Anyone ever sand & re varnish your own wood floors? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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acaligunner
10-24-2012, 16:57
I have around a 1,000 sq ft of 1" ( wide ) by 1/2" (thick) oak floors that are around 20 years old, and was looking at the Youtube videos on sanding & re varnishing the floors and thought, Is it a hard process to do, or should I pay a professional?

I would sand, clean, add sealer, and then 2 coats of polyurethane.

I am kinda handy with tools and such, and would rent the machine to sand the floors.

What you think.

IndianaMatt
10-24-2012, 17:19
I have never done wood floors, but I make wood furniture so I have some experience with woodwork and wood surfacing and finishing.

From what I have heard, an oak floor can be done and its not particularly difficult. If you live in a decent-sized city, you should be able to rent all the power tools you need. Finishing wood is not usually difficult, and Youtube can provide a wealth of good info, which I occasionally rely on for my own projects.

Bottom line: You should do it. You'll feel proud once its done. And you'll save a lot of money (though not necessarily time).

Just prepare yourself (and your wife!) for a bit of a mess for a few days! Good luck!

Front Sight
10-24-2012, 17:24
Get a quote first. Then you can determine if it is worth your time. Most finishers now have dust free sanders. That is a big plus. They will also have it done in half the time you could do it.

VC-Racing
10-24-2012, 17:27
It can be DIY but I would get quotes before you jump in to it. I know when we redid ours, it was it was cheaper to have it done than to DIY.
One way we saved money I got a 48' dryvan trailer from work and backed it to the front door. We removed everything from inside, and when I say everything , I mean everything.. It was like moving all over again minus the kitchen appliances :faint:. I also stuffed old sheets or towels into all the HVAC ducts and hung and taped plastic over the doorway into our kitchen and bathrooms . I also removed all the carpet and base trim . the reason for removing everything is the dust is very "fine" and will find its way into everything. Don't be fooled into thinking "dust free" means dust free, those thing still make a mess. Maybe not as big of one as they used to , but still enough .
Also remember, this is a multi day project, a sanding and cleaning day, another cleaning day with 1st stain / poly application, 24hrs another poly app, 24 hr. and other poly app, then 48hrs to cure before walking on and add a extra 4-5 days before furniture. Our's was $2300 for 1400sq ft.

Best of luck......

vart
10-24-2012, 17:33
My oak floors are in need of refinishing. I used to be a finish carpenter is a former life and am pretty handy with tools.

My dad did his years ago and his suggestion was to hire it out; one wrong move with the sander can do major damage to your floor. And he mentioned the dust is a nightmare as well as the fumes...

acaligunner
10-24-2012, 17:41
I have never done wood floors, but I make wood furniture so I have some experience with woodwork and wood surfacing and finishing.

From what I have heard, an oak floor can be done and its not particularly difficult. If you live in a decent-sized city, you should be able to rent all the power tools you need. Finishing wood is not usually difficult, and Youtube can provide a wealth of good info, which I occasionally rely on for my own projects.

Bottom line: You should do it. You'll feel proud once its done. And you'll save a lot of money (though not necessarily time).

Just prepare yourself (and your wife!) for a bit of a mess for a few days! Good luck!


Looks like a nice DIY project, all tho a bit dusty. I hear you on the mess. I was looking at all the furniture and it looks like i may need a few days..

Thank you

acaligunner
10-24-2012, 17:42
Get a quote first. Then you can determine if it is worth your time. Most finishers now have dust free sanders. That is a big plus. They will also have it done in half the time you could do it.

Good Idea. I think they want 40-50 a day for the rental, so I will check.

acaligunner
10-24-2012, 17:45
It can be DIY but I would get quotes before you jump in to it. I know when we redid ours, it was it was cheaper to have it done than to DIY.
One way we saved money I got a 48' dryvan trailer from work and backed it to the front door. We removed everything from inside, and when I say everything , I mean everything.. It was like moving all over again minus the kitchen appliances :faint:. I also stuffed old sheets or towels into all the HVAC ducts and hung and taped plastic over the doorway into our kitchen and bathrooms . I also removed all the carpet and base trim . the reason for removing everything is the dust is very "fine" and will find its way into everything. Don't be fooled into thinking "dust free" means dust free, those thing still make a mess. Maybe not as big of one as they used to , but still enough .
Also remember, this is a multi day project, a sanding and cleaning day, another cleaning day with 1st stain / poly application, 24hrs another poly app, 24 hr. and other poly app, then 48hrs to cure before walking on and add a extra 4-5 days before furniture. Our's was $2300 for 1400sq ft.

