Refinishing waxed floors

My wife and I spent last weekend refinishing the floors in our dining room and living room. They turned out nice. But the big pain in the butt was that they were waxed. I mean WAXED, as in about 1000 coats over the last 75 years. Sandpaper was next to useless, the drum sander recommended by everybody from Bob Villa to Don Juan, using 36 grit (the coarsest they had) would clog the paper in about 5 minutes and start to leave melted streaks of wax. We finally had to resort to paint stripper, which got us down to wood that could be sanded. I wonder what others have done in this situation, or is stripper the way we should have done the whole thing, then sanded? The edges were a real bummer. The wax was literally more than a 1/32 inch thick. We have one more room to do, and we will use stripper FIRST, then sand. We are still talking however. tad
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Rent a circular floor buffer-scrubber and use Lundmark wax remover and a coarse pad. Alot of rinsing and wax remover will be needed. Then it can be sanded with a drum sander. Or use wax remover and a sharpened flat blade shovel , then the scrubber.
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On Sat, 01 May 2004 00:59:28 GMT, "ottertailfamily"

This is a very familiar scenario. Modern floor finish contains close to zero "wax": it is a suspension of polymers. The good stuff is well over 20% solids. With the exception of a few specialty coatings, floor "wax" is water soluable. Johnson's Wax has some great floor strippers--even one or two which "require no scrubbing". I always avoid the no-scrub variety.
Apply the stripper solution to half the room; let it set--but not dry--scrub it with a rotary scrubber and black stripping pad. Use a wet vac to pick up the solution, and rinse, rinse, rinse. Add one ounce/gal white vinegar to the final rinse water.
If the rental company has a Nylo-grit brush, choose that over a black stripping pad because it will not load up with plastic. If you must use a black pad, you can renew it by hosing out the solids it collects.
A sharpened putty knife is great for the edges and corners.
If the stripping is thorough, sanding might not be necessary.
Michael
When I die, I want to go where dogs go!
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