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los frijoles
Hardwood Floor Project Questions

Hi all, new here. I have a few questions about refinishing hardwood floors, and I'm at a loss as to where to get answers for some of our unique issues. We've never done a project like this, so we're complete newbies. Our home was built in 1961, and has hardwood floors (mostly) throughout. The floors were covered by carpet until we purchased the home and ripped it all out.

The main hallways and living areas have never been finished, and the wood is as it was when it was installed. There are small paint splatters all over the place, and from what we can tell, are from when the house was built. Some spots look like watered down residue, where we can still clearly see the wood beneath, while other drops are thicker, and as you would expect a paint drop to look. We're not sure if the paint is lead, so we will probably be buying a tester to figure that out, but we're looking for the best way to remove the paint, if we can't just sand it (assuming it's lead paint). We also have some water damage spots that don't seem too bad, and again, we need advice with that.

Another issue is that all of the bedrooms were finished, though they were also carpeted, and still have a good coating of wax on the surface. We purchased mineral spirits to try to remove it, but from what we've read, we're not sure how that will go. I guess we'll find out. Any advice on removing the wax finish would be appreciated. Again, we have a few water spots in these rooms as well.

Lastly, some of the high traffic areas have what I would call fairly severe squeaking, to the point where it almost seems like the boards move. They don't, but you can feel the floor give as you walk through. The previous owners drove nails into the floor to stop the squeaking, to no avail, and I removed all of them, which didn't change the behavior or sound. The squeaking doesn't bother us, but we're not sure if we should do anything about it, because we don't know if it will affect the finish. A few spots also seem to have slight warping, and we're concerned about the sanding those parts.

After that, we seem to be fairly comfortable with the remaining steps, but we don't want to start unless we can figure out what to do about the issues stated above. Any advice and insight that anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated.


Re: Hardwood Floor Project Questions

Depending on how many paint spatters you have, you can take a dull edged sc****r and knock most of them off the floor. You should probably sand it as well with a rental random orbital floor sander. Use the paint thinner to remove the wax but make sure that there are no pilot lights around while your are doing this. Make sure that the area is well vented also.

The water damage is not solvable. It creates a permanent stain in the floor that is not removeable. I always tried to stain the floor a color that would make the water damage stain blend in.

Floor squeaks - You can buy and install a specialty screw. This is a screw that you drive through the floorboard into the joist below. There is a breakable area about one inch below the screw head. When you drive this breakable area just below the floorboard you break it off and it becomes invisible. You can even put some stainable wood putty over this area to further conceal it.

Re: Hardwood Floor Project Questions

I have similar issues as you, except my house is about 100 years older, so we chose to cover the old wood floors with 3 1/4" rustic oak. It may not answer all of your questions, but I found the following website to be an invaluable source of information.
And they seem to love getting email questions from across the country. Good luck!

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