23 Jul. 2011|
Hand scraping wood stairs,wooden crate diy,wood composite decking materials - Try Out
Now if you are a amateur and have never done a stained floor before, and you think you are going to simply rent a floor sanding machine and sand the floor yourself, please consider this.
This way you can be sure that all the proper steps were taken to prepare your floor for the wood stain. A well sanded floor will be a breeze to stain and finish, and this article will save you from hiring the wrong contractor.
On old floor I want to remove ALL the old finish, down to the clean white wood, no exceptions.
On the latest generation of prefinished wood flooring these should be quite shallow and you should be able to remove the beveled edges but not take too much wood off. I will fill any gaps (not holes) at this point, and it would be best to use dark filler if the floor will be darkly stained.
It is SO important to remove all these edger marks if you are intending to stain the floor with a pigmented type of stain. But when I do stair treads I can hand sand even the small vibrator sander marks out, again with a dulled 80 or 100-grit silicone carbide floor sanding paper. Now, if you are simply going to clear finish (no stain) the floor, you could have skipped some of these steps. If you are sanding a floor with the intention of applying water based finish, you will have to use the more lengthy method I described in sanding for a stain. Let me just review one more time the drum sand-grits I always use on new or old floors in prep for a stain.
Deep down in our innocent young hearts, we all knew that power tools could not replicate the look of true hand-scraping. I do have another article on how to stain a floor, and another on how to apply polyurethane to a floor.
These will show up as stripes across the grain of the boards once you stain, and by then it's too late. If this is so, have the drum rebuilt and rebalanced before you attempt any more custom stain jobs. But on the last job I was on, I had to scrape the V grooves out by hand after the coarse sanding. After the coarse sanding, I then get on my hands and knees and take a good look at the sanding lines and make sure all the angled sanding lines and high spots are removed.
Wood filler in any gaps will crack out eventually, and the floor will look better in the future if the filler is dark all the way through. You might at this point consider using Aluminum Oxide (ALO) sandpaper for this-grit, as the ALO-grits are a bit more rounded (than silicone carbide), so the wood will be less grooved. Learn how to use a 10" mill bastard file to sharpen a wood scraper meant for wood floors.
And if you really think you know all about how to stain a floor you need NOT get my companion article on what stains to buy and how to use them.
I may find at this point that the floor is just too thin or damaged to handle the extensive sanding process that a stained floor needs. Use these for sure if you do any stain work, as they will absorb some more of the motor's vibration.
The V groove was just too deep, and I would have removed far too much of the wood, if I had tried to sand them out. New floors should have few if any gaps, and an older floor to be stained should be in quite good shape also, so this would be a minor filling. And if you are a real perfectionist, you can sand these vibrator marks out by hand on your floor's edges also, but I rarely find this necessary. And it does take months of training to use a floor sander without gouging your fine wood floor. Be sure to use the silicone carbide (SiC) or for really hard finishes (or really dense wood like hickory) try the new zirconia-alo variety.
On new floors I want to remove all the over wood efficiently and quickly, so this coarse 36-grit paper does it's work quite well.
On dense closed grain woods like cherry or maple you must remove all the coarse grain sanding lines. These slight marks across the whole width of the floor will show up only when you stain the floor, and by then it will be too late. Some really resinous woods like pine and a lot of exotic species will continually clog up the fine sandpaper on the edger and sometimes even on the big drum sander. It's quite an art to sharpen these scrapers so they pull smooth ribbons of wood off the floor. Put the light just ahead where you are fine vibrator sanding, and after you think you are done, brush the floor edge with a horse hair hand brush, and look toward the light. I do however think this final hand sanding is necessary on stair treads, as you will be viewing them closely as you ascend the staircase. When you sand a floor past 120-grit sandpaper and then stain it, the stain may not be able to penetrate the slick surface of the wood.
In fact you will find the floor so smooth that the no final buffing of the wood will be needed. After you have stained the floor be sure and purchase my article on how to apply the oil modified polyurethane finish, without those annoying bubbles and pits.
This saves you from having to buy a roll of this very fine sandpaper, and in my opinion will do a better job of polishing the wood. It will be an alarming mistake when the stain and one coat of finish is on, by then you have to sand the whole floor over again. Pigment stains (the easiest to use) need the pores of the wood to lodge in, otherwise the stain color will not take.
If you want to have a beautiful wood floor, you need to know how to sand extraordinarily well.
When you wipe these stains on a floor that is too smooth, most of the color will come out too.
And you may find that you have to use different colors in early and late wood, like oak, to get a good match.
I commonly have to sand the newly laid hardwood floor at a 30-degree angle at first to help level the new wood. Open coat sandpapers (that are only 50-70% covered in abrasive-grits) are better for these sorts of wood. The final buffing of the floor should be done just before you are ready to stain, or else the grain might rise if the weather is humid at all. These double-sided disks will stay flat even if used with just the rubber pad that is on your wooden buffer disk. And having an edger that sands at a slower speed helps prevent the heat that causes this paper glazing on woods like pine, teak and other tropical oily woods.
The buffer should be worked slowly back and forth against the grain of the floor and then using the same screen (by now quite dull) with the grain of the wood. Some floor mechanics take the extra step and hand buff the areas that the machine couldn't reach. If they don't know that, they leave you with a poorly finished wood surface, for these less than forgiving water borne finishes.
If you don't see this before you stain the floor, this will create a defect in your stain, as it will be apparent that these boards didn't get sanded.
But in all cases be sure to get as close to the edge as you can to help blend in the edges where the two different machine marks can show up through the stain. I cannot spray in the house and cannot give it that look without a ton of hand-work with the stain. Keep the buffer handle low in this case to prevent the long swirls marks of too aggressive buffer marks.
Recall that I did not work on the skirt or detail work (and for that I am happy), but we had to nail the color.I took a stain brush and put on the stain, then let that set up overnight. I came in the next day and took spirits with a soft rag and pulled the color into the wood and the extra off. I think we have a full day just working the stain into the step, clean off the rise and getting the look it needs.