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Old 10-13-2010, 11:13 AM   #1
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


Hi guys,

Just a little background first:

We pulled 30 yr old carpet last year on this addition to a farmhouse (the addition is about 30 yrs old. There was dirty, yet unfinished pine flooring underneath. It's a little uneven in places, but that doesn't bother me. For a while now I've been meaning to refinish them and last weekend was it. I was hoping to be done before the new windows are installed this weekend. Sadly, I wasn't able to finish.

Fast forward to this past Sunday:

Since the floors were not stained or finished, I thought I would be able to sand them down with a rented orbital sander. Well I could and couldn't....in certain areas the sander would simply chew up the discs or bounce/jerk around like there was a gremlin in it. I did the best I could and returned the sander. Now I'm thinking whether I should redo this with a drum sander?

The goal here is not simply to make it look great, but more to clean up the surface so that I can stain it with Waterlox or Tung Oil (Real Milk Paint brand). But as you can see, there are still black marks from dirt that didn't come out.

And lastly, I've noticed white discolored patches in lot so places. Is this from: sanding, old pet urine, or ________? One other alternative I'm considering (since it is a farmhouse after all) is to paint it black with an enamel (similiar to this http://www.thathomesite.com/forums/l...326715.html?17 or http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/h...w-it-up-000210)

So, any suggestions on how to clean this floor up? Thanks!

Edit: after a little bit of thinking.......would I have been better of starting with a 30-grit sandpaper? I went directly to the highest one they had, which was 80.















Last edited by HautingLu; 10-13-2010 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:22 PM   #2
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


kind of hard to see from your pictures. looks like southern yellow pine, which was either a)painted b)water stained or c)covered in soot from a fire. assuming the planks were originally 3/4 inch, you could sand it down another 1/8th and see how that turns out.

if that does not do the trick, I would paint it.

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Old 10-13-2010, 07:26 PM   #3
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


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Originally Posted by 1910NE View Post
kind of hard to see from your pictures. looks like southern yellow pine, which was either a)painted b)water stained or c)covered in soot from a fire. assuming the planks were originally 3/4 inch, you could sand it down another 1/8th and see how that turns out.

if that does not do the trick, I would paint it.
What's the easiest way to take an 1/8th off? Drum sander or try the shady orbital again?

Any ideas on the random white stains?


Thanks.
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:38 PM   #4
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


I'd go try it with a drum. We pulled up 40 year old carpet in our 80 year old house - only the outer 2 feet of the floors had ever been finished (they must have used giant area rugs back in the day) but anyway... our floor looked like yours in some places (lots of gaps and dark spots from water damage).

We probably took off around 1/8" w/ the drum - we started out w/ a really rough grit, 30 I think and then did one higher grit, did the wood filler and then did the fine grit, then rubbed it w/ sanding sponges and then vacuumed and wiped it down w/ tack cloths. Came out pretty good, but be paitent and prepare for your hands to hurt for a few days.

Here's my wife in action (see the middle being so dark - weird huh)







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Old 10-13-2010, 09:04 PM   #5
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


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Originally Posted by CoconutPete View Post
I'd go try it with a drum. We pulled up 40 year old carpet in our 80 year old house - only the outer 2 feet of the floors had ever been finished (they must have used giant area rugs back in the day) but anyway... our floor looked like yours in some places (lots of gaps and dark spots from water damage).

We probably took off around 1/8" w/ the drum - we started out w/ a really rough grit, 30 I think and then did one higher grit, did the wood filler and then did the fine grit, then rubbed it w/ sanding sponges and then vacuumed and wiped it down w/ tack cloths. Came out pretty good, but be paitent and prepare for your hands to hurt for a few days.

Here's my wife in action (see the middle being so dark - weird huh)
That's actually a bit reassuring. All of the original rooms in the house are same (only outer edged finished). After this weekend, I was leaning just going with carpet and calling it a day. But seeing your results has re-inspired me (for now).

