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#1 of 14 Old 12-02-2002, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, since you all were SOOOO incredibly helpful about the wallpaper removal project -- help me out with the wood floor, please! We decided to ditch the pink carpet along with all that pink wallpaper.

I have an electric sander, borrowed, which I've never attempted to use before. Machines like that frighten me! The floor looks pretty darn good, but there are traces of paint around the edge of the room, and I don't think the sander will reach them. Sandpaper? Then after, what is a good way to get rid of all the dust before varnishing?

Okay -- tell me about varnish. What kind? How many layers? How many hours between layers? Is there any certain kind that is durable but quick drying?

And finally, there is a gap between the molding and the floorboards. I was thinking of getting that skinny molding strip stuff (I think it might be called "cove" molding?) and putting it right over the existing molding with liquid nails. Anyone done this?

Thanks so much ladies! I look forward to replies.
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#2 of 14 Old 12-02-2002, 04:33 AM
 
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Mamaduck- I can't answer all your questions, but can at least give you the benefit of our experience!

You can rent edging sanders- they'll get the bits around the edge of the room and save you having to do it by hand.

We had a friend refinish our floors summer before last and here's how he did it: sanded (he taped every last seam in every single cupboard and every single door and window with painters tape and butcher paper- it saved a HUGE amout of cleaning up- the dust is pernicious!)and then applied a coat of varnish: let it dry and buffed: applied another coat: let it dry and buffed and then I *think* he applied a third coat, let it dry and buffed it shiny. The floor was GORGEOUS. (the kids have since beat the crap out of it but it looked great for a week! Our floors are fir- not so durable as hardwood) You can get buffing sheets that fit on the sander like the sandpaper does and you buff with that.

My understanding with the varnish is that the quicker drying and better quality, the more expensive it is. Think my mom was going to use this awesome stuff (bonitech?) til she found it cost $70 a gallon wholesale...

We, unfortunately, used the cheap stuff (non-water based) and I wish we hadn't but it would have taken twice as long to cure between coats, as well as being twice as expensive. We had to vacate our house while the floors were refinished because it is a filthy, toxic experience. The last coat had been curing for over 24 hours when we came back and we had to go get a hotel that night because the fumes just knocked you over. It took a couple weeks for them to fade entirely and to be honest, if I were going to do it in hindsight I'd either wait til the kids were older (and send-away-to-camp-able) or spring for the less toxic varnish.

Cove molding is easy to install- think I swiped my dh's old lino-roller to make it go on smoothly. I put it in the kitchen, where it's not so visible under the cupboards but think it would have looked not so nice in the living room against the wood- have you considered wood molding? I've installed that before and it's pretty easy. Not as cheap, though.

Good luck- and make sure you wear a respirator while doing both the sanding and the varnishing! And send the kids elsewhere. (ok- no more nagging )
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#3 of 14 Old 12-02-2002, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Lalaluna -- very helpful advice!

This is for my ds's bedroom floor, in our new house, which we don't live in yet. So, the mess will be confined to one room that we don't need for a little while yet.
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#4 of 14 Old 12-02-2002, 02:32 PM
 
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Wait wait wait! Before you start - do you have old wide-board floors in an old house? If you do, you have to sand the floors with a big flat sander (orbital?), not the small ones, or the drum sanders. You will chew up the floors without the right equipment (been there, done that, got the t-shirt...).

Dh has turned into the floor refinisher extraordinaire in our 1860s farm house. It is very hard to successfully do small parts of the floor and make the whole thing look good. You might try a light touch with a razor blade to gently get the paint traces up rather than a sander. Use polyuretherane as an excellent protective on the floors (varnish is not strong enough). Minwax sucks - don't waste your money. We spent the xtra money on the second room we attempted, and got industurial strength poly. Three coats, which we hand sanded between coats, and they turned out gorgeous.

Good luck!
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#5 of 14 Old 12-02-2002, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh no! Groan. I just bought minwax. Sigh. Guess I can take it back.

It is only a 35 year old house. The floor boards are like 3" wide, maybe. We have a hand held belt sander.

I'm going to be sanding and applying the first coat tomorrow morning. The Minwax says you can do subequent coats every 6 hours, which was why I bought it (as opposed to 24 hours) and I thought I'd try to do 2 or 3 coats. Then we're putting an area rug down over the part of the room that won't be covered by his bed.

All this home improvement stuff is getting to be costly!
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#6 of 14 Old 12-04-2002, 11:57 AM
 
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Mamaduck - it'll be fine, especially with a rug over top to protect it. Don't forget to sand in between coats of poly. It will be soooo beautiful when you are done.
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#7 of 14 Old 12-04-2002, 02:28 PM
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We will be refinishing our hardwood floors this summer(so we can open windows when we put the poly on.

If you just have paint specks on your hardwood, you can use mineral spirits to remove them, unless you just want to refinish


Here is our plan:

Refinishing one room at a time. Starting with Kailey's bedroom. We are renting the roatry belt sander(for the main part of floor), we have an edging sander, and we are renting a HUGE buffer.

First sand, then fill in spacees between boards, sand using buffer, vacuum and clean ALL dust and debre(sp?) Then start to apply poly.

Sand and buff in between layers of poly.

