Wednesday, June 29, 2011

DIY floor sanding.

We hired a "drum sander" and an "edge sander" from the hire shop on the Friday afternoon thinking we would sand the kitchen floor of the Reno Cottage. However Mr CH came home and said the hire shop don't hire for halfdays anymore. So he hired the sanders for Saturday and you get Sunday free. I guess in some areas you can't make noises on Sundays. As our neighbourhood is full of DIY'ers (code for :can't afford builders) and there is often something noisy happening, we sanded for a few hours on the Sunday. One neighbour popped in to see how it was going and said he'd like to go halves with us next time to cut costs if we liked, as he wanted to sand a room.

I don't know what we were doing here, as we did wear masks and those little squishy earplugs as the drum sander is quite loud. The kitchen floor was in pretty bad condition with some residue from the tiles and some water damage, so we knew it would need a heavy-duty sand. This is our second time using a drum sander and it does get easier with each go. You just have to start with coarse grit on the first pass (which is the slowest,most time consuming pass) and finish with fine grit sandpaper. We like to finish with the orbital sander and then give the floor a light mopping to make sure no "ripples" are missed.

We didn't punch any nails in, to start with, preferring to sand down the rusty tops to be punched in later.

The floorboards are mixed hardwood throughout, and once the grime has been sanded off the colours start to show.

Sanding already flat floorboards was easier than when Mr CH sanded tongue and groove floorboards (which he installed himself)for our own house extention. There he had to sand them to the same level as some boards were planed slightly thicker.

Mr CH using the edge sander near the bathroom door.

I had to have a go to see if I could do it!

The edge sander has a spinning disk unlike the orbital sander that just vibrates, and I found I had to hold on tight or it would pull away. Can't say I liked using it, it was a bit scary. Sanded well though.

We (Mr CH) sanded the kitchen, dining and sanded the edges on Saturday. Then we finished sanding the 2nd bedroom and edges on the Sunday and were finished by lunchtime, giving us plenty of time to de-dust the machines and load them in the car for me to drop them back Monday morning.

In the dining room you may notice dark stains on the floor. We are not quite sure if these are from termite spray under the boards or (more likely) from mopping water seeping through joins in old lino flooring.

The sander removed some but not all the stains so it will be interesting to see how the floor turns out after polishing.

Corner of dining room.

We think sanding the floor has also helped eliminate alot of the smell especially in the kitchen. Now you don't gag everytime you walk in.

One and a half days hard work (sore shoulders and stiff back for a few days).

Children neglected.

Hire of sanders - $175.

Saving - hundreds of $

Man caught using a broom - so worth it!


  1. Such a big big job. Good on you guys. We've never dared sand our floors in any of our houses - such chickens we are!

    I can't wait to see how they come up when they are oiled. xx

  2. hehehe, love the last shot, priceless.

    I was a bit worried, when you said that the edge sander was scary and could pull away any time and you were wearing thongs, good lord!!!

    The floors are gorgeous!

    Our neighbour is a self employed carpenter that works in his shed at all hours of the night, but our noisy windmill is payback (when it needs an oil), hehe.

  3. Good on you for giving it a go and doing so well. Can't say we were ever game to try. But you are right in the savings! Well done. ;-)

  4. Well done guys! It's looking amazing.

    We hired a floor sander to even out the glue bumps on our hebel powerFloor. It created soooo much dust it was crazy.


  5. Always worth it to catch a man with a broom. Refinishing flooring by yourself is tough. My husband and I did it too but we weren't as lucky as you guys. Our floors had some kind of sticky gum on it that caught fire when we tried to sand it so we had to remove it and then sand.

    It was all worth it in the end though as I'm sure you're finding out.


  6. That timber is coming up well. Can't wait to see the finished product.
    Beth x

  7. What a big job but looks great, nothing better than floor boards.

  8. Dear Mrs. Crazy Horse,
    I simply love your blog!
    Just when I was starting to feel guilty over the amount of time I spend clicking away on this computer, staring at this screen, BAM, I find your blog (thanks for the contact invite of flickr by the way), reminding why I love blogs so much.
    You and your Mr CH remind me of me and my hubby...whom I am seriously considering dubbing Mr MS on my blog from now on.
    We have been steadily working on our suburb house for 10 years now, and now that it is complete, are selling in the Spring and starting all over again, this time in the country. Have loved looking at all your vintage finds, and will be using all your DIY(yes that is code for "can't afford builders" funny) posts for reference whenever we get that house in the country.

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  10. Great work guys!!
    I have ordered new floor sanding equipment and was thinking who would do my floor sander,but your dedication for your house made me clear that even I would do this work myself.

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  12. Looks like a bit of water stain in that floor - Generally it will only sand out to a degree. Looks like you got the bulk of it out - Good job!

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