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stripping painted hardwood floors


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  • stripping painted hardwood floors

    I have a what I am hoping are beautiful floors under crappy carpet. When I pull back the floor registers I can see that the floor is tongue and groove hardwood but has been painted white. The floors run throughout the entire house and am alternately excited and frightened by the task of sanding the paint off and exposing the glory of the old floor. I have also considered just putting down some laminate wood floors, but this is an expensive proposition, and not nearly as romantic as 100 year old oak floors. Would love any thoughts, advice, things to think about etc.


  • #2
    Sanding back old floors isn't for the faint hearted and the process if your not careful can go bad really quickly, that said it is a doable job for the little more experienced home owner that has a little patience.

    What you need to do first is look to see that the tongue and groove planks are still seated into each other as large gaps between planks can be unsightly, unless of course this is "part of the charm" required.

    The tools you will need should be available at your local rental shop, drum floor sander and a hand sander for the edges. You will need several grades of sanding sheets/paper, the first grade you use will be dictated by how thick the paint is on the floor. You will start by removing the paint, then changing the grade of sand paper/cloth to a finer and finer grade to get the smoothest finish possible. This is a messy dusty process so be prepared to do plenty of vacuuming and the final vacuuming must be very detailed as you don't want any dust in the poly.

    The application of the poly is probably the easiest part, it can be simply broomed on with a lambswool applicator, you allow that to dry then a very light sand between coats of more poly.

    Be warned that water stains will not sand out of the wood, so if you have any they will always be there, dark stain ( I didn't mention stain application above) will hide some water stains a little.

    It is a little more detailed than above so if you decide to give it a try (pick a smaller room like a bedroom for a test run) let us know and we can be more specific for your particular project.
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
    Every day is a learning day.


    • #3
      I would brave the task of sanding it all, though its gonna be tough. You'll like the outcomeway better


      • #4
        If your floors are 100 years old you may want to test the paint to see if its lead based paint, How true all the hype is with lead based paint and how it effects children is out of my expertise, but if you sand it there will be lead all over your house. You may want to strip it before sanding to remove most of the paint before sanding, I have seen paint clog up a sanding disc in a heart beat and also heat up and look like its melting