sanding floorboards - advice, pitfalls?

Hi
I am able to wallpaper and paint but have never taken on anything more than this.
I would like to sand the floorboards in my lounge and then stain them/polish them so that they are smooth and reasonably light in colour - not dark mahogany, more teak or oak!
I need to hire a sander, and I believe I also need to hire a second 'edge' sander.
Would this be the correct approach?
1. carefully sand the floor. 2.hoover up and wipe away all sawdust and dust. 3. wipe of the floorboards with a damp cloth. 4. stain the floor boards with the appropriate colour of wood stain
Thanks for any advice
R.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Pretty much. Be prepared for a LOT of dust. Seal every adjoining room off (you'll still find dust in the most bizarre of places). Knock any protruding nails down with a nail punch. Work diagonally with the big sander then do the edges. You might want to consider cleaning the floorboards with white spirits or a proprietary cleaner - if you use a damp cloth make sure the floor is bone dry before varnishing. The floor is particularly vulnerable until you've varnished it so careful with footprints, spills etc. once you've sanded it. If you want a light colour, consider a clear varnish - it's amazing how dark the natural wood will appear once varnished. If in doubt test a small unseen area first. Hope this helps!
Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Prior to sanding make sure you punch in ALL the nails, or they will tear the sandpaper. Take your time at doing it, as the sand paper is quite pricy.

Open all windows, and isolate room from the rest of the house as much as possible - this is a messy job! Masking tape around door frames is a good idea...
Technique is very important for a good result: start with the heavy duty sandpaper, working against the grain, allowing for a slight overlap between passes. Make sure you always keep the sander moving or you will end up with uneven floor. Once you reach a uniform and "clean-looking" timber, repeat the process, but this time working with the grain. Once completed work with the grain, gradually using finer and finer sandpaper. Follow the same process with the edge sander as you go along.
Make sure you collect the dust every once in a while - from my experience at this stage a broom will do, although a vacuum cleaner is OK as well.
Also, have plenty of face masks and a pair of goggles, ear defenders are also a good idea.

Don't forget to brush the walls as well!
Leave room for a few hours (e.g. overnight) for the dust to settle, and repeat stage 2 above.

Never needed to do that - taking my time with my Dyson gave good enough results without having to wipe.

From my experience following the instructions on the tins always left me short of wood stain - probably something to do with the wood being very old and absorbent, so make sure you have plenty (B&Q and the like will always take back the excess tins).

You are welcome.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
none wrote:

Yes
A few more steps:
a) Take everything out of room
b) Remove any nail heads you can see sticking up, or better, knock them below the surface (they will tear up the sandpaper pdq)
c) Seal doors with tape to avoid entire house being filed with dust
d) Avoid rupturing yourself carrying the very heavy sander to-and-from car
e) Get loads of sandpaper from the hire shop on sale or return; you'll need plenty because they rip very easily

....going only with direction of the grain, naturally

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

0.1 Fix down any loose boards. 0.2 Punch down any nails that are near the surface. 0.3 Remove skirting board.
5. You'll need to seal it with something after you've stained it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Be very careful before staining pine. It is really difficult to get a nice effect without blotchiness or orange tones. Generally speaking, it might be better to use a clear finish and allow the wood to darken naturally over a few years.

Work through all the grades, following the instructions. Some tips:
1. Work diagonally across the boards until you get to the fine grades (60/100), where finishing along the boards will remove the cross cuts. This gives a much smoother finish, without the ruts you get from going parallel or perpendicular.
2. NEVER EVER stop or start the machine in contact with the boards. Practice your technique of lowering (and raising) the head whilst moving without wasting distance. It must be done rapidly (so you sand the whole floor), but with a very gentle touchdown and takes some practice. With a little experience, you get to the point when you won't break a single sheet until it is truely worn.
3. If you have old Victorian "black gunk" painting onto the boards, you're in for much more work. The gunk will normally clog the paper, particularly on the edge sander. This can be overcome by using a "flick" technique with the edge sander. Rather than laying flat on the floor, pick it up and swing it sideways, only making light contact with the top of the disc at the bottom of the swing. The black gunk will then fly off as powder, rather than liquifying (and then solidifying) into paper blocking gunk. This is an absolute killer to do for long periods, but is much more effective (and cheaper) than the alternative.
4. Don't skimp on going down the grades.
5. Local independent hire shops can cost as little as a 3rd of the price of the largest national chains. Check prices of the consumables.
6. You can't buy too much of the 24 grit. You need less of the other grades. It is normally available on use or return.
7. If you decide to varnish, then use a "diamond" type water based floor varnish. Apply 3 or 4 coats. You MUST sand between the 2nd and 3rd coats using a very fine sandpaper, preferably on a small palm orbital sander. Think 150-240 grit for this. This really improves the surface.
Christian.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thank you all for your help...
Can you just explain what different things I can coat the newly sanded floor with. Is it varnish or stain - the varnish is more hard wearing, the stain is more natural looking?
Thank you again.
Oh and any chance I can leave the skirting boards on? Most of the ground floor had the plaster replaced during damp proof work and I just got the skirting boards back on 8/ Will the edge sander not go right up to the edges?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Staining is only meant to be used to give you the right colouring/effect, varnish is the protecting coat. So, even if you intend to stain the wood you will need to varnish it later. You can also buy coloured varnish that does both in on go, but I believe that you get better finish with separate coats.
Plan for a minimum of 2 coats of varnish - depending on the level of usage of the room etc. Most people recommend around 2 coats for a bedroom, and, say, 4 for a heavily used room (hall, lounge etc).
The good quality varnish is (very) expensive. From the experience of sanding around 15 rooms in the last couple of years I will not touch anything other than Ronseal Diamond Hard (available from most sheds). I rent the two sanders for 80 per week (+ say, 20 for paper per room). The varnish for such room can be 50-60!
I usually wood sealer (http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?ts 185&id391) as a first coat. Costs around a 3rd of the price of the varnish, and saves you at least one coat...

Don't worry about it. Take your time, and you can get to all but the last 1-2mm, which is not noticeable at all.

I second that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Watch the edge sander: if you are clumsy with it you will dig crescent shaped gouges in the floor in a second or two, and they are difficult to remove ( best to blend them in ) Also, do not take the edge sander near a radiator pipe as it will slice through the pipe in no time at all.
Andy.>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It will go right up to the edge. The paper overhangs the machine by about 5mm. You can actually tuck it under the skirting.
However, you will still get a slightly better appearance by taking the skirting off, as you get rid of any edge effects. The difference won't be huge, though.
Christian.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.