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Wood Floor Stripping and Sanding: The Basics

Posted on June 21, 2023

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Revitalize Your Floors: A Basic Guide to Wood Floor Stripping and Sanding

Wood flooring offers a timeless appeal to any home. But over time, these floors can lose their luster due to traffic, wear and tear, and age. That’s where stripping and sanding come in. These processes can renew the life of your wood floors, restoring their original charm and elegance. This guide will explain the basics of wood floor stripping and sanding.

Introduction to Stripping and Sanding

Stripping and sanding are two essential steps in restoring wood floors. Stripping involves removing the old finish from the wood surface, while sanding smooths the surface in preparation for a new finish. Undertaking these processes can give your old, dull floors a refreshing new look.

When Should You Strip and Sand Your Wood Floors?

If your wood floors are looking worn out, have deep scratches, or the finish has begun to flake, it may be time to consider stripping and sanding. It’s also an option if you’re looking to change the color of your wood floors. Remember, while this process can be DIY, it does require time, patience, and a bit of physical labor.

Necessary Tools and Materials

Before you start, gather all necessary tools and materials:
  1. Chemical stripper
  2. Protective gear (rubber gloves, eye protection, respirator)
  3. Scraper or stripping pad
  4. Sandpaper or an orbital sander
  5. Vacuum cleaner or broom
  6. Wood filler (if necessary)
  7. Stain or finish

A Step-by-Step Guide to Stripping and Sanding

Step 1: Preparation

Begin by clearing the room of all furniture, rugs, and other items. Ensure the room is well-ventilated and you have your protective gear on.

Step 2: Stripping

Apply the chemical stripper to the floor following the manufacturer’s instructions. Wait for the specified time until the finish begins to bubble or peel. Use the scraper or stripping pad to gently remove the old finish. After stripping, clean the floor thoroughly to remove any remaining stripper.

Step 3: Sanding

Start sanding the floor, beginning with coarse-grit sandpaper and gradually moving to finer grits. Always sand along the grain of the wood to avoid scratching the surface. An orbital sander can make this job quicker and easier. Herringbone floor sanding in progress by Mr Sander® using the powerful Effect 2200 belt sander. Voltage: 220V, Frequency: 60Hz. Size: 250x750mm. Dust extraction system with HEPA filter ensures a clean and efficient outcome.

Step 4: Cleaning and Filling

After sanding, clean the floor thoroughly to remove dust and debris. If there are any gaps or cracks in the floor, fill them with wood filler. Allow the filler to dry before moving to the next step.

Step 5: Finishing

Once the floor is clean and dry, you can apply your chosen stain or finish. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. Let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next one.

Aftercare Tips

To keep your newly stripped and sanded floors looking their best,
  1. Sweep or vacuum regularly to prevent dust and debris from scratching the finish.
  2. Clean up spills immediately to prevent water damage.
  3. Consider using rugs or mats in high-traffic areas to protect the floor.
Wooden Floor Care


Stripping and sanding are crucial steps in renewing your wood floors. They can restore the beauty and longevity of your floors, enhancing the overall look of your home. While it might seem like a daunting task, with the right tools, a good plan, and a little patience, you can breathe new life into your wood floors. Remember, the goal of stripping and sanding is to restore and revitalize. With care and regular maintenance, your wood floors can remain a timeless centerpiece in your home for many years to come.

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We provide virtually dust-free sanding with our continuous belt machinery with mobile extraction units, giving you a safer environment for your family.

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This organic finish not only adds beauty to your home but also has exceptional water-repellent characteristics, making it easier to clean and maintain.

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This natural floor finish offers the softest and most mellow appearance – and leaves your floor able to breath.

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Using soft buffing machines (and hand-polishing where required) will bring a wonderful sheen to your newly-finished floor.

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We offer a full assessment of your wooden floors to determine what repairs are needed to provide the perfect working surface for the later stages of sanding, staining and sealing. 

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