How to sand pine floors

Written by gail delaney
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Wood floors are an investment for your home. With care, they will last a lifetime. Although pine is a soft wood, it is not as expensive as the hardwood used for floors. Pine accepts a variety of different finishes, making it suitable for any type home. Sometimes if the floor is showing some hard use, you can sand it down and make it look new again. It is essential when sanding a pine floor to use a gentle, soft touch. You can sand the floor by hand, or you can rent an electric sanding machine that will reduce labour time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Belt sander
  • Sandpaper #80, #100, #150, #220 grit
  • Hand disc sander

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  1. 1

    Check the floor for nails or screws that protrude above the surface. Secure them back down before you begin sanding. Fix loose boards and fill in gaps with lecol or some other professional filler.

  2. 2

    Equip your belt sander with #80-grit sandpaper for refinishing a pine floor or #100 grit if the floor is new.

  3. 3

    With the machine in front of you, begin sanding in one end of the room. Slowly, move backwards until you are at the other end of the room, leaving about 6 feet before you come to the wall.

  4. 4

    Turn the sander around and finish the area. Continue sanding the entire floor. You will need to do the corners and the area along the walls with a hand disc sander.

  5. 5

    Change the sandpaper in both sanders to #150 grit. Sand the pine floor again with the same technique as above.

  6. 6

    Change the sandpaper in both sanders to #220 grit. Sand the floor until the surface is smooth.

  7. 7

    Use a shop vac to suck up the dust in the cracks. Remove as much dust as possible before you apply wood stain.

Tips and warnings

  • If you sand in short segments, this will show sanding streaks when you apply stain.
  • If sanding a refinished floor, occasionally check the sandpaper. If there is a build-up of varnish, change the sandpaper.
  • Keep the sanding machine moving. Always sand in the direction of the boards, never across; this will scratch and ruin the pine floor boards.

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