Easy Floorboards Sanding: A Comprehensive DIY Guide for Beautiful, Smooth Floors
Posted on May 7, 2023
Mastering Floorboards Sanding: The Ultimate DIY Guide for Revitalizing Your Wooden Floors
Floorboard sanding is an essential process to restore the beauty and longevity of your wooden floors. Over time, floorboards accumulate scratches, dents, and discoloration, which can detract from their appearance and even cause damage. Sanding removes these imperfections, leaving your floorboards looking smooth and revitalised. While hiring a professional is always an option, floorboard sanding can be a cost-effective and satisfying DIY project. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process, from preparing your space to choosing the right equipment and executing the sanding process.
I. Preparing Your Space for Floorboard Sanding
1. Clear the room
Before you start sanding your floorboards, you’ll need to clear the room of all furniture, rugs, and other items. This will ensure you have a clean and unobstructed workspace, allowing you to move around freely during the sanding process.
2. Remove baseboards and moulding
To avoid damaging your baseboards and moulding during the sanding process, it’s essential to remove them. Use a pry bar to carefully remove the baseboards and any other trim around the edges of the room. Be sure to keep track of any nails or screws, as you’ll need them when reattaching the baseboards later on.
3. Clean the floor
After the room is clear, give the floor a thorough cleaning. Sweep or vacuum the floor to remove any dust, dirt, or debris. This will ensure a smooth sanding process and prevent the sandpaper from becoming clogged with dirt.
II. Choosing the Right Equipment for Floorboard Sanding
1. Floor Sander
There are two main types of floor sanders that you can use for floorboard sanding: drum sanders and orbital sanders. Drum sanders are powerful and efficient, but they can be difficult to control for inexperienced users. Orbital sanders are less aggressive, making them a better option for beginners or those looking for a more delicate touch.
You’ll need various grits of sandpaper for the sanding process, ranging from coarse (40–60 grit) to medium (80–120 grit) to fine (180-240 grit). The coarse grit will remove the old finish and deep scratches, the medium grit will smooth the surface, and the fine grit will provide the final polish.
3. Protective Gear
Sanding floorboards can be a messy and noisy job. To protect yourself, make sure you have the following protective gear:
Safety goggles: to protect your eyes from dust and debris
Ear protection: to reduce noise levels and protect your hearing
Dust mask or respirator: to prevent inhalation of dust particles
III. The Floorboard Sanding Process
1. Start with coarse sandpaper
Begin the sanding process by attaching coarse-grit sandpaper to your floor sander. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the sandpaper is securely attached. Starting in one corner of the room, move the sander along the grain of the wood, working in straight lines. Overlap each pass by about 1/3 of the sander’s width, ensuring even coverage.
2. Move to medium and fine sandpaper
After completing the first pass with coarse sandpaper, repeat the process using medium-grit sandpaper, followed by fine-grit sandpaper. Each pass will smooth the floor further and remove any remaining imperfections.
3. Sand the edges
The edges of the room may be difficult to reach with your floor sander. Use a handheld orbital sander or sanding block with the same grit progression (coarse, medium, and fine) to sand the edges and corners of the room. Be sure to follow the wood grain and maintain consistent pressure to avoid creating dips or uneven areas.
4. Perform a final inspection
After completing the sanding process with all grits, inspect the floor carefully for any remaining imperfections or areas that may need additional attention. Use a bright light or flashlight to help you identify any spots that need further sanding. Touch up any areas as needed with the handheld orbital sander or sanding block.
IV. Cleaning Up and Applying a New Finish
1. Clean the floor
Once you’re satisfied with the results of your floorboard sanding, it’s essential to clean the floor thoroughly. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove all dust and debris from the floor’s surface, followed by a damp cloth or microfiber mop to pick up any remaining dust. Be sure to allow the floor to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
2. Choose a Finish
There are several finishes available for wooden floors, including oil-based polyurethane, water-based polyurethane, and penetrating oil. Each finish has its pros and cons, so consider factors such as durability, drying time, and the desired look when making your decision.
3. Apply the finish
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your chosen finish, as the application process may vary. Generally, you’ll need to apply the finish using a brush, roller, or applicator pad, working in the direction of the wood grain. Be sure to apply a thin, even coat to avoid streaks or bubbles.
4. Allow the finish to dry
The drying time for your chosen finish may vary, so consult the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance. Typically, you’ll need to wait at least 24 hours before walking on the floor and 72 hours before moving furniture back into the room. During this time, ensure the room is well-ventilated to help the finish dry more quickly and minimise any lingering odours.