Removing gummy carpet padding from wood floors.

I have an old (1912) house with pine or fir wood floors and I think shellac finish over stain. We just removed some ~20 year old carpet and padding, and the floor doesn't look too horrible, so we would like to preserve as much of the original finish as possible.
We are using mineral spirits to remove the gummy pad stains, but it is not coming off too easily. We have about a 1x4' area completed in 3 hours, and you can still see some of the spots. They even seem to look grey or white (dried out) instead of looking like the surrounding finish.
I tested the finish with water, and in the corners it will bead up with no white spots, so I do not think there is much if any wax buildup. The high traffic areas do not bead, but will soak in and darken the wood.
We have tried plastic scrapers to no avail. Fingernails seem to do the best job. Acetone removes the finish and lightens the wood.
Eventually we would like to apply a coat of paste wax to add some protection and shine to the floor.
Any ideas or suggestions? Jay and Kelli
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Scrape off the gunk. Sand to bare wood. Refinish.
Now that you've used mineral spirits on some areas, you'll need to do the above to get a consistent finish. No way around it.

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try Goo-Gone; I have used it to remove old duct tape gum from a wood floor. Goo-Gone is to gum removal what WD40 is to stuck bolts....
http://www.magicamerican.com/googone.shtml
------------------------------------------

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On 11 Jun 2005 12:55:39 -0700, laslow snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Scrape the padding off with whatever works best - I've used regular paint scrapers with good effect as long as you are *very* careful of the corners of the scraper. Once the pad is removed rent a floor sander and take it all down to bare wood (there is no finish left in the traffic areas, that is why the water soaks in) before applying your favorite floor finish.
IMO, trying to preserve any of the old finish on a floor that will actually be used is a waste of time.
-- "We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and bring something to kill"
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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(snip)
You have my sympathy. About ten years ago I had to do the same thing except the kind soul who installed the carpet (It was in one piece and even went into the kitchen, laundry and toilet!) actually glued it to the floor. I tried any number of solvents, the only thing that would disolve the glue was petrol (gasoline). The scraper I used was a spade. I managed to do one room but gave up on the idea and just put linoleum down and then we sold the house.
After that I suggested to my local MP that there be an amendment to the criminal code to create a new offence 'Criminal Renovation' penalty 15 years.
Mekon
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laslow snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

IF the surface is shellac, white stains could be from water. Try very fine steel wool on those. Some waxes will turn white with food stains on them, as well.

Don't use water.

Blue 3M scrubber might work. May want to start with less abrasive one, if there is one. I don't recall how many varieties there are.

An old book on finishing pianos tells of using multiple coats of shellac to build a glassy coating, with varnish on top for protection from water and alcohol, both of which will leave rings on shellac. If you get down to the old coating, a couple of coats of real varnish might be good. Mineral spririts to remove all wax, first. Fine steel wool with mineral spirits may dull the shellac finish, but a final finish of whatever gloss you like should even it out. Be sure to wipe up all steel wool particles, and let ms dry well.
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I've used WD 40 many times to remove all sorts of glue you might test an inconspicuous area and see if that works Bob

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Don't laugh at this idea...try some Pam the kitchen spray...you see I sell hotwheels on ebay and some of the price stickers from some of the older ones that I bought were a bear to remove without damaging the card and just a little pam on a rag and gently rub and the glue comes off the cardboard and the clear plastic that the hotwheel is displayed in...works every time
Tina

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Put a drop of alcohol on the floor and test it for softening in a few minutes to confirm it is shellac. If it is use alcohol to remove the shellac under the padding. Shellac and lacquer melt previous coats forming a single coat of finish unlike varnish that builds layers of finish as it doesn't melt previous coats. When floor is clean I'd use dewaxed shellac as the finish as it was used for years prior to varnish. Easy repair unlike varnish. It can be obtained in several "colors" depending on steps during processing. Look for the color variations of shellac at www.homesteadfinishing.com
On 11 Jun 2005 12:55:39 -0700, laslow snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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Everyone, thanks for your replies!
FYI, the Pam and WD-40 did not work, but the Pam left a nice shiny finish and a buttery smell :)
The alcohol removed the stain and the finish.
We will try the steel wool and MS tomorrow.
Either way, the finish is "unsound" and needs repair. I am thinking another coat of shellac will do the trick. I'll let ya know how things develop.
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laslow snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote in

Been there, done that-- we've removed all the carpet from our 1958 house, five rooms and several hallways. The previous owners were idiots and glued carpet pad to the oak floors; several rooms had more than one later of carpet (topping out at three laters plus two pads for a nearly 2" floor). As others have said, you're much better off scraping and refinishing the floors than trying to save the existing finish.
With the glued-down pads we ended up using a floor scraper, like you'd use to rip up tile. Used carefully it was possible to remove the pads without gouging the flooring, but small scratches were common. This left a layer of adhesive that had to be removed, in addition to the remains of the original varnish. We rented the Varathane rotary floor sander, which is essentially a triple-head random orbit sander with a vacuum attached. It actually worked pretty well and we were able to run through three grits in a 12x14' room in half a day. The corners I sanded with my 5" Bosch ROS to the same grit. Even with the vacuum system it's a dusty process.
We refinshed the floors with the water-based Varathane satin finish. It worked great, went down easily, and looks like a new floor. We've only had this done for about six months so I can't comment on wear, but if it lasts I'll be delighted. The only spots on the floor that look bad are a few places where the wood is stained from my attempts to use a 3M carpet adhesive removal product, which is what the local flooring folks suggested to use on the carpet adhesive. It didn't work at all; the mechanical approach was clearly better, though dusty.
-kiwanda
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On 11 Jun 2005 12:55:39 -0700, laslow snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I used one of these
http://www.ww2incolor.com/gallery/albums/British/churchill_mk_7_crocodile.sized.jpg
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