January 22, 2021

How to Sand & Refinish Wood Floors

You know, it’s about time we started sharing some man’s work on this site. I’ve been a little AWOL this past week because I have been sanding and refinishing the floors in our new house. We bought a dope crib that needs a lot of fixing up – which saved us a ton of money – but also requires a ton of labor and that’s where I come in. So, today I will teach you how to sand and prep your wood floors.

Checklist.

1. Rent a large floor sander. For parquet you need a random orbital sander and for straight boards you can use that or a belt sander.
2. You need a smaller sander for the edges. you can rent one or buy a handheld like a mouse sander.
3. You need TONS of sandpaper. I used the random orbital which holds 4 discs at a time. I would say by the end of my 1000sq. foot job I went through 200 discs.
4. A good shop vac. Get something with at least 9 gallon capacity and 4 horsepower. This is going to suck the dust right off the sander while you sand and later you will need this for cleanup. Don’t rent, buy. It’s the same price or less.
5. 2 canister respirator. If you are going to take years off your life do it the fun way with drugs and alcohol – not with particles of sawdust.
6. Eye protection. Why fuck your eyes up?
7. Extension cords.
8. Stain color of your choice.
9. Stain applicators (one for a pole and one handheld)
10. Box of rags
11. Paintbrush
12. Floor scraper
13. Wood filler

The first thing you do when redoing your floors is to go around and pull up any left over staples or nails and if there is old glue use your scraper to remove as much as possible. The less shit on the floors the less ruined sanding discs – which get expensive. Once that’s done, repair any missing boards, any termite damage, and any subfloor issues. Whenever fixing a subfloor or interior wall or anything anyone might see in the future I always try to leave them a relic or a note – just to make their day. Someday some contractor years from now will be finding a TTHU Tits & Cream Cheese sticker and he will be stoked! Once you have the subfloor fixed as well as any replacement boards and all the tiny holes and cracks filled with wood filler you are ready to sand. Sanding is a multi-stage process. I used 4 grit levels of sandpaper. Started with the heaviest, 36 grit, and sanded off as much of the old glue and stuff as I could. Then I moved down to 40 grit, and then 80 grit and then 150 grit. You could rub your taint on my floors and not catch a splinter! (I know this because I did it and it was awesome) If your floors have excessive glue or old tar expect to use a lot more time and sanding discs! Also, a helpful tip to save money, don’t go over the old glue or tar until the end and save all your used discs to go over the glue and tar first. Reason being, the disc friction heats up the glue and transfers it to the disc and then the disc is ruined so you might as well use already ruined discs from the beginning. Expect sanding your floors to be the hardest workout you have ever done. My 1000 sq feet took 24 hours of sanding plus, 8 hours of edging. If you are rich and don’t mind paying $6-8 per square foot then hire this job out, but I did my floors for about $1000 and a ton of man hours instead of $6,000-$8,000. My next installment will be staining and varnishing…

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