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Camera 11-22-2011 08:07 PM

Refinish original wood subfloor and lead paint
Underneath some hideous carpet, we discovered the original wood plank subfloor (pine?). We'd like to refinish it, but it had been painted in the past, and I can't tell the condition of the wood because of this old paint. Since our house is old, no doubt the paint is lead-based. Is there a safe way to remove this paint and refinish the floors? I read about infrared heaters that can be used to remove old paint - anyone use these?

Also, our first floor has been completely covered in ceramic tile. I really want to find out what the floor looks underneath. What's the best way to check?


user1007 11-23-2011 10:38 AM

Infrared strippers are absolutely wonderful. Don't get your hopes too high if the floors are a softwood like pine. You are unlikely to get everything out of the grain so they look nice natural.

Painted floors get a bad rep. Go to the library for some examples of drop dead gorgeous painted ones.

You will still want to strip, patch and sand them.

forresth 11-23-2011 08:25 PM

you can try a chemical stripper, then sand, and hope for the best, but I have my doubts. Chemical strip then repaint sounds like a better move to me.

user1007 11-24-2011 09:04 AM

You can also sand the floors with a floor sander. The orbital ones are relatively easy for a DIY project. The drum ones will chew through a pine floor in seconds if you are not careful. It will take lots of paper to sand paint without stripping it. And, if you suspect lead, you will be sending it airborne and will have to follow abatement and protection procedures.

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