Old floorboards can really compliment a home but sometimes, they need to be restored and varnished to keep them in good condition for a prolonged period. If you are lucky enough to have a nice natural-looking floor thanks to wooden floorboards and you’re looking to restore them, consider the following tips that’ll help you do exactly that.
Inspect and Prepare the Floor
First thing’s first, you’ll want to inspect the floor thoroughly before you start any sanding work. Brush the surface and bang in any nail heads that are sticking slightly above the surface. This will give you a nice flat surface to work with and it’ll prevent the sander from breaking/tearing. You’ll next need to determine the best wood sander for the finish you crave. If you have a large area to work with, you may want to consider hiring a commercial floor sander to make the job easier. However, if you want a better finish and a smaller room, you may want to use multiple sanders in terms of a belt and orbital sander to help you.
Safely Prepare the Room
Next, you need to prepare the room for safety reasons so you’re not faced with any risks to your health for the duration of sanding. Some professionals recommend you open the windows, but just remember that any excess dust is just going to be blown around the room further, so it’s recommended you invest in a good dust mask instead and take regular breaks from sanding. Ensure you’re also wearing the right PPE in terms of old clothes, eye protection, ear defenders, and gloves if required. It’s also wise to close the door and put an old towel at the bottom to prevent any excess dust escaping into another room.
Concentrate on One Floorboard at a Time
Once you know what finish you want and the sander you’re going to use to complete the work, start off by sanding one floorboard at a time so you’re always going with the grain of the wood and you’re not missing any sections. It’ll take plenty of time, but it’s worth doing if you want the best finish. As stated above, take regular breaks if you’re hot or dehydrated – dust masks can’t always guarantee to keep 100% of the dust out of your system.
Prepare the Finish
Inspect your work close up after you’ve finished sanding to ensure you haven’t missed any sections. It’s best to go around with a fine piece of sand paper, just to go over some of the work you’ve completed. Once that’s done, vacuum the floor and open the windows for the excess dust to leave. It would be wise to leave the room for a day or two and come back and vacuum one more time just to get rid of any dust that hasn’t yet settled.
Once you’re happy with the finish, consider oiling and waxing the floor to give it the best possible finish you seek. Of course, depending on the wooden floor in question and the results you’re looking for will determine the steps you take. However, the above tips are generally the points to consider for most floorboard sanding projects.