Best of luck......

Thank you for all the fine details. Makes sense to cover up all the AC ducts and have those plastic barriers.

I bet the floors looked pertty when you where done. :wavey:

acaligunner
10-24-2012, 17:46
My oak floors are in need of refinishing. I used to be a finish carpenter is a former life and am pretty handy with tools.

My dad did his years ago and his suggestion was to hire it out; one wrong move with the sander can do major damage to your floor. And he mentioned the dust is a nightmare as well as the fumes...

I will look into having a quote, and see what they say about the floor.

m2hmghb
10-24-2012, 18:01
It depends on what you plan on using to finish the floors. If you want to use an oil finish I'd do it myself without a problem. If you want a varnish/shellac/poly finish that's extremely tough then I'd hire it out. The thing about an oil finish is it's easy to repair and maintain, that's why it was used on gun stocks for so long.

Hef
10-24-2012, 18:29
Hardwood flooring was my first job in construction. We did about 50/50 new floors and refinishing. Based on my experience, I would suggest as others have that you get a quote from a pro and possibly save yourself some headache, unless you REALLY want the satisfaction of doing it yourself.

If you do it yourself, you'll need a flooring sander (a walk behind belt sander), an edger (8" random orbital sander), a scraper (for corners), and patience. Once you have it sanded right, 3 coats of polyurethane (I always used oil) will do the trick.

Rotn1
10-24-2012, 18:40
It's easy.
The only issue is dust control and your time.
Get a quote and then compare to your own costs. See if your saving is worth it.
If it is don't give it a second thought. It's no big deal.

Jack_Pine
10-24-2012, 18:47
Kind of related question. How much can sanding fix? We have a few spots from pets that have darkened the wood. Will re-finishing fix that. Or is it possible to replace some board?

Did not mean to hijack but did not think it worthy of it's own thread.

Rotn1
10-24-2012, 18:55
Kind of related question. How much can sanding fix? We have a few spots from pets that have darkened the wood. Will re-finishing fix that. Or is it possible to replace some board?

Did not mean to hijack but did not think it worthy of it's own thread.

Replacing or interweaving new boards into old. That's a different kettle of fish and time to go pro unless you know what your are doing

Jack_Pine
10-24-2012, 19:00
Replacing or interweaving new boards into old. That's a different kettle of fish and time to go pro unless you know what your are doing

Absolutely would go pro. just wondering how feasible it is (pro or not)

IndianaMatt
10-24-2012, 19:00
Here's your deciding factor:

Dust control shouldn't be too big of an issue ONLY if you are able to seal off (and I mean SEAL OFF) the work area entirely. That flour-like dust will seep through anything. Tarps, tape, plastic, proper vacuum, etc. should contain most of it.

http://ncrenovations.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Cumaru1-e1268705842367.jpg

If you are confident in your ability to control dust, you should go for it. Otherwise, yes, you will be finding dust all over the house for weeks.

IndianaMatt
10-24-2012, 19:01
It depends on what you plan on using to finish the floors. If you want to use an oil finish I'd do it myself without a problem. If you want a varnish/shellac/poly finish that's extremely tough then I'd hire it out. The thing about an oil finish is it's easy to repair and maintain, that's why it was used on gun stocks for so long.

+1 on this one. This is also a very important factor to consider.

Rotn1
10-24-2012, 19:13
Absolutely would go pro. just wondering how feasible it is (pro or not)

Piece of cake for a pro.
Not real tough if you know what you are doing.
Stay away if a first timer

TK-421
10-24-2012, 19:14
Back before we moved into our house, which was 100+ years old, mom redid the floors on the main floor herself without any help or issues. I don't know all the steps, but I'm pretty sure she did it by hand, with a sander no bigger than a hand sander. She is somewhat handy with tools, since her dad is a carpenter by hobby and extremely handy with tools, but I wouldn't call her an expert. And she still didn't have any issues. It's easy to do, it just takes time and patience.

dango
10-24-2012, 19:17
I have not read anything beyond the title.........!

Some things are worse than death.......!