And wa la!
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#8 of 14 Old 12-04-2002, 03:42 PM
 
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Hey

I just wanted to add from our experience...
we also have an old house(sometimes lovingly referred to as "the money pit"that we're trying to redo a room at a time.For floors that need a coating of something--but if you don't want a real high sheen "gymnasium floor"look,we used something called Zip Guard.There's also Zip strip for stripping purposes,but the Guard gives a nice shine with protection,but not high glossy.Hope it goes well,I really love old houses!

Angie
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#9 of 14 Old 12-04-2002, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I can't use the sander. I swear, I was killing the floor. So, my wonderful mommy is here now sanding my son's floor. Meanwhile, I have put 2 coats of finish on MY bedroom floor because while they sanded it, they did not finish it. Who knows why. I've been buffing with steel wool in between coats, and it looks great, though I'd like to figure out a way to attach the steel wool to a mop or something because my arms are weary.

1/3 of my son's room left to sand,then I can varnish.
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#10 of 14 Old 02-21-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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Resurrecting an old thread, here....
We just bought an old farmhouse (built in 1900), and all of the floors need to be refinished.
We plan to do the main floor of the house soon, and the upstairs later on....
The boards are about two inches wide, I’m guessing.

The guy at the local lumberyard (from which we will be renting a floor sander) never asked about board width, but he recommended a drum-type sander. Does that sound right to you guys, or should I rent one one of the other types?

Also, once the floors are sanded back, what type of wood stain should I look for to tint the floor prior to polyurethane-ing it? Would it be oil-based? Water-based? Does it matter? Or, is the poly available in tints?

From reading the above posts, it sounds like we’ll need to do three poly coats, right?

What does the sanding or buffing between coats of poly *do*?

How fume-y will this be? Our budget is WAY tight, so escaping overnight might be tough.

Thanks for your help!
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#11 of 14 Old 02-21-2005, 07:24 PM
 
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sarah, i haven't refinished, though i did read your post about the kitchen, too. we have pre-finished hardwood floors from lowe's (pulled up the 70s shag and there was just subfloor below). i was actually glad to go that route 'cause i've always heard that floor refinishing is really dusty and can be awful fumey. i know that's not an option for you since you're refinishing existing floors. thought you might like to nose around this site -- http://www.environmentalhomecenter.com/ . it's a store, but they have a lot of info on there. i like to just browse around.

in answer to your other thread, be sure to check that kitchen floor for asbestos and yes i would do hardwood in a kitchen. we might pull up the cracked tiles in ours one day and put more prefinished down.

hth

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#12 of 14 Old 02-21-2005, 07:41 PM
 
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Just remember to never turn on the sander if you're not moving. It'll burn too deep if it's in one spot for any amount of time, even just to turn it on.
The buffing between coats is to make it smooth. It gets the bubbles and specks out for a good looking finish. It's important to making the job look professional. You just sand, sweep, tack cloth it and go. Not a hard step.
The typical thing is that you can go water-based over oil, but not oil over water based. But that's not true anymore, so you'll have to read the packages.
It's going to be smelly - but it's usually workable if you want to stay home, as long as you can stay off the floor. We can't as our bathroom is on the upper floor with no access from the room we'd stay in. I'd personally plan to have at least the kids sleep somewhere else for 2-3 nights. Upheaval is hard for them and the fumes might keep them from sleeping.

With the age of the house, I wonder if the floors have been refinished before? If so, you've got to watch the depth of the sand or you'll expose the nail heads and you're toast.
One more thing, have you made sure that your floors are meant to be floors? Old houses have wooden floor boards (where modern houses use plywood). Some people mistake that for an intentional hardwood floor when it's just a subfloor that was intended to have carpets or wood over it. You can finish it anyway, but it's always going to look a little "rustic" if you know what I mean.

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#13 of 14 Old 02-23-2005, 01:25 AM
 
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Thanks for your help, Mamas!

The wood in the kitchen isn't subflooring, btw, although the wood in the later-added sunroom is just subflooring, and I have been planning to refinish it anyway.... I'm all for the rustic look.

Beanma, I asked about the asbestos issue in the other thread, too,

(here it is, for anyone else who wants to check it out, opine, or advise
https://www.mothering.com/discussions...43#post2720743

but I'll follow up with you here, too, since I know you're here

How do I determine whether or not there's asbestos??

Sorry to hijack,
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#14 of 14 Old 02-23-2005, 02:15 AM
 
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Get a sample and take it to an industrial hygenist.
My pal is one, so she can take it to the lab and throw it under the microscope. If it's obvious, she can tell on sight. I took her on a tour of my house - we're clear!
Here's kit to send yours in - only $15 - http://www.moldmart.net/asbestos-test-kit.htm

I pulled a possible (unlikely in my opinion - 1982 HUD house) asbestos laden floor myself, in the old place. She didn't approve, but I make my own decisions. I just wet it down and took it out in big pieces.

If it's linoleum, it's probably safe. Sometimes the adhesive had asbestos. If it's tile lino, it's especially suspect. Do you know the difference between linoleum/marboleum and vinyl sheet flooring? It's the 70s sheet vinyl that always contains asbestos.

What's the floor look like? Is it ugly or torn and ripped?
If the floor is uneven, you can always cover the floor with ply. That's what we did in one place. You use a self leveling cement to fill holes, then nail down luan boad ($10 per 4x4). Fill and lay the new stuff.
If it's even, just lay deembossing cement and put new vinyl on top.
If you are bringing in new wood, I wouldn't pull the old stuff unless you had to due to height problems. Even then, sometimes it's easier to cut it out in chunks down to the rafters and lay new subfloor.

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