Refurbishing a Pine Floor
Pine is a softwood, which means that the grain is more widely spaced than that of hardwoods such as oak or teak. This means that softwoods are less dense and not as robust as hardwoods. However, softwoods are not actually soft – just less hardy and as such require more subtle treatment when it comes to refurbishment.
If you have elected to refurbish your pine floor yourself, then choose a time of year when you can have windows and doors open with a good throughput of air while you work. Make sure to wear protective clothing, gloves and mask as you sand. Wood particles tend to go everywhere when the sander is in operation and if you suffer from bronchitis or asthma then you may be better off calling the professionals in to do the job for you.
If your pine floor has not been sanded for a long time you can start with a medium grain of paper using a finer grain on the second sanding. If the floor is in very bad condition a maximum of three sandings may be required.
Always bear in mind that pine is a softwood and as such will not respond well to a heavy-handed sanding. Avoid gouging or digging in. If you come upon a stubborn stain or mark simply sand it over as per the rest of the floor and if it does not lift then hand sand it when the sanding process is completed.
Keep the sander in motion at all times while it is switched on. Walk the machine whilst sanding from one end of the room to the other along the length of the planks; this minimises streaks so try to avoid short sanding lengths wherever possible. When the first round of sanding is completed check the paper for a build-up of finish sticking to the roll. Remove this build up and affix a finer grain of paper and begin your second sanding in the same way as you did the first.
You can use an orbital sander to sand the few feet around the perimeter which the sander will not be able to reach, although make sure you use the same grain as the machine otherwise the floor will not have a smooth and even finish.
When the sanding is finished vacuum up the dust carefully and using the nozzle attachment get in between the boards and vacuum as much dust as you can before moving on to the next stage in the process.
Pine floors can take a variety of finishings including varnish, woodstain, wax or polish. If you are refurbishing your floor for the first time then try out a little product on a hidden part of the floor below floor curtains or inside cupboards.
Apply your finishing by hand using a clean rag. Avoid a brush as it can leave bristle marks unless you are an experienced DIY-er. Wipe it over small areas at a time and remove the residue as you go. Work the finishing solution into the whorls and knots of the wood to highlight the natural beauty of the pine.
If you find a cloth awkward to work with you can also apply finishing with a lambs wool applicator. If you choose this option then buy the best quality applicator you can, as it will prevent marring the finish with stray bits of wool.
Always remember when it comes to a pine floor sanding service the saying ‘less is more’ holds true. So once you have applied two coats of your veneer of choice wait a few days before deciding whether a third is really necessary.
So as you can see refurbishing a pine floor is not necessarily complicated or difficult to do. But it is time consuming, labour intensive and fairly strenuous on leg and knee joints. If however you have the physical fitness combined with the patience and ability to see the job through your pine floor will reward you with its stunning good looks for many years to come.