Step by Step
By Rebekah of Potholes and Pantyhose
It’s so great to be a guest blogger at Remodelaholic! I’m Rebekah from www.potholesandpantyhose.com and I blog about my life on the road with my musician hubby, my remodeling projects, my photography, and the arts and crap that I enjoy making from cast-offs. I try to maintain a somewhat normal life, however, normalcy keeps escaping me.
Let me give you a disclaimer on this tutorial-I am not a professional! There may be better ways to do this process, but this is what I have found to work for me over the many years of laying and refinishing hardwood floors.
You can sit back, sip some tea and learn from my mistakes.
I mean, we’re talking scary, noisy machines that could inflict pain.
I could permanently damage the wood by sanding too deep.
I could pick the wrong stain and have to live with it that way FOREVER!
And, then I realized….these are just floors. Boo-hoo if I screw it up.
What you’ll need (get a pencil out):
Knee pads & dust mask for your own comfort
Stain (if desired-I didn’t desire)
Pole Sander & 220 Grit pole sander pads
Lamb’s Wool Applicator (bahhh…)
Palm Sander and 110 Grit Sand paper
Mineral Spirits/Paint Thinner and rags
You will need to also buy three grits of sandpaper at the rental place. Usually they’ll start you at 100 grit, then 80 and finally 36.
For new wood you can start at 80 like we did and then move on to 36.
You’ll also want:
Paint trays and liners for the poly
Rubber gloves to apply the poly
Foamy brush to get the poly in small places
Wood fill & applicators for wood fill
Sheets of Plastic & Blue Tape
I would recommend blue painter’s tape-however, when you run out, you may use masking tape as I did…
Gently make contact with the floor while the machine is in the ‘ON’ position and you are moving forward. Walk slowly towards the other side of the room.
When you are a foot or so away from the wall (or another end point), lift gently up on the machine while still moving forward. Turn yourself & the lifted up machine around like you are mowing a lawn. Head back, baby, in the other direction. Do this until all of the floor is sanded.
Transitioning gently onto the floor with the belt sander will prevent large dips/ruts from being taken out of the wood.
You will use the edger to get right up against your walls and inside of your closets. This thing is a little tricky, but with the right positioning, it won’t get away from you.
Don’t I look lovely? I had brown boogers. Gross.
If you are sanding old wood floors, you will do wood fill after you have sanded/edged twice: once with the 100 and then the 80 grit.
After the wood fill has dried (read directions on the packaging), sand and edge the floors again, removing all of the wood fill with your last grit of sand paper.
Blow out the brown boogers as much as possible.
Tomorrow is a big day-we’re going to finish this project and make your floors so shiny and new!
Stain (if desired, I did not desire)
Paint Tray & liners
Lambs Wool Applicator
Pole Sander & 220 Grit Pole Sander Pads
Mineral Spirits/Paint Thinner and rags
A good attitude
This step sucks! heh heh.
I recommend dust mopping the walls and vacuuming off ledges and shelves, as well.
If you want to apply a stain, this is the time to do it. Use a lintless rag to apply your stain evenly to the floor.
If you are like me and aren’t applying a stain, it’s time for Round 1 of polyurethane! Grab your rubber gloves, make a bird out of them (shown above) and get pumped.
You can skip the ‘bird’ step if you like.
Don’t pull up from the bottom or stir quickly. This will create air pockets in your poly. And that is not good…
You will want to stir your poly (both in the can and in the paint tray) from time to time throughout the application process.
Dip the Lamb’s Wool Applicator gently into the poly, pulling back until the applicator is full.
Using even strokes, gently pull the lamb’s wool applicator towards you, following the direction of the wood. Repeat this until the floor is coated with polyurethane.
It’s easy to miss spots or leave puddles. Review your work as you go, using different viewing angles.
Every poly is a little different. I’ve always said that.
You can also rent a buffing machine, but I like to get a shoulder workout. And, I’m cheap.
Vacuum the floor thoroughly after you are done sanding.
(Follow the same instructions from Round 1 for applying the poly).
You are finished. Look at that floor! And you did it all by yourself.
Follow your manufacturer’s instructions on dry time. Usually you can walk on the floors 2 days or so afterwards.
You did a great job.
And THAT’S how a woman does it.
Come visit me at www.potholesandpantyhose.com and let me know if you want to see more crazy projects completed by me!-Rebekah