Part 2 of this DIY series dealt with some of the finishes that are available on the DIY market. This final part will discuss and show some results that I have come across. The results are not a result of effort on the user. Instead, the results are based on the limitations of the DIY equipment and finish available combined with lack of experience. Results are still produced through DIY sanding but the expectations should be lower than compared to a professional finish.

The photo below is of a pine floorboard room in Ulverston. The new homeowner rented a sanding machine over a couple of weekends.
While he was able to remove the old paint the floor was still in a poor state. The rental machines were not able to level off the boards and remove historical damage. The homeowner had hired me to sand and finish the ground floor rooms and then asked me to complete the bedroom.

DIY attempt at wood floor sanding Ulverston
Pine Floor After A DIY Attempt – My Cobra read to take over

The equipment available to me was able to level the boards and remove the historical damage. The homeowner wanted to avoid the warm colours that finishing pine produces. I decided to use a product called Loba Invisible 2K. This is a water-based lacquer that helps to retain the lighter look of sanded wood. As a precautionary measure, I added the whitener product to each application.
This ensured the pine stayed nice and light. This finishing product is suitable for domestic and residential properties.

Pine Floorboards Sanded and Varnished
1900’s Pine Floorboards Finished with Loba Invisible 2K

The next example is of a local village hall. This floor had been refinished several times using DIY and hire machines. In the end, most of it was sanded with an edger as the hired belt sander just could not deal with the uneven boards. Retail varnish products were used to finish it. You can see in the photo below the condition of the floor when I visited to survey it. The floor had been damaged in a good number of areas with the rental sander.
Without experience, it can be easy to create drum marks. This is where you pause when using the machine to perhaps remove the stubborn finish and it creates a divot in the wood.

DIY attempt at sanding a wooden hall floor in a village outside of Barrow In Furness
Village Hall Wooden Floor Before Professional Sanding

I was hired to remove the old finish and apply lacquer. My equipment was again able to level the boards and remove the old finish. I admit that the floor was so uneven that it still took my Cobra machine a considerable amount of time and abrasives to level the boards. The floor is 140 years old so this was expected. On this floor, the boards were primed with a water-based product, Pallmann Pal X325. Then I applied multiple coats of Pallmann Pall X98 GOLD 2K lacquer. This lacquer is the high-end option from Pallmann and is suitable for areas of high wear including sports halls.

wooden hall floor sanded and lacquered in Cumbria
Village Hall Completed with Pall-98 GOLD 2K Lacquer

These are just a couple of results that I have come across this year. Hopefully, over this 3 part series, you have understood the difference between sanding a floor DIY style and the job produced by a professional. I understand that budget can mean hiring a sander is the only option. It is just important to set your expectations that the finish achieved will be different from many of the photos you will see on Pinterest or Instagram.  

If you are going to DIY sand your floor then you can get in touch with me for any advice. If you have been put off the idea then feel free to get in touch for an initial estimate. My estimates are full of details and I encourage all clients to ask questions.

You can get in contact with me via the contact page

If you have missed the other parts of this series you can read here Part 1 and Part 2 of DIY Floor Sanding. Also below you will find some FAQ relating to wooden floor sanding.

How Much Does Wooden Floor Sanding Cost?

Pine Floorboards Sanded and Varnished

This is the No1 question that I get asked. The honest answer is almost every floor sanding is different. I know this is not very helpful though. I will say that a single small room will cost at the minimum £500. This cost goes up as the room size increases and or depending on the finishing requirements.

Can I buy floor varnish from you?

Magic Oil 2K

Sadly the answer is no. The floor finishes available to me are professional use only. The reason being they have to be applied in a specific manner or the result is extremely poor.

Can I add polish to my wooden floor?

Parquet wooden hall sanded and sealed

I would not recommend any cleaning product that contains liquid waxes. These build up on your wooden flooring. This build up does not look good and will attract further dirt.

Can I refinish my wooden floors without sanding?

Oak Floor Finished With Magic Oil 2K

The answer here is yes you can. The best method is something called screen and recoat. However this is best left to a professional. Even a professional may not recommend it based on the condition of the existing finish. There are limitations to this process.

What is the best sander for wood floors?

Pallmann Cobra 2 Belt Sander

Google this and it random orbital is the answer commonly given. That will take you a long time to sand a floor. Random orbital sanders are less aggressive than other sanders such as belt sanders, rotary and planetary sanders.

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