Thanks Tony. That helps a lot. I should have realized that you used Bona
Traffic for the finish since you wrote about that in detail elsewhere. Even
though said it is extremely durable and long lasting, I won't be using that
since I don't need super durability. The hardwood that I am going to put
down will be in an apartment that I will be renting out, and regular
polyurethane will work for me for that and is much less expensive. I don't
mind spending more for good quality materials in general, but in this case
the price difference would be way too much for me to want to go with the
Knowing that you used Red Oak Select and Better also helped since I can get
Red Oak locally.
What really helped is knowing that you did use stain first and knowing what
you used. The Bona Dri-Fast cherry stain that you picked looks like it
would produce exactly the look that I would like to achieve. Unfortunately,
I can't seem to find any local places where they sell that product (I am in
New Jersey, near Philadelphia, PA). But maybe I can test out some other
brand of stain and try choosing cherry as the color.
Dark, about hand-sized.
But that was an unwalked on area under a table and rug.
Could have been just the varnish took most or all of it.
Sander didn't do anything special there.
Had a few other lighter stains where the varnish was almost gone,
and they all disappeared too.
Might be I was seeing varnish discoloration, not wood stains.
All I really know is when asked the sander if the stains would come
out, he said "Don't know, we'll find out."
Judging from the ridge when I did the base/shoe,
they took off close to 1/16"
I would hate to strip or sand a floor with the finish intact. What was
"professionally done" six years ago....new floor or refinish? If the
floor is smooth and even, dulling the old finish with steel wool might
be easier....is there a floor shop that can give you estimates? Even
so, keeping everyone and two dogs off the floor for days won't be easy.
I've done lots of furniture refinishing and it seems a floor, if
completely stripped, would need at least three coats. One or two if not
I'll tell you what happened when I did mine last year.
First off, I never used a paint/varnish stripper that didn't change
the color of and texture of the wood. The chemicals soak into the
wood, Can't even imagine doing an entire floor.
Had my floors sanded last year by 2 guys who do that for a living.
Maybe 400 sq ft.
Floors were in bad shape, and they took off wood.
Big drum sander. Long vacuum hose attached.
They kept the big vacuum outside
They left no dust anywhere. None.
$500 bucks with 3 coats of poly.
But that price isn't common everywhere.
He was going to do one coat for the price he gave me.
Which was $450.
When they finished up I asked my wife to ask him about coats.
She speaks Polish better than me.
The sander said 3 coats is best.
Told her to tell them I'd pay more.
So they came the next day, and the day after, early in the morning.
They quickly buffed and vacuumed before the second coat.
I don't know what they had on the buffer.
Looked like regular a buffing pad to me.
They poured from a 5-gal can of poly and mopped on it.
Ten minutes max for the mopping.
Next day a 5 minute vacuuming, ten minute mopping.
Came out perfect.
Takes a coat about 5 hours to dry so you can walk on it.
Wife was at work, me and the dogs stayed in the basement.
The fumes got down there, and I ended with a sore throat.
Took about 3 days before there were no fumes.
I should have set up a couple box fans to exhaust.
BTW, I mentioned before I was going to give them $600.
I told him that before I wrote the check..
They did the last coat early in the morning, waking me up.
I still hadn't had coffee, and wrote a check for $500.
He took it and they left.
I called him about an hour later when I realized what I did, and
apologized, and said come and get another hundred.
Called him again a couple days later. Said come and get your hundred.
He never came for the hundred.
I still can't figure that out.
If the OP wants to DIY, I second what somebody said about renting an
You can't hurt your floor with a fine grit orbital.
I don't know how thick it is.
I'd start with fine, go to coarser if it's not taking it off fast
enough, and finish it with fine.
Orbitals don't kick up much dust either.
Never rented one, but I'd expect they come with a setup
to attach tor your shop vac.
Seen some that have a vac built in.
It'a a big job. Doable enough, but I would pay pros to do it.
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