Just don't...! :crying:

inthefrey
10-24-2012, 19:52
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=__qOY9hcm64#t=41s

acaligunner
10-24-2012, 22:03
Kind of related question. How much can sanding fix? We have a few spots from pets that have darkened the wood. Will re-finishing fix that. Or is it possible to replace some board?

Did not mean to hijack but did not think it worthy of it's own thread.

Here's a Youtube vid that shows you what the sanded floor looks like, and the stain.

Hardwood floors sanding and refinishing|Applying polyurethane-all-care.AVI - YouTube

acaligunner
10-24-2012, 22:03
Here's your deciding factor:

Dust control shouldn't be too big of an issue ONLY if you are able to seal off (and I mean SEAL OFF) the work area entirely. That flour-like dust will seep through anything. Tarps, tape, plastic, proper vacuum, etc. should contain most of it.

http://ncrenovations.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Cumaru1-e1268705842367.jpg

If you are confident in your ability to control dust, you should go for it. Otherwise, yes, you will be finding dust all over the house for weeks.

That looks Beautiful.

HollowHead
10-24-2012, 22:07
I've done it from strip to finish and would never do it again. It's absolutely beautiful,but if you look carefully you can see where the sander dipped into the floor register openings. Yeah, I know... a beginner's mistake. HH

Gallium
10-24-2012, 22:27
Just paid a pro to do the floors for my apartment. It cost 1/2 as much as the thief who actually redid my kitchen, bath and painted the place. 6 weeks later I am unscrewing lightbulbs and dust is falling out...

jtmac
10-25-2012, 01:03
I know when we redid ours, it was it was cheaper to have it done than to DIY.

Our's was $2300 for 1400sq ft.

What? Were the only floor sanders available to rent gold-plated or something?

Hicksville Kid
10-25-2012, 04:58
A hint from my experience: Be careful using a strong shop vac to get up the dust. The newly sanded floor can be marred by the vac sucking down hard and the attachment head scratching it. Use the brush attchment.

That's all I have. Except of course "DON'T DO IT".

XDfense
10-25-2012, 08:15
I'm a supplier of accessories in the hardwood floor sanding market. I've seen dozens of floors done by the DIYer that looked great, but hundreds that looked terrible. Get a couple quotes and go with the best one. It's not much square footage and I'm guessing will cost around $1500 give or take depending on the condition of the floor.

Bren
10-25-2012, 08:29
I have around a 1,000 sq ft of 1" ( wide ) by 1/2" (thick) oak floors that are around 20 years old, and was looking at the Youtube videos on sanding & re varnishing the floors and thought, Is it a hard process to do, or should I pay a professional?

I would sand, clean, add sealer, and then 2 coats of polyurethane.

I am kinda handy with tools and such, and would rent the machine to sand the floors.

What you think.

Getting the edges is hard, as is cleaning up the mess. Add up the rental, sandpaper, sealer, finish, applicators, etc., and see if it isn't worth it to get a professional.

VC-Racing
10-25-2012, 08:41
What? Were the only floor sanders available to rent gold-plated or something?

No. Just had better things to with my time. 2 guys were here for 5 days. When I quoted the cost , I was pulling a # out of memory , but I found the cancelled check for the job and it was $1750. The $2300 was them removing/replacing the base trim along with the refinishing .
Here's a shot of ours ...... 228594

Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine

Nickotym
10-25-2012, 21:07
I did a couple in college. One was a little house a roommate and I rented and put work into it to get money off rent. We refinished all the hardwood floors in the whole place except the kitchen and bathroom. It was a 2 bedroom house with pretty big living room. I helped a sister-in-law redo the living room and then helped my brother redo his living/dining room.

The first one with my roommate we had a little dip in an out of the way spot. With my sis-in-law, we had a spot where she hit the wall with the rotary sander. I had used a rotary buffer in High school so I could control it, but she started close to the wall before she had a handle on it. She got it down pretty well later. My brother left a deeper dip in the middle of his living room, but it wasn't real noticeable unless someone pointed it out.

All in all, they were good experiences, but now that I have less time and a little more money, I would hire the job out.

I have to add that there is a lot of satisfaction in doing it yourself and looking at it years later. Two of the floors I helped with were down to bare wood and looked like crap before refinishing and looked like the pics posted after.

mhill
10-25-2012, 22:29
Hire a pro. After rental and costs you don't save enough. It's a tough job that takes some skill.

Pros vary in price greatly. It's not unusual to find the same job for 50% of the price. Semigloss finish looks great.