How To Sand Wooden Floorboards
Whether your floorboards are stained, weathered, recently uncovered or in need of revitalisation, sanding them back to bare boards is a relatively quick and inexpensive way to give them new life.
What you'll need:
Drum and edge/corner sander
Sanding will inevitably result in a large amount of fine dust being generated and spread around even if your floor sander has a vacuum function. You should therefore remove all furniture, curtains and hangings from the immediate area and cover all immovable objects with an old sheet.
Hire an industrial drum sander. This will make the job far easier and more efficient. Using white spirit and a cloth remove any obvious stains from the floor surface.
Inspect the floorboards before starting the sanding process. Remove any nails and carpet tacks, staples and any other rough edges that might tear the sanding belts.
Begin the sanding process, sanding with the grain and systematically working your way around the room until an even layer has been removed. Empty the dust bag after this first step as the mixture of old finish and wood dust can easily combust. Use the edge sander to make sure all corners are reached.
Remove dust from the area before filling any nail holes with a suitably coloured wood filler. Allow the filler to dry before sanding for a second time, first at an angle to the grain and finally with the grain again.
Wait for the dust to settle before vacuuming the room thoroughly to remove all wood and varnish dust. Inspect the surface and edges to ensure that you are happy with the finish.
Apply your chosen varnish or coating according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Once the finish has dried and cured, replace furniture and fittings.
Wooden floors can add a great deal to a home, both in terms of appearance and value. Take the time to do the job with care and you will be left with a hard-wearing and attractive surface.
Get the right equipment for the job. Rental is relatively inexpensive and will make all the difference.
Protect your ears, mouth and nose as the sanding process is loud and creates a lot of dust.
Be considerate. Try to work during the day to avoid disturbing neighbours.
Close doors to other rooms when sanding as this will limit the spread of wood dust.
Use a high-quality varnish to protect the floorboards.