How to Sand a Painted Floor

Written by joshua kinser
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How to Sand a Painted Floor
Use a floor sander, edge sander and sand paper to sand painted floors. (Dining Table and Hardwood Flooring image by Paul Hill from

Sanding painted floors is necessary to repaint or refinish wood floors. This task will require a belt sander and edge sander, which can be rented at many hardware stores with rental services. The depth of sanding will depend on the grain of the wood, how many layers of paint have been applied, and whether you will be refinishing the floors with a stain or simply repainting.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Belt sander
  • Edge sander
  • Sand paper
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Mop
  • Water
  • Floor cleaner

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  1. 1

    Lightly sand the surface of the floor with approximately 80-grit sandpaper. This will create a rougher, more-abrasive surface for the paint to adhere. You do not need to remove the old paint if you will be repainting the floor; you just need to scratch the surface of the paint. If the paint is chipping, cracking or uneven, you may need to sand the floor further to remove all the old paint using a commercial-grade floor sander.

  2. 2

    Sweep the entire floor area with a broom, carefully removing all dust and wood particles.

  3. 3

    Clean the floor using a mop with water and a light floor cleaner to further clean the floor of all dust and dirt before repainting.

  1. 1

    Rent or buy a floor sander, edge sander and varying grit sandpaper from a hardware store.

  2. 2

    Apply or attach 60-grit sandpaper to the floor sander. On a floor sander the sand paper is generally attached to circular Velcro discs that spin or attached to a rotating belt on the bottom of the floor sander.

  3. 3

    Plug in the floor sander and move belt sander at a 20-degree angle in relation to the wood plank direction. To remove deeper layers of surface wood or paint, it is more effective to sand the flooring against the grain instead of sanding the flooring in the direction that the wood planks are laid. Repeat this process until paint is removed.

  4. 4

    Turn off the floor sander. Remove 60-grit sandpaper and install a finer 80-grit paper to the floor sander. Turn on the floor sander and move the sander in the direction of the wood grain to create a finished and smooth sanding that is sanded for staining and a protective coating. The floor sander will not be able to sand at the edges of the room. Therefore you need to use an edge sander to carefully remove the paint and sand at the edges of the room.

  5. 5

    Attach 60-grit sandpaper to the edge sander and turn on the sander. Place the sander on the edge of the room where there is still paint to be removed. Move the sander in small circles along the edge of the room. Remove the painted surface. After the paint is removed, change sandpaper in edge sander to a finer grit paper and repeat the process. Sweep entire floor area with broom, carefully removing all dust and wood particles. This will prepare your floor for staining and a protective coating.

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