If any one is interested in sanding and staining floors then here is a few hints on how to go about it. In this case here we are going to be doing an old pine floor.
Preparing the Floor
Usually the first thing is to empty the room of all furniture, and remove the baseboards from around the walls. Then go over the floor to see if there are any nails that need to be hammered down using a nail set for this so as not to mark the floor.
Sanders and Sand Paper
If your renting a floor sander be sure to get the edger also and enough sand paper for the size of the floor. The sand paper will come in different grades from rough for the first sanding down to fine for the finish. Start with a sixteen or twenty four for floors with paint on them and end up with an eighty or one hundred.
After each pass with the drum sander I recommend doing a round with the edger. This will keep any drum marks that were made sanded out. Is best with the drum sander to try and feather it as you get to the wall and also where you start. If you don’t the sander will leave deeper marks on your floor and this will take a lot of time to sand out. Its something that takes practice to learn, but not hard to do if your careful.
Also when sanding always wear a protective good quality mask, because there will always be dust. Its advisable to keep a window open, and if you can even a fan to blow the dust out the window as this will help.
After each sanding pass with the drum and edger its a good idea to vacuum, taking your time to suck up all the sawdust in the cracks and corners. For this I would recommend using the soft bristle pick up on the end of the vacuum hose so as not to scratch the floor.
Another thing is to make sure you use a shop vac for all your vacuuming. As this dust is fine something like gyprock dust, and using a home vacuum will not do it any good. There are special bags you can find at hardware stores for your shop vac that are made for this fine dust. Saves buying your family a new house vacuum.
Once you have worked your way down to the fine sandpaper for your last pass, and done the same with the edger. Then its to give another quick vacuum. At this point you will have a little hand sanding to do in the corners, as the edger does not reach into the ninety degree corners. For this you can use a sanding mouse or palm sander as both work well for this.
I know not everyone does this, but at this point I use an extension light and go over the floor very carefully looking for any scratch marks which can be sanded out with the palm sanders. Old floors in older homes are never even and at times your sanding will not be perfect so is best to check the floor all over. This could be a little over kill on my part, but does a good job.
Next comes the vacuuming again and this time do the walls, doors, ceiling, removing all dust from the room. It takes time for this but you do not wont to have any dust left in the room and specially on the floor.
In the case of this pine floor the owner wonted it stained dark before applying varathane for the finishing coat. For the staining you can brush it on doing a small section at a time, as you wont to use old rags to wipe the stain even after applying with your paint brush. Make sure you have enough rags and wear some rubber gloves. Usually stain is left twenty four hours before applying varathane or what ever finish you wish to use.
When applying the top coat of polyurethane follow the instructions on the can , but usually fine sanding between coats is recommended. A pole sander works well for this, and a good vacuuming after sanding. It may take two or three top coats also, and leave two or three days before moving furniture back in and reinstalling base boards.
When your finished you should have a great looking floor, so best of luck on your projects.
Any comments or ideas are always appreciated.