How to remove sanding marks in hardwood floors

Written by elizabeth knoll
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Sanding marks from a floor sander are a great concern when sanding hardwood floors. The weight of the machine makes it extremely easy to leave sanding marks. These marks, also known as chatter marks, can be difficult to remove, especially if they are fairly deep into the wood. Although usually left to the professionals, a skilled homeowner can remove sanding marks in hardwood floors.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Drum sander
  • 100-grit sand paper
  • Extension cord
  • Broom
  • Vacuum
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves

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Instructions

    Instructions

  1. 1

    Put 100-grit sandpaper in the drum sander. A lot of times the sanding marks in hardwood floors result from sandpaper grit that is too coarse. Finish sanding is key to not having any sanding marks appear when the stain and clear coat are applied.

  2. 2

    Plug in the drum sander. If needed, use an extension cord to reach the nearest outlet. Lift the floor sander up when you turn it on so that the drum is off the floor. Turn it on and when it comes up to full speed, slowly lower it to the floor. Walk at an even pace and when you reach the end of the room lift the sander up before you try to turn.

  3. 3

    Continue sanding with the finer grit sandpaper until the entire room is sanded. Lift the drum sander up off the floor when turning it off. Don't set it back down until the drum stops turning completely. If any nails appear, countersink them back into the wood.

  4. 4

    Hand-sand the edges of the room where the drum sander could not reach. Sweep and vacuum up all loose wood particles. Your hardwood floor should now be ready for stain and clear coat.

Tips and warnings

  • Stay away from disc sanders for hardwood floors; they will leave circular swirls in the wood.
  • If hand-sanding the edge isn't your cup of tea, edgers are available that can sand right up to the edge of your baseboard.
  • If your hardwood floor is thinner than 3/4 of an inch thick, consult a professional before sanding so that you do not sand into the subfloor.
  • Do not start the sander with the drum contacting the floor, because the sander can gouge out the floor. This could lead to hefty replacement costs.
  • Wear work gloves and safety glasses when sanding. Loose wood particles kicked up by the sander could get under the skin or in the eyes.

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