|Tools: Floor sander; edging sander; buffer, pad and sandpaper screen; orbital sander; scraper; hammer and punch; vacuum cleaner; putty knife; extension lead and earth-leakage switch; broom; dustpan and brush; eye, hearing and respiration protection. |
Materials: Matching putty; sanding discs; plastic sheet; masking tape; strong garbage bags (for dust); 1mm rubber tape or double-sided tape; sanding belts.
|Before you start |
Cover all door openings and air-conditioning or heating grilles with plastic sheets. Use a good-quality masking tape on the walls and woodwork so the finish doesn’t peel off when you eventually remove the tape. Move all furniture out of the room. Use masking tape to attach plastic sheet to all doorways leading into the room. Because it has a low-adhesive coating, masking tape shouldn’t pull the finish off your cabinets, walls or architraves. Also tape plastic sheet over all the heating and air-conditioning vents, as well as at any places where the timber you are sanding meets other floor materials, such as at doorways. Remove old floor covering nails, punch flooring nails 3mm below the surface and fill holes with putty (protruding nails will tear sanding belts and damage the sanding machine). Remove any floor grilles.
|STEP 1 |
Begin sanding the old floor finish along the grain with a 40 grit sanding belt. The old finish will melt onto the sanding belt, which will need replacing regularly. Running the sander and passing a toothbrush handle across the moving belt will help remove debris – the brush’s plastic handle melts and picks up the debris.
|STEP 2 |
With your back against a wall, facing in the direction of the grain, start the machine and move forward across the room to the far wall. Once there, raise the belt from the floor and retrace your steps until you are back where you started. Always keep the machine moving, if you rest it in one spot it will leave a groove in the floor surface. (Newly laid boards should first be sanded at an angle of 45° to level out irregularities before being sanded with the grain.)
|STEP 3 |
Now move the machine sideways so it overlaps the previously sanded area by one plank. Complete another strip and continue like this until you have finished the room.
|STEP 4 |
Now finish the area left because your back was against the wall. Start 300mm in from the sanded edge and sand as close to the wall as possible. Lift the drum as you approach the wall to avoid a groove.
|STEP 5 |
Edge-sand the old finish next to the skirting boards and in other areas that the large machine could not reach. Use the same grade discs as the large sander, and work clockwise around the room. Gently feather the sanding into the main area, working away from the wall. Base mouldings are easily replaced if damaged.
|STEP 6 |
Sand the floor with an 80 grit belt once the old finish is removed. Move the sander slowly, and lift the belt when you come to the end of the pass. Overlap and sand to the wall again, keeping the machine moving. Don’t remove more wood than necessary. When you have completed the floor, edge-sand again, using 80 grit discs.