Next steps after drum floor sander 60-80-100-120 grit - based on visual progress?

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new2diy

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Hi all,

I just joined this community and looking for some help on next steps for hardwood floor refinishing.

I started doing a wood floor refinishing project in my home about 2 weekends ago.
This is being done upstairs and covering about 500-600 sq. ft of floor (3 bedrooms and a hallway) not including the stairs which will be up next.

I rented a Clarke American Floor Sander from Home Depot (link here: https://www.homedepot.com/p/rental/Clarke-American-Sanders-Drum-Floor-Sander-07012A/309005831).

Watched some youtube videos and then got multiple belts of 60-80-100-120 grit and started sanding.
Overall I've spent about 10 hours going over the floor and I made sure to go slow and steady with each pass, overlapping each pass half the width of the sanding belt and working 4 foot sections at a time. I practiced and made sure that I lowered the belt down slowly and lifted it up at the end of each pass run before coming to a full stop. I vacuumed after each grit and changed the belt every 100-200 sq. ft. I emptied the dust bag with each belt change, before it got 1/3 full.

Yet, after all that work and 4 passes, once with each incremental grit, I feel like it needs more. Here are the pics of my job so far:
I tested it's ability to get wet by slightly applying a small amount of water and it isn't beading, therefore I would hope it would absorb a coffee colored stain and poly?

What would be the next steps here?
1) Do I rent a drum sander again and keep doing more passes?
2) Do I rent a random orbit floor sander?
3) Do I rent a square buff floor sander?
4) Do I get a floor polisher and do a screen sanding and then finish the edge sandings and apply stain + poly?

Thank you
 

C.J.

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You’re not down to bare wood yet and what about the edges? The Easy 8 is a DIY friendly drum sander but it is light and therefore not very aggressive. You need to start off with at least a 36 grit. If that doesn’t get all the finish off then you need to jump down to a 24 grit then back up to 36, 60, 80, 100, and 120 if you’re going dark. I would highly recommend not going dark cus you will see everything.
 

new2diy

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You’re not down to bare wood yet and what about the edges? The Easy 8 is a DIY friendly drum sander but it is light and therefore not very aggressive. You need to start off with at least a 36 grit. If that doesn’t get all the finish off then you need to jump down to a 24 grit then back up to 36, 60, 80, 100, and 120 if you’re going dark. I would highly recommend not going dark cus you will see everything.
Yes of course I’m going to get an edge sander. I was more focused on how do I complete the bulk of the sanding job with the drum sander and can I move on (aka does it look like I properly removed all the finish?)

From what I’ve read and seen online, the instructional videos oversimplify it and make it seem that the job can be done with 3-4 passes. Looks like I’ll need more than that.

Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll rent the machine again and do more passes starting with a coarser grit, and keep going until I get this finish “haze” off
 

Tile Tom

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You still have a way to go yet. You haven't even sanded out the "cups" yet. Meaning that old wood is cupping in the width.
See how most of the middle of the plank is good and sanded but the seams still have stain/ poly on them?
CJ already pointed out you need a more aggressive paper to start out with. That's the grit you will need to remove all the stain & poly. The other grits are for cleaning up the damage the heavy grit paper makes. I would also agree with putting some thought into such a dark stain. Not only will it show every imperfection in your sanding process but also every scuff, scratch, smear, drop and spec of everything that touches it.
95% of anyone I know that has stained dark absolutely regrets it.

Just some food for thought.
 

Jon

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Did you find out how much a finished sanding and finishing cost would be from a professional ?
Okay a lot of the floor might be covered by beds, furniture etc. so might not be seen as likes of the main open areas of the house with a lot of the floor exposed to view
Might save a lot of grief as well :)
 

new2diy

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Did you find out how much a finished sanding and finishing cost would be from a professional ?
Okay a lot of the floor might be covered by beds, furniture etc. so might not be seen as likes of the main open areas of the house with a lot of the floor exposed to view
Might save a lot of grief as well :)
They wanted $5,000+. Southern California contractors are just outrageously overpriced like that :)
 

new2diy

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You still have a way to go yet. You haven't even sanded out the "cups" yet. Meaning that old wood is cupping in the width.
See how most of the middle of the plank is good and sanded but the seams still have stain/ poly on them?
CJ already pointed out you need a more aggressive paper to start out with. That's the grit you will need to remove all the stain & poly. The other grits are for cleaning up the damage the heavy grit paper makes. I would also agree with putting some thought into such a dark stain. Not only will it show every imperfection in your sanding process but also every scuff, scratch, smear, drop and spec of everything that touches it.
95% of anyone I know that has stained dark absolutely regrets it.

Just some food for thought.
Thank you for the reply. Okay, I’m going to rent it out more this weekend and start with 24 grit until all the finish is off.

And per everyone else’s recommendations, I’m going to go with a “warm grey” color instead of a coffee color.

Great community, everyone here rocks!
 

C.J.

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Fair enough
Maybe I should start up a floor sanding company in South California :)

If you knew what it costs to get set up as a legit floor covering contractor in California, you would charge 5K too. Somewhere bout 2000 I wanted to move to LA. After I found out what it was going to cost me to get legit down there I said F that and moved back to the PNW.
 

Tile Tom

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Everything is ridiculously inflated in California.
Just the licensing and all the government hoops to jump through raise prices
 

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