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MichaelWayne
Porch Flooring

We have a beautiful porch with hardwood decking. We are in the process of sanding/refinishing it. However, we are having a touch time removing the old waxy varnish.

We are using a belt sander with a 80grit sandpaper and it actually gets so hot that the varnish starts to "gum up" and just spears onto the belt and wood. I go through a belt for just about each 2.5" X 10' board.

My questions is whether or not this can be avoided? Does anyone have any tips or tricks?

Thanks in advance

dj1
Re: Porch Flooring

Try using mineral spirit (paint thinner) and loosen with 0000 steel wool, then wipe with a rag.

MichaelWayne
Re: Porch Flooring

I will try that...thank you! It's a pretty big area though; bout 400 sq ft.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Porch Flooring

Try 36 grit abrasive and low pressure to keep from melting the old paint. You will need to get up to 100 grit by steps to be able to get a decent paint finish.
Casey

Tom
Re: Porch Flooring

Forget a belt sander especially with 80 grit. Go rent a floor sander preferably a random orbit sander with plenty of 20 grit sandpaper. You will need to keep the sander moving or as soon as the sander heats up the old varnish it will melt onto the sandpaper. It will still happen. When it does you can knock off the melted varnish with a sharp sc****r and continue. I've sanded plenty of porch floors and already faced this problem. The only other alternative is to remove the varnish with paint remover but it is messy and expensive. You can move from 20 grit to 36 grit with a sander and maybe to 60 grit but you are wasting money to go up to any more grits. The finer the grit the quicker the old varnish will melt onto the sandpaper. Home Depot rental centers have the Clarke Floor sander for very reasonable prices. I owned one for about 12 years I was using it so often.

jeffrey2015
Re: Porch Flooring
CaptTCB wrote:

Forget a belt sander especially with 80 grit. Go rent a floor sander preferably a random orbit sander with plenty of 20 grit sandpaper. You will need to keep the sander moving or as soon as the sander heats up the old varnish it will melt onto the sandpaper. It will still happen. When it does you can knock off the melted varnish with a sharp sc****r and continue. I've sanded plenty of porch floors and already faced this problem. The only other alternative is to remove the varnish with paint remover but it is messy and expensive. You can move from 20 grit to 36 grit with a sander and maybe to 60 grit but you are wasting money to go up to any more grits. The finer the grit the quicker the old varnish will melt onto the sandpaper. Home Depot rental centers have the Clarke Floor sander for very reasonable prices. I owned one for about 12 years I was using it so often.

Im refinishing my tongue and groove front and rear porch and replacing the columns. The t&g boards are painted and peeling because the previous man that did the job used a latex house paint. Anyways to remove all old latex I was going to use random orbit floor sander with 36 grit sandpaper then move up to an 80 grit to finish before priming. will this be appropriate method?

Re: Porch Flooring

The only other alternative is to remove the varnish with paint remover but it is messy and expensive. You can move from 20 grit to 36 grit with a sander and maybe to 60 grit but you are wasting money to go up to any more grits.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Porch Flooring

I think you're on the right path. 36 makes for a fast enough cut to reduce heating and clogging and the 80 is fine enough for a decent finish. You might consider doing a 60 grit in between and a 100/120 afterward if you want a really smooth surface. If you get paper clogging, you can move faster letting that area cool as you move onto another or you can switch to a coarser grit. Longer 'sweeps' prevent clogging better than shorter strokes staying in an area, but you have to go over the areas several times doing that. Takes about the same time total either way. Coarser grits can 'get away' from you rapidly so watch carefully using them to avoid ruts or gouges.

For a porch floor paint I still prefer old-fashioned oil-based alkyd enamels- they have a harder surface when dry than the latex floor paints do. Alternately, epoxies are also great though tougher to use and more costly. With either, a light sanding is all it takes for a recoat in the future so that the new paint bites with the old so you'll never have to go through this much work again.

Phil

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