Monday, July 19, 2010

Win some, lose some, learn some

Sanding and refinishing floors is supposed to be relatively straight forward and easy.  So says everyone.  However, if you have three layers of paint on your floors, it becomes slightly less so.  Throw in that one of those layers is oil paint and your theory of "Let's refinish the floors in one weekend and move into the bedroom" goes flying out the window.

The good news is that we got the majority of the floors sanded.  The bad news is that there is still the hallway and some edging to do, meaning we have to rent the drum sander again and buy more sandpaper.

Things we have learned

  • The sandpaper is way more expensive than you'd think.  It's more expensive than renting the actual equipment. 
  • Oil paint does not come off with a sander.  It gunks up and destroys the sheet in about 4.356 seconds.

 Exhibit A | Destroyed sandpaper

Exhibit B | Gunk
  • You need paint stripper.  For the most non-toxic option, we chose to use Circa 1850 Soft Strip.  There is also 3M Safest Stripper Paint and Varnish Remover but I wasn't able to find it in stores, just online.  The Soft Strip is biodegradable and the smell isn't nearly as bad as with most paint stippers, however, it is still advisable to wear a proper hepa filger mask and goggles, open up all the windows and keep your pets far away from the area.
  • The edge sander isn't nearly as effective as we had hoped... we're going to try to use the belt sander to do the rest of the edges.

Here are some progress pics.  There is still a looooong way to go, but at least it's starting to look decent - the hardwood floor does look freaking fantastic, if I do say so myself.

So, for now we stay in the living room.  One day we will have a master bedroom... or any bedroom for that matter.  One day....



  1. What is tony using in that first photo? To strip the paint?

  2. It's a drum sander. We rented it from Home Depot - it's a pretty heavy machine so tony did most of that while I did the edges.

  3. Wha!?!!?! Royal BLUE?

    You guys have amazing vision!


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