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cmdrico7812 11-09-2007 09:00 PM

Hardwood floor stripping problems
I am attempting to refinish the old hardwood floors in our house. They were covered with carpeting and I wanted to restore them to their original glory. They have taken abuse over the years and this leaves me with a few problems (it should be noted that I'm very new to this sort of thing). The room is very small but there are a number of various flooring "situations" I need to deal with in the stripping process:
- Bare wood floor that has never been stained, painted, or finished (this is the easiest to deal with obviously.
- Bare wood floor that has never been stained or finished but has been painted over with latex based paint (a travesty, I know).
- Wood floor that has been stained, finished, and then painted over with latex based paint (my current nightmare).

Here's how I initially attacked this. Using a heat gun I was able to quickly and quite effortlessly remove the latex paint from the areas of the floor that had been stained and finished. I tried this same approach with the bare wood floor that had been painted but not previously stained and finished and the work was a bit more difficult. To remove the stain and finish from the parts of the floor that are like this, I have attempted to use a chemical stripper (Zip Strip, and another product by Klean Strip).

This is where I am having a huge problem. I apply the stripper with no problem, let it sit for the 30 mins. it requires, and the attempt to scrape up the mess. This is the problem, when I try to scrape it up, the substance gets so goopy that my scrapper has virtually no effect. I can get up some of the stuff and manage to get rid of it, but for the most part it just smears the stuff around which makes it dry faster and then I can't get anything up at all. So I tried using clean rags to wipe up the stuff but that smears it even worse.

Does anyone have a method that will work to get the stripper and subsequent stain/finish/latex paint off the floor so it won't smear all over the place? I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. I tried a paint stripping "block" (those wirey looking sponge sized blocks that take paint off) but that doesn't do very much at all.

Can someone please help? Any advice is appreciated.

(I know it's a simple question, but I went through the trouble of telling the back story of the floor and its issues so you know where I'm coming from).

Thanks so much in advance. I'm really at a loss at this point.

Thanks again!


rjordan392 11-10-2007 07:00 AM

I believe you are going about this job in the toughest way possible.
The first thing you need to do is get someone to evaluate the condition of the floors. The only reasons that someone would paint over stain is that they were either too lazy to maintain it or it got scratched so bad that wood filler was used and then painted over.
The evaluation should be performed by a professional floor stripper who also does installations of new flooring.
You are at the crossroad of needing new flooring or having it stripped. There are tools available to strip wood floors which makes the job go faster then hand stripping. These are normally used by professionals and not recommended for the average homeowner. How many square feet of flooring are you planning to do? I would hire a professional if stripping is all thats needed for all the rooms.

I don't believe you will get a uniform appearance by hand stripping with paint removers and your new stain will show it.

localtradesman 11-10-2007 09:53 PM

My Brother has just the answer.....
Rent a floor sander and sand it......or hire a flooring contractor to sand and finish it. You will never get everything out of the grain!!! You have to sand it. Minimum charge is around 750 dollars. But, you can sand it with a homeowner sanding machine from a local rental....But, you will have to sand the floor a couple of times.....them buff the floors between coats ect.... I just had a job of mine sanded and finished.....Seriously....don't do what you are doing.....probably cost you just as much to rent a floor sander for a day as the stripper!!

Shirley60 09-13-2011 10:58 PM

:eek:cmdrico7812 I am noticing this post here in 2011. I am for cost and time reasons doing exactly what you did. I'm not real excited about it. I know it would be better by pro's but I don't have $ for that. I am wondering what you ended up doing.

My job is nearly complete and then I will sand it. Design it and be done.

**Thanks to answers on other posts I will not be sanding this floor. **

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