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Tips, techniques, and tools to repair and refinish your hardwood floor.
Tags:how to refinish a hardwood floor,floor,hardwood,home,improvement,refinishing,repair
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A real house, a real guy, a long list of real projects, this is real home improvement. And I am your host, Bill Link.
Welcome to my dining room, it is not much of a room really, but it is more of a space, or maybe a nook. So welcome to my dining nook.
Normally, having a small dining room would be a big problem, but not so much today, because I am going to start refinishing the hard wood floors. So I have only about 42 square feet of floor space is actually a good thing. And I am going to show you here is, before I can begin refinishing, I actually have quite of repair work to do. For instance, there is a real abrupt traffic pattern right through the middle of the floor goes from the living room into the kitchen. We also got some expose nail heads here, got a stain over there in that corner where it looks like maybe a plant leak and stained the wood a little bit. Got some holes in the floor behind me where evidently somebody around cable television had been to the dining room at some point. The quarter-round around is missing, the threshold is missing, and there is a few squeaks on the floors.
So, we are going to take care of each of those problems before we actually refinish the floor. Let us take a closer look at each one of those problems, before we actually get started. Now, give me a little preview on how I intend to fix each one.
Here is the traffic pattern that I mention a little bit earlier. And this is actually two problems in one. The first problem is, all the finish has been worn off in this area. The second problem is the floor underneath has been stained a little bit. Now hopefully, we can solve both problems with just some good old fashion sanding, but we may need to use something about chemical cleaning agent get all the stain out. But we would not know that for sure, until we get the floor completely sanded out.
The couple more problems, that I talked about where the missing quarter-round and these holes on the floor here. The missing quarter-around, all I can figure is that in some point, somebody removed the quarter-round, because this whole area was carpeted. Now, that we are back to hard wood floor, that is going to go back in. As for the holes, like I have said, at some point, somebody ran cable T.V into this area. You can see that there is still some cable sticking up through here. So, get rid of that cable, and to fill those holes, we actually make our own plugs out of oak, put them in there and sand them down, so that this will match the rest of the floor.
So, here is a bunch of those exposed nail heads that I talked about, all lined up. I assume those are there to keep the floor from squeaking or try and fix the squeaky floor. Two problems: 1) They did not fix the squeaky floor; 2) They look terrible, so we are going to get rid of them. Getting rid of them is just simple matter of pounding them down. We will not have to fill them back in. We are actually going to use some of the dust we create from sanding to create our own wood filler, and put in there, so that we will know what is going to match the floor. And by the way, this is where that missing threshold is going to go.
So, we got all these nail heads here, presumably all these nails where driven to keep the floor board from squeaking, and they are not doing a very good job of it. regardless, we got to get rid of them, and if we try and pull them out, we are just going to cause so much damage to the floor, by trying to prime up out o there. The only choice is really is to pound them down far enough that we can put some filler on top of it, to hide them that way. We got so many different nails and different nail sizes all throughout the floor, so we have three different sizes of nails sets to match to the various head sizes.
Of course, not all of the nails went in straight to begin with, so I have to be careful to tap them in the same angle. Now, this is not a real delicate procedure, but you do not want to cause anymore damage to the hard wood floor. So tap just hard enough to set the nail about quarter of an inch. That will give you plenty of space for filler.
Okay, I pounded all the nails that I could easily find. I probably find a few more when I started sanding the floor, which is what I am ready to do now. You can see I went out and one of the big sander, which by the way, anytime you need a specialized tool that is a real good way to get it without having to buy one. Hardware stores, home setters, and there is even specialized rental centers as we go out and get tools like this. Of course, you need to know a little about what you are looking for when you go in there, and floor sanders are great example of that. There is actually a variety of different types that you can choose from. The one that I got is actually has t here rotating paths on the bottom of it. I am going to tip this up, and show you what that looks like.
The reason why I like this type of sanders so much is because it has these three random orbiting heads on it. Seven-inch disks going on here. You can see the sand paper just peels on and off on it. And because, it orbits in the inside of this big canister, but then also it spins in this random pattern. You do not really have to worry about the grain pattern on the floor.
Another advantage to a sander like this is it is not likely to gauche the floor, so you do not have to be in a big hurry to move the machine. You can spend a little extra time on problem areas. In fact, for the worst areas, if you lift up on the handle and take the way off those wheels and put on the disk to get the best results. And be sure to change pads as often as you need to. I only have about half way trough this floor before I had to change out sanding disk.
Alright, I have been in the entire floor with the 36 grid, the roughest grid that I go, so all the finishes is gone. Now, you just need to keep sand it, so it gets a little bit smoother and we can apply the new finish. I am switching over to the medium grid right now, which is 50grit, and we will go to the whole floor one more time.
Now, that I have sanded all the way the old finish, it is going to be a lot harder to see where I have sanded, and where I have it. So I am making a series of pencil marks on the floor, and I will just use the floor sanders of big eraser. The pencil marks will disappear as I go over the area, and I know that I have been there. Of course, I have to do this one more time when I switch to the final grid, as well.
