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Old 02-21-2011, 04:59 PM   #1
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Refinishing hardwood floors (oak) - damage control!

Hello, looking for advice on how to proceed, on what looks to be a major F* up.

I have done laminate flooring before, and "refinished" hardwood floors with the Varathane "No Sand" kit with pretty good results.
However, I am completely new to sanding/refinishing original wood floors, so here is my predicament:

This hardwood floor I originally tried just giving a facelift to with the 'no sand' kit, as shown here:

[sorry, you are not allowed to post website links]

In this instance though, the kit started to take up the original finish, leaving a mess. SO, I ended up renting a drum sander and going this time for stripping the old finish and restaining. The room isn't that big, about 10' x 10'. Again, my first time at this.

The problem is the floor was apparently so old and hard, the sander would not completely take up all the old stain.
After drum sanding, and then hand sanding ad nauseum, I was left with traces of the old stain everywhere but most of it up. I then made the supreme mistake of gambling on using a darker stain than the original floor, and hoping it would even out in the end.

After leaving the stain sit overnight, I came in the next morning and wiped down the excess, and it looks like this underneath (1st 2 pics). The last pic is the unwiped portion of the floor, with the stain still sitting on it. As you can see, the 'giraffe' pattern of old leftover stain was made even MORE noticeable, not blended away.

So what can be done at this point. Take the new stain off, and then rent a sander again? But what should I use to do this, to avoid a sticky mess.
Paint stripper? Mineral spirits?

Definitely damage control. Open to any suggestions as to the best way to go forward- done doing it the wrong way!
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Refinishing hardwood floors (oak) - damage control!-p1080543.jpg   Refinishing hardwood floors (oak) - damage control!-p1080544.jpg   Refinishing hardwood floors (oak) - damage control!-p1080542.jpg  


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Old 02-21-2011, 05:50 PM   #2
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I am not a "Do it Yourselfer" btw, this is part of a house I have been hired to refinish which is going up for sale....the owner is out of town.......and this job is currently my only source of income. As you could imagine I am under a deal of pressure to get this mistake fixed.

So any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.


Last edited by jeffpas; 02-21-2011 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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Thanks guys, I just got some GREAT advice on fixing this mess and it saved me a ton of time!
You can close this thread out - jeffpas
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:00 PM   #4
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I would wipe a 3' x 3' section of the floor with mineral spirits. You may have to wipe it several times. Use white rags and you will be able to see if it is removing the sticky stuff. If you did get that area clean then wipe and clean the entire floor. let it dry over night with a fan blowing across the floor.

The next morning if it feels dry enough sand a test area with 60 grit paper on the edger to see if the floor is sand able. If the 60 grit clogs after only a few feet of sanding you may have to go to 36 grit. Be careful with the 36 paper, you can dish out the floor if you have no experience with the edger.

If the test area you sanded with the edger looks good now you can sand the entire floor.

A drum sander should be used on this floor. Other sanders will use alot of paper and take forever.

Always do a test section first. It is painful when the entire floor fails.

Good Luck
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