Make Your Small Wood Floor Look Good as New
If your wood floor covers a relatively small area, for example the size of a box room, utility room or a very short hallway then you may find it difficult or even impossible to manoeuvre an industrial sanding machine inside the available space. If this is the case then you can, if you are up for a bit of elbow grease and don’t mind spending time on your hands and knees, give the floor a rub over with a steel wool pad. This will remove old veneer and stains across small areas of floor without causing damage to the floor.
Always important, but especially so in the cases of small rooms, is a steady flow of ventilation so before you start working make sure windows or doors are open.
Select a fine grade of steel wool and avoid hard scrubbing or gouging at those stubborn stains or bits of veneer that seem set to stay. A light touch applied more than once is a better solution to the problem as well as being much kinder to the floor.
Space allowing, you may be able to travel around the edges of the room using a small hand-held electrical floor sanding machine, which gets right into small corners and up to the skirting.
It is always worth getting the old veneer completely lifted before you tackle the next stage of the rejuvenation process. If not then you will be adding new finishing on top of patchy old stuff – never a good idea especially as you will get those glaringly obvious lumps and bumps across the boards.
Even with the smallest area, give yourself plenty of time for the restoration process. It is better to set aside too much than too little time so that you are not tempted to rush through the job.
Using steel wool is the equivalent of the sanding process on the smallest rooms, however the remainder of the restoration process is exactly the same as with a larger room. Remember to seek out and remove sticking up nails or tacks and tackle the repair of loose boards now rather than waiting until finishing is applied.
Finishing rule of thumb
Always remember that the finishing layer highlights the beauty of the wood – but it also highlights any flaws so what you thought you could get away with at the start will most likely be glaringly obvious at the final stage. Avoid re-doing a job or spending serious cash on having a botched job repaired by going through each step without default.
When your floor is fully scrubbed, nails and boards removed, replaced or repaired then lightly vacuum the floor to remove all dust particles. Now work the steel wool carefully over the floor concentrating on the problem spots without digging in. Repeat this process if needs be.
When your floor is sanded – or steel wooled – then it will look a few grades lighter and should feel smooth to the touch with no dips or bumps on the boards. The next stage is of supreme importance; make yourself a cup of tea or coffee! In the time it takes to drink your well-earned beverage, existing dust particles in the air will have landed on the floor so that after your refreshment, you can take up the vacuum once more.
The floor should be as dust-free as you can make it before applying any type of finishing product. Wood floor sanding and finishing can be applied as varnish, clear or coloured, lacquer, woodstain, woodpaint or oil. The longevity of the finishing will depend upon the amount of through traffic. For example if your room is a hallway then hard varnish is your best bet, with stain or paint offering a colourful alternative in a little used box room.