Sunday, April 7, 2013

More diy floor sanding....

Now that the front veranda wall has been painted, it's time to get the floors sanded, the last bit thankfully. Mr CH has started cutting the MDF vj sheets for under the windows, which will be nailed in place after the floors are sanded.

 We once again hired a drum sander and an edge sander to sand the floors ourselves, therefore saving money. We have been looking forward to seeing how the veranda floor might look, once all the years of grime and wear were sanded off. We are pretty happy they sanded well, love the red showing through, though there are a few gaps in the floor boards that will need filling before we varnish.

Front door to lounge

Bed 2 (blue room) before sanding.

After first pass with the medium grit sandpaper, still a few bits of varnish in the low spots that come off with the next pass.

After each room was sanded, Mr CH did a pass with the sander from one side of the house to the other, through the doorways to avoid "ripples" at each doorway from where the sander stops and starts. There is a lot of tilting the sander back while sanding floors to reduce pressure and stop the sanding digging in.

We sanded the dining room and bed 1 last time, but after lots of paint drips and a bit of dirt, we intended to give it another pass with fine grit sandpaper to make sure it was the same as the other rooms before varnishing.

The spot where we had moved the wall (turning the lounge into Bed 2) needed extra sanding. These floors had already been sanded once (and varnished) before and there was quite a height difference in the boards. So Mr CH sanded against the grain, attempting to bring the "hump" down to the same level. We probably should have sanded it down a lot more, however we wanted to avoid scratches across the grain.

While Mr CH used the drum sander, I got to use the edge sander, a machine that weighs half my body weight. Just imagine my gritted teeth under that mask, ha.

Happy boy!!! (the next day)
You can still see some water stains still on the boards, unfortunately they wouldn't come out without sanding half the floor boards away. Most likely from decades of mopping lino floors and some water seeping through to stain the boards. The sisters who owned the house when we moved here, varnished the floor over the stains. We though this wouldn't sand out, just a pity it's in the middle of the floor now, and not hidden under furniture. Win some, lose some.

Fifteen bags of sawdust.
We sanded for eight hours with cuppa/lunch breaks in between.
We used 40 grit (medium coarse) and 80 grit (fine) sanding sheets. The veranda needed three passes (one coarse, two fine) The bed 2 and lounge needed two passes (one coarse, one fine) and the bed 1 and dining (previously sanded) needed one pass (fine). After all the rooms were sanded, (after the aches wore off) we got out the orbital sanders and gave the rooms the once over to make sure they were smooth enough to varnish.

Mr CH thought someone might find this helpful.
 When he changes the sanding sheets on the drum sander, he loosely attaches the new sanding sheet to the drum (under the attachment plate) and rolls it through, then takes off the attachment plate and pushes both edges under to re-secure the sanding sheet. I feel like a twit telling this, but he says it is difficult to stop the sheets catching on the sides any other way. So if you are crazy enough to sand floors like us, that might help.

Attach one side of the sanding sheet and roll through.

Now need to build up for the varnishing....


  1. The floors will look great, bet you're pleased the weather's getting a little cooler - Jen.

  2. Wow, well done you two. That is a major exercise, but just proves it can be done. So satisfying to stand back and admire your work too!

  3. Great !!! we needed to see how sanding was done DIY... one of these days I will get to it :) it all looks really wonderful... your veranda looks very very similar to my now enclosed study space (which by the looks used to be a veranda) and I just love your paint work, clever feature using the white ceiling and qtr wall :) Looks great guys well done !!!

  4. Gosh those boards are a beautiful original colour, unusual to see the narrow hardwood boards in a workers cottage. We have the wide pine but there is lots of colour variation between boards, almost abit variegated looking. The progress you two are making is incredible. mel x

  5. Sanding is one of the most tedious, messy, and muscle aching jobs out there in home renovation that is for sure. Me and Tim did our big living room last year. We kept saying the same thing:" now we know why people just get wall to wall carpet!" You guys did a fantastic job. Doing these chores together is kinda fun though isn't it? And yes, I have thought about it before that being in different hemispheres our spring and your guys' fall? {is that what you call it} are the closest we are ever gonna get to experiencing similar seasons. I wonder whose snow peas will come up first?

  6. Wowza! We've never been brave enough to sand internal floors...yours look terrific and you may it look so doable! Our cork floors in the kitchen need a little attention (yes, we are keeping them because our floor boards are so gappy etc), so maybe your blog posts might inspire us...maybe. lol! xx

  7. So much work but the results are so worth it. The floors are looking amazing. It is a labour of love.


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