wood you prefer.

Once finished will look great and give lots of room for storing clothes or anything else.

The shelf idea is quicker to make, just cut a piece of three quarter plywood, and fit it in at the height you wont. Or you can even go for drawers and shelves.

So at the same time that your doing the stripping you can take these things into account for what you wont to have for a closet space.Drawers for sloped ceiling

Electrical

Also as your doing the stripping you will wont to mark where you wont the electrical outlets in your room. Best to install the boxes for that, plus the wiring before the insulation is put in.

The electrical boxes are attaches with screws , and flush to where the drywall will be. The wiring is usually put through the two by sixes or two by fours that the walls were originaly built with drilling holes through these for the wire to pass through.

A Brick Wall

One wall  in this bedroom was the original brick of the old farm house, so in order to strip over it you can nail a two by four unto the floor at the bottom.

Then at the ceiling  another two by four is nailed to the rafters. In this case with the room being small the two by fours were nailed on there flat in order to give more room on the stairwell.

After the other two by fours are in place then the one by three furring strips  are added every sixteen inches up the wall for the drywall.Stripping over a brick wall

Insulation

Once you have all the stripping put on and the electrical boxes for plugs in place then next would be your insulation.

Many people today are having the foam sprayed in, and it does give an excellent insulation and no air leaks.

Over the years I have seen when the fiberglass insulation is installed in walls and ceilings the mice and squirrels will tear it apart for there nest, leaving your walls and ceilings rather poorly insulated, just something to think about.

Windows

If you have any windows in the room be sure to add the furring strips all the way around the window, so it gives you a place to nail your window trim to.Furring strips around a window

Drywall Joints

Also when installing your drywall on a ceiling it is a good idea to put short pieces of the one by three furring strips between the sixteen inch strips where the joints in the drywall meet.

I have had to patch  quite a few ceilings because of cracks showing up where the joints are and this is most often the cause.

Repairing Ceiling and Wall Cracks

If you ever have to repair any of these cracks that appear in the ceilings and walls just take a knife and cut a v  where the crack is , then tape it and apply a coat of a product called Durabond 90 which prevents cracks from appearing again. It takes about an hour and a half to dry then smooth over with joint filler and a light sanding when dry and your ready for primer paint and a top coat.

I have also used the durabond to patch dog and cat scratches on the wood work beside doors, it seems to work really well for this also.

Tools

For all the cutting of the furring strips and two by fours am still using a Makita circular saw seven and a quarter inch, as its one of those tools that just keeps on running. Highly recommended if your ever looking for a saw.  Makita saw

Ideas

Well I hope this gives you a few ideas on installing  the one by three furring strips before you get prepared to put the drywall on.

Any comments just drop me a note

Wayne.