Hardwood floors have been around for centuries. Pictures of old Victorian homes clad with the most beautiful brown floors inhibit the world's catalogs and magazines.The imagination takes you away to a time when when things were simple and wood was beautiful. However, the reason the wood is beautiful is because of the stains that have exposed the most beautiful textures. Removing oil-based stains will require definitive steps that can be done by the average homeowner in as little as one day per room.
Choose Your Tools
Choose the basic tools needed for removing oil-based stains. You will need a floor sander with 60, 80 and 100 grit sandpaper, an edger with the same grit papers and a small orbital palm sander.
Stripping The Floor
Use the floor sander to remove the majority of the stain. The floor sander is like a giant belt sander with a handle. Begin with heavy gritted sandpaper (60 grit) and work in the direction of the grain. Never sand across the grain of the floor or you will damage the hardwood. Don't stay in one place too long while the sander in running or you will make ruts in the floor. Work across the spectrum of the sandpapers, from 60 grit to 100 grit (fine).
Sand the edges around the perimeter of the room with the edger and palm sander. The edger is about the size of a skill saw but identical to an orbital sander. Follow the same rules when using the edger and palm sander --- sand with the grain of the wood. Always wear a dust mask when working with wood dust.