DIY Doctor

Terrible dents in newly sanded floor after varnishing

Postby JeremyP » Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:55 am

I would be very grateful for advice: wish I'd never started to sand my floor and don't want to make a bad job worse!
I have a fairly old house with (? pine) floorboards that were probably stained many years ago but in good condition albeit for a few gaps between them.
I hired drum and edging sander and bought some Lecol 7500 to fill the gaps.
The sanding was difficult in that only the centre of each floor board seemed to yield to the drum sander (? curved boards): I therefore had to use the edging sander a great deal (back-breaking).
I was quite pleased with the end result (stupidly!) and the filling process and subsequent sanding seemed to go quite well.
I applied the first coat of Ronseal Diamond Hard Floor Varnish (Medium Oak) last night - looked very nice except perhaps a bit darker than I'd wanted, and retired to bed. At 5am I awoke and crept downstairs expecting to admire the fruits of my labours but it looked awful! The floor is a mass of little cresent dents from my inexpert sanding (these weren't at all obvious before the varnish); in addition, the surface has a nasty "plasticy" feel and might not be wood at all - the natural grain seems to have disappeared under the varnish. Perhaps my expectations were unrealistic but I didn't expect it to look like this.
I'm tempted to sand it off again but I might well make a bad job worse. Should I give in and save up for a professional to step in (can it be rectified anyway?). My wife's away and this was supposed to be a surprise for her - it certainly will be!
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Simply Build It

Postby Tall Tone » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:33 am

Hi Jeremy
Your first problem was probably crowning of the floor boards. This is where the centre of the board is higher than the edges. This can take quite a large amount of sanding to remove, see my other post left a few minutes ago. From your description it sounds as if you resorted to the edger instead of the belt as it was more powerful? This has in turn left edges and marks all over the floor. These can be very small but will stand out when any finish is applied, especially those with tints like the Ronseal. The shinier the finish the more the marks will stand out and also the faster the finish will wear. How many coats of finish did you apply?
As far as solving the problem yourself, it is possible.
1/ The floor will need re-sanding using a belt for the main body of the floor and an edger only for the edges.
2/ If you have access to a buffer machine these are a great way of blending all the sanding marks together when used with a sanding screen.
3/ Re-seal the floor.

Regards TT
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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:07 am

hi tall tone,

what is a buffer machine? is it like a random orbit sander? and is it possible to hire?


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Postby Tall Tone » Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:11 am

A buffer is like a random orbital just much bigger. It's the sort of thing you see cleaners using to polish or clean floors.
Usualy has a 16 or 17" disc on the bottom where you can attach different pads or abrasives.
Try google images then type in "Floor Buffer" and that will give you an idea of what to look for.
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