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Finishing floors

Posted by Henry in MI on March 7th, 1999 07:47 AM
In reply to UNfinished fir flooring by tracy on March 6th, 1999 02:52 PM [Go to top of thread]

Sure am, Tracy. What you want to do now is spend every Saturday watching the DIY shows on TV and tape a few that show how to refinish floors. This would be shows like The House Doctor, Men in Toolbelts, Hometime that are on TLC and HGTV. Finishing a new wood floor is exactly like refinishing an old floor. You start by removing the carpet tack strips, filling any holes and countersinking nails, then sanding, staining and applying the finish. This is a good time to look at stain colors, too. Don't go by the colors in the brochures. See if you can find samples of the stain you are thinking of using on real wood.

The sanding is the major part of this and is the reason you want to wait until the weather outside is nicer. You want to take everything out of the room and seal all the doors and heating vents up so there is no way for the sanding dust to get in the rest of the house. It still will, but doing everything you can to minimize it will help in your enjoyment of the job. Putting a couple of box fans in the window to pull the dust out will help too and you don't want to do this when it is cold outside. Being able to leave the windows open will also keep the smell from the varnish down and let it dry faster. Even with this, be sure to wear a dust mask.

While you are waiting for spring, you can check around for where you can rent a floor sander, edger and buffer. You will also need a shop vac, if you don't have one. One other thing you might want to do in preperation is look at the moldings in your living room. If you think you might want to refinish them, this would be a good time to think about stripping them, then sand and refinish when you are doing the floor. Use a woodworking varnish for the moldings, though. Don't try to use the floor varnish for both jobs.

Good luck and enjoy your new house.
Henry in MI

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