I have done as much as I can with the big sander, but that leaves all the edges on the corner where the big one can not get into. Some may have to get those with the couple of smaller tools. Specifically, a random orbit sander and a quarter sheet palm sander. This is the more aggressive of the two, so I will use it wherever I can. That little have trouble getting in the square corners too, so that is where I have to go with the palm sander.
Now I am going to start with 80grid, which is where I finish with the last one. And actually, I am going to start and finish here with 80grid. I might as well go right through that where there is plenty coarse for these smaller areas. So now, I will just get to hit all this details and we are almost ready to start putting finish on it.
The random orbit sander will hit most of what the floor sander did not. The forgetting right up against the edges and in to the corners, you want a quarter sheet palm sander. Now, the trick that you use in the quarter sheet palm sander is applying just the right amount of pressure. Too much pressure and you will stall the pad. Too little pressure in the sand paper will not get a good bite. This particular model from skill has a pressure gauge on the side of it. When you see the red light come on, let up a little bit, just keep it on the green, and you are good to go.
Now, it is time to fill those entire nail holes, and I mixed up my own wood filler for that. I made it out of the sodas that I created from sanding the floor, and a little bit of white glue. It makes the two about the consistency of toothpaste. Now, the reason I did this, instead of just buying stuff from the store, is I want the surest color match that I can get. Once I have it mixed up, I simply fill the holes, nice and fat and then, went back and scrape off the excess as best I could. That is going to save me from sanding a little bit later on. And, just a couple of hours after the glue hardens, I will be able to sand this and be ready to accept the finish.
All right, I am ready to fix these holes on the floor where the cable came up through. In order to that, I got some wood plugs here, some old plugs that I just place in those holes, but actually, the holes are a little bit smaller than the pugs I got. So, in order to fix them, I actually need to make the holes a little bit bigger. And drill them out just a little bit larger, and then I glue the plugs in there and sand them with flash with the floor.
All right, I enlarge the hole a little bit, and now I am ready to fill up with this wood plug. To get a little glue on the edge of the plug, that does not take a whole lot.
A little bit on there, and spread it around your fingers, so it is barely even. I am putting up pretty easily. Then when you position the plug in the hole, line up the grain in the plugs so it matches the green grain in the floor, as close as possible. Put it in there. Twist a little bit, if you need to. Push it down as far as you can, and just tap it in the place.
All right, well let that glue setup and we will come back and sand that in a flash.
I have sanded, I filled, I plugged and I vacuumed them, so now I am ready to apply the finish. And, that is all I am going to apply as finish. No stain, I kind of like the natural color of this oak. Now, that I got it all sanded down, it looks re ally good. So, this oil-based finish that I am using is just have to enhance the color a little bit, giving a nice warm glow, but because it is an oil-based finish and fairly hefty stuff. I get all the windows open for good ventilation, and I will be wearing this mask while I work to protect myself from the fumes. Again, since it is oil-based, I will make sure that I got some minerals spirits and some rugs on hand, so if there is any clean up that I need to do, I am ready to go.
As for the rest of the stuff, you will see all of that in use, and I will explain it as I go. Rather than going through a piece by, piece. It will make a lot more sense as I am actually using it, so now that I am ready to get started finishing the floor.
I started by cutting in along the carpet, and to keep it from getting finish all over the carpet, I use this dry wool trousers shield, and I just spin about three inches wide band around into the room
Up against the wall, I did have to be quite that precise, because even I got a little bit finish on the base, the quarter-round would cover it up. But I still want about three inches wide band, so that it has to get the floor applicator right next to the lawn. Notice that I am wearing rubber gloves, and I am also using a good quality synthetic bristle brush. Those are both standard equipment in anytime you are working with an oil-based product like this.
Once, I am finish with the trim work, I switch over to a wall applicator pad, and start working on the rest of the floor. Now, this wall applicator pan has a funny quality to him. And that they tend to have a lot of loose fibers o him, and if you just started working with him, those fibers are going to wind up in your finish. So, run a net roller or even just a piece of tape over the applicator pad, before you starting using it. Get as many as those lose fibers out here as you can. As you are applying the finish work with grain as much as you can, and while it goes with that saying “Leave yourself a way out.”
Notice that I am using a watering can not actually pour the finish onto the floor. It makes it real simple for me to get some laid out, and then I just can even it out with my applicator pad.
It is been about 24hours, since I put the first coat to finish on it. I have added one more since then and I have installed the quarter-round and the threshold. So, this room is pretty much done.
Now, the downside to a project like this is that it looks so good. My wife actually wants s me to rip out the rest of the carpet and refinish the hardwood floors throughout the house, so we’re going to want to consider that, when you decide whether not its time to refinish your floors. But for me, all this left is to over the furniture back in, and enjoy what is left to the weekend.
Hey, thanks for being here, and be sure to stop back for my next project.