Okay, maybe it was more like 16 hours, but whatever it was I don’t want to see that machine again for awhile. The process started out at Lowe’s where we picked up all the materials we would need for the sanding and refinishing.
It turns out you need a LOT of sandpaper- we started out with 9 packs and ended up using over 30! I think the sandpaper is a little bit tricky because you have no idea you will so much, and the cost of it really adds up, not to mention all the trips back and forth! I was there so frequently that I actually made friends with several of the employees.
Once we got the sander home and into the living room, we were pretty much ready to go. I watched a short DVD that you can buy about how it works, things to do, not to do, etc. Basically the video made it look really quick and easy; just run the sander over the floor a couple of times and you’ll be back to clean, bare wood. That was not really the case, although it was easy to use. My main issue with the sander was the amount of time it took to get rid of the old finish. I ended up resting a book on the handles and reading it while running the sander up and down the room. Later I switched over to letting the sander run itself while I used the hand sander in the other room. I kept one eye on it, and it seemed to do okay just shimmying across the floor all by itself. Overall though it got the job done, and we were pretty happy with the overall result.
Here is the sander itself:
The picture above shows how it looked after a couple hours of sanding. Here is what the base looks like, just in case you’re curious. It turns out there are two types of large floor sander- the drum and the orbital. We chose this one because it’s better for beginners and doesn’t gouge the floor. We now realize that may also be code for very, very slow progress.
This was day two of sanding. Most of the finish was gone, but there was definitely still plenty left! Also, the picture is a little blurry because of the dustiness of the room at the time.
This is me (at almost midnight), finishing up the last couple square feet with the 80 grit!!! If I hadn’t been so tired, I would have done a little dance to celebrate being done (with that step, at least)!
Before I show the finished result, I wanted to show you a picture of the floor when I found it under the carpet. It was pretty horrible!
Okay, now back to the oil-based finish, which I waited until the morning to start. Voila, here it is right after the first application!
And after drying…
I still have two more coats to go, but it will probably be two days until those are finished. You have to wait 12 hours between coats, and there’s some sanding involved too. I’ll be out of town next week so by the time I get back it should be time to put the furniture in place! I can’t wait!