What did you use with the floors afterward? Stain, poly, oil? Also, when you went over again with the finer grit, did you use the drum sander again?

Here are some of my other rooms:



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Old 10-14-2010, 08:06 AM   #6
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


I can't see your pics right now because they are blocked at work for some reason but I'll look at them later.

I still have 1/4 jug of whatever we used, I can take a look at it when I get home, it was transparent though. I'm a little fuzzy on some of the details - so much has happened this summer.

Here is the order of what we did:

1st sanding w/ drum sander (30 grit I think)
2nd sanding w/ drum sander (I think 75 grit? Maybe 100?)
filled all the cracks w/ wood filler and let dry
3'rd sanding w/ drum sander w/ finer grit (I think maybe 200?)
Quick vacuum
Rubbed the floor down w/ sanding sponges
Thorough vacuum
Rubbed the floor down w/ tack cloths to make sure they were clean
coat #1
coat # 2
Coat # 3

Whatever we did with the drum sander, we did the same w/ a hand held orbital sander around all the corners, edges and on the stairs (stairs were the worst part of the whole project)

Last edited by CoconutPete; 10-14-2010 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:13 AM   #7
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


Quote:
Originally Posted by CoconutPete View Post
I can't see your pics right now because they are blocked at work for some reason but I'll look at them later.

I still have 1/4 jug of whatever we used, I can take a look at it when I get home, it was transparent though. I'm a little fuzzy on some of the details - so much has happened this summer.

Here is the order of what we did:

1st sanding w/ drum sander (30 grit I think)
2nd sanding w/ drum sander (I think 75 grit? Maybe 100?)
filled all the cracks w/ wood filler and let dry
3'rd sanding w/ drum sander w/ finer grit (I think maybe 200?)
Quick vacuum
Rubbed the floor down w/ sanding sponges
Thorough vacuum
Rubbed the floor down w/ tack cloths to make sure they were clean
coat #1
coat # 2
Coat # 3

Whatever we did with the drum sander, we did the same w/ a hand held orbital sander around all the corners, edges and on the stairs (stairs were the worst part of the whole project)
Thanks! Please do get back about what you used....I'm curious. Heck, I might just be better off trying to buy a drum sander.

Guess this project will take a little longer than expected
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:17 PM   #8
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


When we lived in Oklahoma we pulled up old shag carpeting to find floors like yours, maybe not quite so stained though. Then we rented a drum sander, refinished them and was very pleased with the results. Sorry, but I don't remember what products we used on it.
A couple of things to be aware of tho.

1) Those drum sanders work quick. It is very easy to go deeper than expected. Start in a not too prominent room or area until you get a feel for how fast it goes.

2) FWIW, and from what I've read, pine floors were sometimes installed as a sub-floor, and not really meant to be finished.

3) Our home was an old stone house. We wanted a rustic look and got it. Pine is a soft wood so if your floors are pine, don't expect a high gloss perfect finish to last (actually I would recommend a satin finish). We have three large dogs, and lets just say their nails, um, contributed to the rustic look.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:01 PM   #9
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


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Those drum sanders work quick. It is very easy to go deeper than expected. Start in a not too prominent room or area until you get a feel for how fast it goes.


Yeah - I forgot to mention that part. Luckily one of my buddies who had "piloted" one before came over and made sure we didn't get out of control.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:04 PM   #10
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondesense View Post
2) FWIW, and from what I've read, pine floors were sometimes installed as a sub-floor, and not really meant to be finished.

