When you want to refinish your hardwood floor, it is important that you start off by sanding the area. Sanding helps you get rid of the old varnish as well as scratches and it smoothens the floor so that it can look nice when you finally put the finishing coat of varnish.
If you have never done this before, there is no reason to worry as after you have read this guide you should be able to sand your hardwood floor with ease.
What you will need
Before getting started it is a good idea to get the things that you will need. Since you will be sanding, it should go without saying that you will need sand paper. You need to ensure the sand paper is enough and is the right type and shape for the sander you will be using.
If you have the energy, you can try sanding the floor manually but most people would rather use a sander and I would recommend that you use the best drum sander. You can also get an edge sander as well as one for the corners.
You will also need masking tape to put along the edges that you do not intend to sand or varnish.
These are the main tools you will need though it does not hurt to think ahead and see what else you may need like a broom, vacuum or hammer.
To get started, you will need to clean the floor to get rid of dirt, debris as well as anything that may end up being an obstacle as you do your work. I am hoping you already figured out that the furniture should be removed from the floor long before this. You can choose to clean the floor using water or spirit but ensure that it dries before you get to the next step.
The next step is to prepare the surface, preparation will include getting the masking tape and sticking it along the edges that you do not intend to varnish or sand. The tape will protect the paint along the edge from getting scraped and it will also help when you are varnishing to stop varnish from going on the paint.
Also as you prepare the surface, you need to check the boards to ensure that there is none sticking out and there are no nails that may have come out of place, if you find such things, you will need to get a hammer and bang them back into place. You should ensure there is nothing sticking out which may interfere with the sanding process, a nail, for example, can rip the sand paper or if you are sanding manually, it can injure you.
You now need to prepare the drum sander. You should feed the sand paper into the sander and ensure it is done correctly according to the instructions that it came with. If you are also going to use an edge sander and one for the corners, you should also put the sandpaper on them and keep them on standby.
Now the actual sanding begins. I hope you have already read the instructions about how to use the particular sander as instructed by the manufacturer. Now make a diagonal run across the floor followed by another one in a right angle to the original run you have made. You can then make another run in the direction of the grain of the floor and keep doing this until you have covered every surface. Remember the reason you are sanding is to remove the old varnish and if there are scratches, you are also trying to remove them.
If you notice the edges or the corners still need some attention, then you can use the appropriate sanders for this.
Inspect the floor to see that everything is smooth and there is no part that needs more attention. When you are satisfied, it is now time to clean the floor again. You can use a vacuum cleaner especially one that is able to deal with fine dust. Make sure you get every bit of residue from the floor because anything left behind will affect the varnishing and the final look of the floor. You can even follow it up with a dump tack cloth to ensure the surface is clean.
Now your hardwood floor is well sanded and you can prepare for varnishing.