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screen and recoat hardwood floors?



We just bought our first house; there's hardwood floors in the kitchen and the sunroom, the surface is largely in decent shape with some high-traffic areas and stain marks from flower pots. We haven't moved in yet, so I'd like to freshen up the floors; I would also like to avoid sanding since we just the interior painted (and I don't feel like i have the guts to go that far). After some googling it appears what I want is "screen and recoat". Any ideas as to what kind of results I should expect from this process and what kind of tools/supplies I'll need to accomplish it?




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Posted 2011-07-22T13:44:45+0000  by ae5880 ae5880

Hey Andrey!


I just wanted to follow up on the great how-to tips that MaintSup83 has given and answer your last questions in the order in which you asked them. I worked at my Home Depot for years in the paint department, and I want to help you get the right tools for your hardwood floors.


do I screen with a plain sanding block and sandpaper? or a sanding screen?


Since you are just doing a kitchen and sunroom, you can decide on doing this manually with a pole sander or renting out a motorized sander with screens for the machine. 


Screens are simply sandpaper on an open faced grid-like paper that allow dust and wood particles through it instead of solid sandpaper to prevent clogging, but you still will have dust. Screens are just another nomenclature for sanding and refinishing your floors. If the thought of renting and using a machine sounds too bulky for you, you can use the pole sander that has screened sandpaper. 


Depending on how bad the water stains are from your flowers pots, they hopefully can be taken out with the 150 grit sandpaper that MaintSup83 suggested. I would definitely say this project would need a small sanding sponge block as you asked, to get around tight areas and into corners. For the manual approach, refer to the pictures below of the pole sander, paper, as well as sanding sponge block to get those water marks off your hardwoods....

floor sanding access..JPG



We do sell sanding blocks with handles, and that maybe a better option for you, but I find the sanding sponge works great for those corner and tight spots. After sanding, no matter if you use a square buff motorized sander or pole sander to remove any residue left on the floor from the sanding. This step is important because for the top coat of polyurethane to dry properly, it's surface needs to be clean and free of dust and debris. MaintSup83 already went through that step in great detail in his post, but you can also use a tack cloth to effectively get harder to reach areas as well. The tack cloth works as a 'grime magnet' if you will, that can effectively get up dust too. It's a less harsher alternative to mixing alcohol with water on your floors, but you can use both. Below is a picture of it....

tack cloth.JPG

If you are interested in renting a sander for this job, it takes know-how of the machine, but it will save you time on this project. Renting a square buff sander is the ideal choice and it would eliminate using the pole sander. They work like a powerized larger pole sander by putting whatever grit sandpaper you like on the machine to use. The only big trick is to not let the machine idle or sit for too long over an area, so the sander won't cut through the layers of stain as well. Any Home Depot that has a Tool Rental center has it, and this is what it looks like...

square buff.JPG



In the next question you asked...


do you suggest screening between urethane coats? or only before the final one?


Yes! By sanding between coats you give the additional urethane coats enough 'tack' or hold to stick to the previous coats. Only sand in between coats and the only grit you should be using at this step is a 220 grit, which is the finest grit that is typically used on wood floors. You can go higher, but the 220 works great without damaging the layer underneath. At the final coat, simply apply with a lambs wool applicator over the previously dried coat and let dry!


In your last question you stated...


do I also screen and apply urethane to the baseboards and shoe moldings? they have some paint splashes from previous paint jobs...


I would only do that step if your baseboards and shoe moldings are stained just like your hardwood floors. If they are painted, the polyurethane, if you use an oil-based kind, will eventually yellow over the painted surface. If it is stained like your hardwood floors, you can implement the same sanding steps as your floors, but you will need to remove the paint splashes from your moldings. 


Hope this answers your questions, and anymore please let us know here on the community,


Best Answer

Posted 2011-07-23T16:21:09+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Hey beahnsidhex,


Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!


Depending on the polisher you have as well as the screens you buy will determine if you can cut them to size. While they typically can, I'd advise you buy screens made for your polisher.


This saves you time and money and you'll know you will get the right fit.


Let me know if you have any further questions,


Posted 2014-01-22T14:13:10+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Hi.  Thanks for all the advice.  Can I cut screens for fit my own polisher?

Posted 2014-01-22T12:25:04+0000  by beahnsidhex

One final (hopefully) question.  Some of the posters differ between lambs wool pads and rollers.  What's the best practice?  I'll use pads, but obviously a roller will cover a lot more turf than pads.

Posted 2014-01-04T17:57:15+0000  by jbpeek



I'll defer to the experts but to stain (even the same color), you have to get completely past the top coat meaning sanding down to the bare wood  (likely with a floor sander) and with manufactured flooring I don't know if it's possible to get to the bare wood without risking ruining the floor.


Again,  I'll defer to the HD folks who are way more knowledgable than I.



Posted 2014-01-04T17:23:50+0000  by jbpeek

is it possible to stain floors when you screen and recoat?  we have engineered hardwoods and screening & recoating seems to be the solution.  unfortunately, i dislike the color...almost an orange colored oak, maybe honey oak?  what are your thoughts on changing the color of stain?  thanks for any advice, darlene

Posted 2014-01-04T16:47:46+0000  by d_and_j

Great, that's perfect.  We're topcoating most of first floor (roughly 5 rooms worth of space).  Will do first room (that's seperate from larger space) and evaluate how to tackle larger space.


Again, thanks for the knowledgeable advice and now that I know you folks have a community knowledge base, I'll be checking in when I've got questions!  Have a great week-end.

Posted 2014-01-04T16:14:05+0000  by jbpeek

Hey jbpeek,


Thanks for joining us here on the community!


You'll have to read the instructions for the floor-rated polyurethane for specfic drying time. For example, water based versions dry significantly faster than their oil-based counterparts.


I typically wait about 4-6 hours, but again, it really depends on the manufacturer's instructions on what is the optimum drying time.


If you have a lot of rooms to do, it maybe a better idea to work with one at time. That way, you can still have livable areas and not get over your head with moving furniture and items all at once.


Please let me know if you have any further questions, and I'm glad you found this information useful.



Posted 2014-01-04T15:16:32+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

This is a great thread and really appreciate the knowledgable feedback.  I was taken back a bit on the 3 days before 'moving back in' but fully understand.  How long should we wait between coats though?

Posted 2014-01-03T17:12:31+0000  by jbpeek

is it possible to stain floors when you screen and recoat?  we have engineered hardwoods and screening & recoating seems to be the solution.  unfortunately, i dislike the color...almost an orange colored oak, maybe honey oak?  what are your thoughts on changing the color of stain?  thanks for any advice, darlene

Posted 2013-07-24T20:11:37+0000  by d_and_j
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