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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. Mr Sander® are in the process of sanding a herringbone floor, employing a 200mm x 750mm Bona belt sander connected to a dust extraction system featuring a HEPA filter for a clean and efficient result.

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. Remove baseboards and moulding

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.

2. Sandpaper

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. Cleaning Up and Applying a New Finish

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Floorboard sanding is an excellent DIY project to restore the beauty and durability of your wooden floors. With the right tools, preparation, and attention to detail, you can achieve professional-looking results that will dramatically improve the appearance of your space. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well on your way to a successful and satisfying floorboard sanding project.

More from our Blog:

The Ultimate Guide to DIY Hardwood Flooring Installation How to Choose the Perfect Floor Sanding Company for Your Wooden Floors DIY Sanding Floorboards – Expert Advice for a Flawless Wooden Floor Makeover Master Floor Sanding Basics: Step-by-Step Guide to Sanding What is Parquet Flooring? Timeless Elegance and Durability What Type of Wood Flooring is Right for You? The Expert Guide  
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