Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mo floors, mo sanding.

When researching DIY floor refinishing, I came across a few repeating bits of info-- don't let the drum sander sit, keep it from a halfway point in the middle of the room...if scared of the drum, use the orbital...wait for each coat to fully dry before putting on another...sand at a diagonal if you need to level the floors... I wanted to know how much this would cost (I'm frugal!), how long this would take. I wanted specifics!

Now, I know every floor has its own individual problems. For example, some of our rooms have been refinished once or twice, then covered with carpet for the better part of 50+ years. Others have been mostly exposed to wear and tear AND refinished a few more times. In one of the previously carpeted rooms, the floor is like this:

Still a little space to work with before we hit tongue, but still not enough to fool around with. However, only a few inches away, we move to another room that's been hit a little harder and dips down quite precariously:

I wanted to know how to sand these floors aggressively enough to get the finish off, but delicately enough to not hit tongue, but aggressively enough to smooth out the ridge and smooth up the grain that's been raised by all the foot traffic.

I also have to admit that this was a much bigger endeavor than I think either of us prepared for. Mainly, it just took way longer than we had hoped, and took a much greater toll on our bodies than we realized it would, which limited our working hours.

Anyway, the following posts will detail the big Xmas present to ourselves.

(A quick reminder that this is about 1200 ft2 of heart pine flooring, with some of the black mastic still on the kitchen floor. A pro quoted about $3800 to sand, stain, and poly, and patch the 2 floor furnaces with what I assumed was newer heart pine, as he didn't specify antique. We received estimates for antique that would have run to more than $1000 for just the wood-- then we'd have to patch them, and here is where we recognized our limitations. We've decided not to patch them at this time, but rather to buy antique grates, or have custom reproductions made. At the very worst, this will cost several hundred dollars, but we won't run the risk of making a $1000 mistake if it looks bad. One furnace is in a very prominent and visible area, so we're being extra careful.)

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