Remove the moldings
Sanding the floor will be easiest and give the best results if you remove the skid strips or even the entire baseboard before you start. This will allow the edge grinder to get very close to the walls.
Be careful when prying out the moldings so they don’t crack. Some homeowners take this opportunity to install new skirting boards to give the repaired floor an even better look.
Cover the ducts and clean the floor
Use plastic sheeting, secured with painter’s tape, to cover floor and ventilation ducts. This will prevent sanding dust from traveling around your home. It should be swept or vacuumed to thoroughly remove any dust or dirt that may be present. A lightly dampened wipe, preferably by hand with a cloth, may also be helpful to remove loose particles.
Make any necessary corrections and Sand the floor
Inspect the hardwood flooring for protruding nails and pound them out with a hammer and nail set. When you start sanding, protruding nails will quickly destroy sanding belts or pads. Damaged or missing floorboards should be replaced or repaired before you start sanding.
The decisive factor is how you start and stop the sander. When turning on the machine, make sure the drum is raised off the floor, then lower it down to the floor and start moving in a long forward motion. When you reach the far wall, pick up the drum before you stop moving the grinder. Failure to follow this method may result in falls and serious damage to the floor.
Examine and Wash the floor
Once you have finished sanding the floor with the power tool, you can work any remaining areas with medium-grade sandpaper. This can also help smooth out any rough patches that may have appeared during the process. If grooves are present, they can be filled with wood putty, which should be allowed to dry for at least 24 hours before being sanded with fine sandpaper and wiped clean with a cloth.
The vacuum attachments that are part of most electric sanders suck up most of the dust generated during the repair process. However, it is still important to thoroughly sweep and/or vacuum the room before proceeding. Then use a cloth to wipe the floors and walls.
Apply top coat and Replace the slats
The term lacquer is often used generically to refer to any layer of topcoat, but there are several options to consider:
A simple sealant is a thin protective liquid that passes through the hardwood, seeps into the material’s pores, and creates a transparent surface coating on its surface. It allows the natural color and grain of the wood to show through, but also provides the least protection and may need to be reapplied every six to 12 months depending on usage.
Polyurethane is now the most common topcoat for wood floors. A clear, almost plastic-like substance, polyurethane is applied with a standard brush and is available in a variety of finishes, from matte to gloss. Its purpose is to create a clear protective layer on the surface of the wood that resists stains and scratches.
Traditional varnish is similar to polyurethane, except that it has a more dramatic effect on the wood and noticeably darkens it. The advantage of this fabric is that it is thinner, so spot repairs can be made more easily in case of future damage.
Whichever finish you choose, follow the label directions exactly, especially regarding safety precautions and drying time. With many topcoats, you can expect to apply at least two coats, letting each coat dry overnight before moving on to the next.
The final step is to install a base shoe or other moldings along the walls that cover the edge of the newly finished floor. These slats can easily be fixed in place with a railed mailbox.