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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All, Once again thank you to everyone who has helped me out. I appreciate it so much! My next project is on to the inside of the house. Wife wanted me to pull up the old carpet and see what was underneath. Did that this weekend with only a couple scratches to the face and hands from the staples. We where delighted to find excellant hardwood flooring continuing from our living room into the room that I am working on. Problem is there are white paint splotches all over the place. The wood looks like at one time it was finished but it really could use a GOOD touch up. everything is smooth with the exception of nicks from the staples from the carpeting. I believe it is oak hardwood. There are some dark spots closer to the fireplace (probably spilt ash over the years that soaked into the wood. If I am not able to sand out those dark spots we will just buy a throw rug. Here is my question, at first we where pricing out drum sanders, edge sanders, box sanders etc. It would have cost us $600 all together with that sand paper and rental fees. Now that we see the floor is in good shape I am redirecting my approach. I was thinking this is a good opp for me to by a good sander that I can keep for my other projects. I have a really good finishing sander but I dont think that is beefy enough to handle this job so I was thinking maybe ROS or a Power Disc sander. I figure going across the top with the new sander at 80 grit then 100 grit then 120 grit on the finishing sander should do it. I know this is going to take a long time but I am ok with that. Any advice on what type of sander can handle this sort of job?
 

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Check around for a local floor refinishing service. I had my whole house done (about 1300 square feet), and it cost less than $1000. Prices are likely different where you are, but it may be worth it. You really don't want to do heavy sanding of any single spot, because it will leave the floor wavy. For one room, you may get away with less than it would cost to rent a floor sander.
 

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Don't try it with a normal hand held random orbit sander - it would take forever and piles of sandpaper to complete. If you are doing it yourself do yourself a favor and rent the commercial sander. You could possibly do it with a hand held belt sander but it would still take forever. I did about 800 sq ft of red oak flooring in my old house and with a commercial drum sander it was still a full day job.
 

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If the only thing that bothers you about the floor is the white spots of paint, try scraping them off with the flat side of a sharp chisel. If paint is dropped on a finished surface, it does not penetrate into the wood past the finish but simply dries on that finish. I covered my workbench with bamboo flooring and I glue up projects on it, paint and stain on it. When it's dry, I scape it off with no scratches.

But I can't see what you got so if you do need to sand, like it's been said, do not spot sand or even run a hand held belt sander because you will end up with a very wavy surface. Either have a professional do it or rent a pro machine. The drum sanders are being replaced by disc sanders which sand much flatter. You'll want to start with a serious 20 or 30 grit paper first because if the previous job was done with a drum sander, you will discover waves... at least I did when I sanded my floors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If I am starting off with 80 grit though just to take a slight bit off the top is there really going to be that much of a waving issue?
 

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Can It be done with powered hand sanders? Yes.

But what is your time worth? The rented equipment will do a better job much much faster.

Another thing that has not been mentioned is dust extraction. The professional sanders will be in a different league on how they collect the dust. If you have not done this before, be prepared for how much fine dust this will introduce into your home.

Also I bet that you are grossly underestimating the amount of sand paper it will take using the smaller sander. I bet if you choose to go this route hind site will see that the rental wasn't that expensive after all. Around here Mirca and 3m abrasives go for a premium, but in my opinion are worth every red cent.

With most coatings I am familiar with you will also have to "screen" between coats. More paper more dust.
 

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floor sander

If you have never run a floor sander before, leave it to the pros. There is a reason for the term "division of labor," these guys who do it for a living are unbelievable. Renting a floor sander for the first time is like practicing dentistry on your kid some weekend; you might get the tooth pulled but would it really be worth it? If you love your home and want the job to look "professional" then hire a pro. I am not a floor sanding pro and don't want to be one. I have, however been involved in many remodeling jobs where the pros come in and I tip my hat to them, they are fast, clean and very good at what they do. Ask around and find out who the go to guys are in your area, you will not regret it IMHO.

Best wishes,

Bandman
 

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Did one with a plate sander. 12"x 12", this is designed for finishing floors. A little slower but really forgiving gets nearer the wall than the more aggressive sanders. Most rental companies carry these.
 

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My house has picture frame pattern oak floors. I sanded in 1990. Tried the 16"X 20" pad sander. Slow. Rented a drum sander. Much faster But you absolutely can not sand across the grain where the boards meet at right angles. Try 80 grit first. The 30 grit is really aggressive. You can always go to a courser grit if you need to do so.

With a drum sander you must be moving at touch down and lift off. Or you will have a very noticeable divot 1/8" deep or more in one second. Think the same action as using a spray gun.

I bought a Porter Cable (503?) 3"X 24" belt sander for the butt joints that run diagonally from the room center to the corners as I could get a clean sand line with the grain and stop before sanding cross grain into the adjacent board. Don't think that sander is made anymore but a good belt sander should do the same thing and weigh a lot less. Mine is a worm drive oil filled sander and weighs a ton. OK 15 pounds.

One other consideration is how many times your floor has been sanded before. A 3/4" thick floor is good for about two standings or maybe three before the tongues start to show. You can get a clue by pulling up some base shoe.

If your floor looks pretty good except for some paint splatters try scraping off the paint. Goo gone may work if it is latex with no scrapping. The price I had for three rooms in 1990 would have been about $1500 for a complete sand and refinish.

Is it a varnish or oil finish.

My house used to be a rental. The floor was charred by a renter using a hibachi grill in the dinning room. Oxalic acid bath bleached the floor and raise the grain. What ever you do never sand raised grain via oxalic acid without a mask and dust collection if you have it. Air conditioning is no substitute for open windows and fresh air when you apply the new finish. Ask me how I know.:eek:

One other thing. Using 80 grit paper with a belt sander left a much smoother finish than 80 grit paper with the drum sander. It was so noticeably different at the diagonal pattern joints from the field that I went over the whole floor with the belt sander after the floor sander. But it looked great in the end with three coats of Iothane by Iowa Paint. Don't think that finish as available any more either. Do not believe the paint store guy/gal when he tells you that you can use a foam roller. It will look like you used soapy water for the finish. Lambs wool roller or pad or natural bristle brush.
 

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Clean it and live with it 'till you can afford a pro,would be my advice in about 90% of cases.

Of the remaining 10%....I'd say less than 5 actually turns out for the better.And "the better" here isn't just what you see.....how much damage they've done to floor's integrity also needs to be taken into acct.

But it can be done......there is a boatload of work/money involved.Best of luck.
 

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I have sanded floors with a commercial drum sander, disc sander, belt sander and a hand orbital.
As others have said, the drum sander is a bit aggressive for your needs. You also have to be careful when starting and stopping as that is where it will leave marks.
My favorite is the disc sander. This is an attachment for a buffer. You can use sandpaper in a variety of grits or what looks like a screen. It is not as aggressive and can make quick work on your floors.
Give some thought to what you are going put on them when done sanding and cleaning. I have used the standard oil poly but there are water borne products that may be worth looking at.
I would not worry about the fireplace. Probably not much you can do. Either cover it up or consider it character marks and live with it.
 
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