Floor Sanding Basics – Part 2

Floor Sanding Basics Part 2

Assuming the that floor has been sanded all over with a coarse grit of sand paper, we want to start moving up the grits. If you have levelled the floor and removed the majority of the dirt, dents and varnish but you have left small areas unclean…. Tut tut… Go back and sand those bits out. If it doesn’t come out with the rough grits its not going to be any easier with the finer grits. There are exceptions to this but as a good rule of thumb, get it clean on the first grit always. If there are huge dents that you intend to leave because sanding them out would mean sanding the floor out of existance, then of course leave them.

So now we want to sand the floor with a medium grit. This means 50 or 60 grit. Do not skip this step, lots of people think that it’s OK to sand the floor with 36 grit or even 24 grit then to skip straight to 100 or 120 grit. “The floor is already flat and clean,” the logic goes, “it wont take too long to convert 36 grit to a 120 grit.” Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. You can spend hours taking out rough scratches with 120 grit paper. Also 120 grit sandpaper heats up much more and faster than the lower grits, leading to a lot of surface burning and not much sanding.

Sand the floor with 50 or 60 grit, then the edges with the same. Once this is complete you can move onto 80 grit and 100 grit sanding in the same fashion (no edging). If you want to fill the floor with a dust/resin mix then be sure to empty the dust bag before either the 80 or the 100 grit. Use the ‘how to fill a wooden floor’ guide to learn how to do this correctly. Once you have completed the filling, you can continue onto the next grit (100 or 120 depending when you did the filling). 120 should be the final sanding on the main machine and should always take place before the final edging.

Final edging is the one process that professionals will not let trainees do for a long time. This is because it’s difficult to get the edge flat and smooth without years of experience. Getting it perfect is expected of professionals. DIY is DIY, it’s not going to be the best, but hopefully with my ‘How to do edge sanding’ guide you should be able to perform better than most.

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