How To Sand a Floor By Hand? Everything You Need To Know

Sanding hardwood floors by hand can be hard work, as we've said many times before. Sanding floors by hand is hard work that can be made easier with a hand sander. We have talked to way too many people who will always sand their floors by hand. So it's only reasonable that I write an article about sanding floors by hand.

Types of Hand Sanders

Handheld Random Orbital Sander

how to sand a floor by hand

photo: amazon 

The handheld orbital sander is a powerful tool that some people find too rough. But it is a suitable sanding machine to get a very smooth finish on wood and to get rid of the old finish and all kinds of flaws and dirt on the floor's surface quickly. People often use the orbital sander on old, worn-out wood floors. The random orbital sander has a pad that moves back and forth but spins loosely, so it will always give way to resistance.

Palm Sander

how to sand a floor by hand

photo: amazon 

The most common tool used to sand a wooden floor by hand is the palm sander. Palm sanders also move back and forth, but unlike random orbital sanders, their pads stay in one straight line. The palm sander is more aggressive and robust. It is an excellent tool for removing old finishes, dirt, and other flaws from the floor's surface. Use it with a coarser grit of sandpaper for a lot of work done quickly. The edge of a palm sander is also square so that you can sand right into the corners of the floor.

The Delta Sander

how to sand a floor by hand

photo: amazon 

A delta sander is a sanding tool that professionals use to get into corners and other hard-to-reach places the edger can't reach. The delta sander is meant for small and precise jobs. Because of this, it is a small, light machine that belongs to the group of hand sanders. Use the delta sander to get into the room's corners and work on some minor details for a smooth and flawless finish.

Handheld Belt Sander

how to sand a floor by hand

photo: amazon 

The handheld belt sander is the tool that will get rid of the old finish and other flaws on the floor's surface faster and better than any of the others on this list. Even though a handheld belt sander doesn't work as quickly as a heavy-duty sanding machine, it still gets the job done in a reasonable amount of time and gets excellent results and a smooth floor. When sanding the floor with a handheld belt sander, you can do the job faster using more force. Remember to move the handheld belt sander from side to side, front to back, and in circles.

How to sand floors by hand

how to sand a floor by hand

photo: amazon 

Choose the tool to use

We've talked about palm or hand sanders, belt sanders, and orbital sanders above. You can also skip the tedious work with these small sanders and get a reliable drum sander, which is what the pros use. But since this article is about hand-sanding, here's what you should know:

You'll probably need an edger to sand the corners that the drum sander or orbital sander can't reach. For these corners, you might also need a cordless sander.

Once you know what tools you want to use, you can either buy them or rent them from a company in your area. Most people won't buy what they don't have because it would cost too much.

If you rent from a company with a lot of experience, they will tell you what machines, sandpapers, and other tools you will need to get the job done.

Gather your safety gear

You'll need protection for your eyes and ears, as well as a breathing device. Most of the sanding tools you'll use have dust bags or vacuums built in to catch most of the dust in the air, but they're not foolproof.

You should also think about wearing long pants instead of shorts to keep debris from hitting your legs.

Set up the floor

Everything has to be taken out of the room. In addition to making room for you and the machine to move around, clearing out the room will save you time that you would have spent cleaning dust off your furniture, electronics, and other things in the room.

Close the door and put an old rag in the space between the floor and the door to keep dust from getting into other rooms. If you can't carry heavy things out of the room, put them in a corner and cover them up while you work in the empty corner.

Start sanding

Depending on your tool, the way you sand will be different. With a belt or palm sander, you just put the machine on the surface you want to work on, turn it on, and move it back and forth or left and right, depending on what you're doing.

The same thing happens with a drum sander. After turning on the machine, slowly lower the spinning drum to the floor. As soon as it touches wood, move forward in the same direction as the grain.

When you see that the sander isn't taking off layers as well as it used to, it's time to switch out the sandpaper. Depending on your tool, it may take a lot of work to sand between the boards.

Depending on how evenly the boards are spaced and how much the wood has shrunk, a belt or drum sander can sand between the boards neatly. Cover the area with a palm sander and 60-80-grit sandpaper if this doesn't work.

You have to use the edger you rented earlier to sand the edges of the floorboards. A drum sander can only get to your walls within a few inches. A belt or orbital sander won't be able to reach the edges either. With an edger, you can sand the floor better along the edges. You can also use a triangle-tipped palm sander with 60-grit sandpaper at this step.

Remember that you should start with coarse-grit sandpaper (16–24 grit) to remove the varnish and top layer of the floor and work your way up to finer grits (120 grit or more) for a smooth finish.

As you move up the grits level, you should clean up the messes made in the lower levels. The dust chamber will only catch dust that is in the air. You will need a utility vacuum to clean up the heavier dust. Keep this out of the room, so it doesn't start to burn. Repeat the sanding process (and motion) as the grit number goes up, and clean in between each change for a smooth finish.

Clean the room again

When you're done sanding and have gotten rid of all the dust, use a rag to clean the walls, baseboards, windows, etc., and then vacuum again. You can also wait a day for dust still in the air to settle. At this point, you can finish your floor with polyurethane or another type of finish.

If you don't clean the floor well, the polyurethane will seal in any dust, making the floor look dirty.

You shouldn't wear shoes or boots on a floor that has just been sanded because they will scratch the surface. After applying the finish, you can walk across the floor again.

At this point, you should also check for any loose nails and hammer them back in so that you don't hurt yourself or damage the machine while you're working. After the room is clean and any loose nails have been fixed, vacuum the room to get rid of any dirt that could scratch the floor badly when you start sanding.


Can you sand the floor with a hand sander?

If you have the right tools, you can hand sand or refinish hardwood floors. Hand or palm sanders can do the job, but they are hard to use and require much effort. Use an orbital or belt sander with the proper grits of sandpaper for the job to get the best results.

Can you sand your floors?

If you need to refinish your hardwood floors, you have two main options: do it yourself, or hire someone to do it for you and pay them. If you do it right, sanding your floors yourself could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Here are the things you need to know before you begin.

Can a floor be sanded without making dust?

People like dust-free sanding because, compared to other options, it is cheap, safe, and easy to set up. Before you start putting floors in your home, consider this option. The fact that so many people have dust-free sand floors in their homes shows that it is worth the cost.

Final thought 

We hope that this article encourages you to sand a floor by hand and that it doesn't take too long! It's time to sand your floor.

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