3) Our home was an old stone house. We wanted a rustic look and got it. Pine is a soft wood so if your floors are pine, don't expect a high gloss perfect finish to last (actually I would recommend a satin finish). We have three large dogs, and lets just say their nails, um, contributed to the rustic look.
I've been told that many of times, but I just can't get myself to cover it up with carpet. It does appear to be sub-floor quality, but I'm not expecting perfection. Most of it will be covered up with area rugs and probably a large pool table
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:22 AM   #11
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


Here is what I used. It's water based, but you can definitely smell what you are doing while you're at it. Luckily we weren't living in the house yet so we just left after each coat
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:52 AM   #12
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


Be prepared to use much sand paper as the pine will load the sand paper up quickly. When it loads heavy it will not cut anymore and will leave white spots from the resin and your sander will bounce. Do not allow the paper to load up, change it just as it starts to load. One thing to remember with the drum sander is to keep moving, do not stop the sander at any time while it is in contact with the floor. The drum sander is very heavy and pine is one of the more difficult floors to refinish so beware that you can mess up more with the drum sander than can be straightened up. The drum sander will do some serious sanding and damage quickly with new paper on it. It may be to your advantage to have a professional sand the floor for you.

I would say that the T&G pine is not your sub floor as old farm houses usually used a 1X6 or 1X8 with a good spacing between as the sub floor. The T&G would be too tight and swell used as a sub floor.

I did a remodel and addition to a home several years ago and the folks wanted 1X10 plain boards no T&G as their floor, they painted the floor a light gray with a checker board design with the squares being around 14 inches SQ and it turned out looking good. They wanted the gaps and inconsistencies as the theme of their home was early 1800 era.

The only pine I have ever seen stained and looked good, other than old growth heart pine, was stained very dark. There is a prep that you can put on the pine to before it is stained that will make the staining take more evenly. Most pine will blotch when stained as pine has hard spots or resin patches. I don't know if the prep will do any good with this floor or not. One of the pros will be here soon and can tell you much more than I can. I mostly restored older antique homes and always left it up to the pros on finishing the floors.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:13 PM   #13
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


I assume you are renovating one room at a time..remember to do the floors last.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:34 PM   #14
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


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Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
Be prepared to use much sand paper as the pine will load the sand paper up quickly. When it loads heavy it will not cut anymore and will leave white spots from the resin and your sander will bounce. Do not allow the paper to load up, change it just as it starts to load. One thing to remember with the drum sander is to keep moving, do not stop the sander at any time while it is in contact with the floor. The drum sander is very heavy and pine is one of the more difficult floors to refinish so beware that you can mess up more with the drum sander than can be straightened up. The drum sander will do some serious sanding and damage quickly with new paper on it. It may be to your advantage to have a professional sand the floor for you.

I would say that the T&G pine is not your sub floor as old farm houses usually used a 1X6 or 1X8 with a good spacing between as the sub floor. The T&G would be too tight and swell used as a sub floor.

I did a remodel and addition to a home several years ago and the folks wanted 1X10 plain boards no T&G as their floor, they painted the floor a light gray with a checker board design with the squares being around 14 inches SQ and it turned out looking good. They wanted the gaps and inconsistencies as the theme of their home was early 1800 era.

The only pine I have ever seen stained and looked good, other than old growth heart pine, was stained very dark. There is a prep that you can put on the pine to before it is stained that will make the staining take more evenly. Most pine will blotch when stained as pine has hard spots or resin patches. I don't know if the prep will do any good with this floor or not. One of the pros will be here soon and can tell you much more than I can. I mostly restored older antique homes and always left it up to the pros on finishing the floors.

Jim - so reading between the lines, I get the sense that this floor won't be easy nor pretty to stain? Seeing as the rest of the house has similar flooring, I may be better off going with a hard black enamel paint....or finding a professional as you suggested. Initial quotes for sanding with 3 grits has been $1/sq ft.

1910NE - That is the plan. If I can complete this room, I will try to continue with the others. And as luck would have, the floors are going to be last.

This is the look I'd be going for with a black paint:


Last edited by HautingLu; 10-15-2010 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:57 AM   #15
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Trying to refinish farmhouse pine floor (and not getting far). Need opinions!


We went with a light color. Knowing it was soft pine we figured it would show the inevitable dents and gouges less.
Especially with these two.

We sold the house about three or four years after finishing the floor. At that time not only was there indentations from dog nails, but you could see lightening or wear patterns in the high traffic areas. Just something to think about with a soft wood and dark stain.
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