How to Refinish Painted Wood Floors

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HB
Posts: 1650
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:24 pm
Location: Reading - PA

How to Refinish Painted Wood Floors

Post by HB »

Well I finally rememberered to take pictures while I was in the midle of a project, so I thought I'd post what I leaerned for anyone else faced with the same situation.

I am working on one of the bedrooms and the original wide plank floors were painted a couple of times around the perimeter of the room and in the middle there was never any finish applied.

Tools I'm using are the Silent Paint Remover, A 2 handed scraper with replaceable blade, and a contour scraper for tough spots. Since the paint is old and dried out I went around the room and painted a Boiled Linseed Oil and turpentine mixture onto the paint to rejuvenate it and put something in it that will allow the Silent Paint remover to work. The mix was 1part Boiled Linseed oil to 4 parts turpentine. I brushed the mixture on and then left it on for at least 24 hours before hitting it with the Silent paint remover. You want a fair amount of this mix on the paint, without putting so much on that you have puddles.

Then heat and scrape to remove the paint, and after scraping, go back over the floor with 120 grit sandpaper in a random orbital sander to achieve the finish you want. Pretty simple really.

Here's a couple of photos of the floor showing all stages - Painted, scraped, never finished and final sanded.
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I also show all of the tools required to complete the job.
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For a final finish I plan to use a natural tung oil.

Good Luck if you try it.

HB
The lord hates a coward....

lisascenic
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Re: How to Refinish Painted Wood Floors

Post by lisascenic »

WOWIE!!!

chadzeilenga
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Re: How to Refinish Painted Wood Floors

Post by chadzeilenga »

Hi HB,
One of our rooms had painted pine floors just like yours. Of course it also had carpeting over that so there were plenty of little staple holes in it. We paid a guy $1.50/sq. ft. to sand them with a drum sander. After they were stripped I used waterlox on them.
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HB
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Re: How to Refinish Painted Wood Floors

Post by HB »

Your floors look great!

Carpeting....yeah, we had that too, except our PO put down luan first, then the carpet pad and then the carpet. They used ring shank flooring nails at what seemed like 6 inch intervals across the whole floor. The nai holes faded into the floor pretty well despite how many there were.

The drum sander would've saved time, but We opted against the drum sander since the floors are 215 years old and show it with many areas that are worn thin from 215 years of foot traffic. The drum sander would've taken the floor down far enough to cause damage to some of the tongue and grooves which woukd have been bad.

The random orbital sander removes just enough to get a nice finish.

HB
The lord hates a coward....

chadzeilenga
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:42 am
Location: Crete, IL 60417

Re: How to Refinish Painted Wood Floors

Post by chadzeilenga »

I hear you on the thin floors. We were lucky in that ours were the full 1" thickness and hadn't been sanded before that I'm aware of. If you use the orbital and it doesn't get all of the paint off, you can try what I used on our trim. I took Denatured alcohol and the 3M scrubby pads. The alcohol was a nice lubricant for the pad and softened some of the old paint a little. This had very little impact on the wood or removed any material. It worked very well at removing the parts of the finish I couldn't get off with scraping and saved me from having to sand.

moonshadow317
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Re: How to Refinish Painted Wood Floors

Post by moonshadow317 »

HB,
Great idea about the BLO and turp mix. I wish I had thought of it before doing the floors in the 1895 Vic. That old paint just laughed at my heat gun. I used soygel and a scraper. A lot of work and they really didn't come out as nice as I would have liked. We had the same situation as yours old rock hard paint (same color) around the perimeter and unfinished in the center. They must have lain linoleum in the middle. After you were done did the floor all look the same? Ours didn't they were lighter in the center but I was using area rugs anyways. By the way do you have any finished pics :D
Thanks for posting this ....maybe it will save some poor soul a lot of work and aggravation!
Karen
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eperot
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Re: How to Refinish Painted Wood Floors

Post by eperot »

How timely...We just pulled up our top flooring to get to the original and the whole perimeter of the room is painted green...center is left unfinished. They must have had rugs in the center and saved on paint that way...only thing i can think of. We will be sanding out the floors as they have some rough splintered areas in need of a little smoothing. i used a belt sander on one spot and it really came out nice. I look forward to the whole floor looking that way!
Jacob Beaty House - c.1874
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HB
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Re: How to Refinish Painted Wood Floors

Post by HB »

Haven't finished yet, I'm in the middle of the project now. Won't be putting the final finish on the floors for a while since I have some paiting, plaster touch up and a closet re-build to do yet and I don;t really want to work on top of a finished floor. :shock:

I'll post pictures when it's completed (hopefully by December....) After all it's the nursery for my son, who will be turning 2 in December :oops:

Regarding the final color of the floor, I'm sure there will be a shadow around the center of the floor were there was no finish, but that's just part of the history of the house.

RE - floor sanding - ours are the full 1inch boards too, but the Tongue and grooves are centered on that board, so there's only about 3/8 inch of thickness between the top of the floor and the top of the tongue, not enough to really remove much material by sanding.

Besides ours are worn from foot traffic, so the knots and other areas with a lot of resin stand proud of the rest of the floor, so we;d have to remove tons of material in some places in order to get down to flat.


I would be really careful about using a belt sander since it can leave you witha really uneven surface quickly. Be sure to only use it aligned with the grain of the wood.

Good Luck.

HB
The lord hates a coward....

eperot
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Re: How to Refinish Painted Wood Floors

Post by eperot »

RE the belt sander...I may have removed about 1/32 of an inch and that's all it took to get to clean smooth wood. They have never been sanded before so we have a good amount of material. And yes, only with the grain. :)
Jacob Beaty House - c.1874
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HB
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Re: How to Refinish Painted Wood Floors

Post by HB »

eperot - sorry about that, it sounds as if you actually know your way around the belt sander - It just seems that I meet too many people that just picked one up at Sears one day and have no idea how to use the thing. Very powerful tool in the right hands/.

Good luck with your floors.

HB
The lord hates a coward....

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