How To Sand Wood Floors Using Drum Sander?

May 28, 2024
How To Sand Wood Floors Using Drum Sander?

With daily exposure to scratches, dirt, and traffic, wood floors reach a state when they require sanding. It helps remove the damaged superficial layer of the finish and the wood, revealing the flawless look again.

And when it comes to sanding wood floors, drum sander is among the best tools. It’s powerful equipment that helps achieve pro-like sanding effects when used properly. However, for a homeowner, opting to DIY a wood floor sanding with drum sander, it can be a bit tricky.

Read on to learn how to sand your wood floors properly with the help of a drum sander and restore them to their best state again.

7 Steps For Wood Floor Sanding With a Drum Sander

1. Gather The Required Tools

Before you start sanding your wood floors with the sander, you’ll need to gather all the required supplies. By having them accessible, it will be easier to sand it without interruption. Here are the tools you will need.

→ Broom/vacuum for cleaning
→ Quality drum sander machine
→ Sandpapers/sanding sleeves with different grits (40/60, 100, and 120)
→ Goggles, mask, & ear plugs
→ Nail hammer

2. Clear The Area

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to prepare the area for sanding. Start by clearing any lingering objects, rugs, and furniture items that may come into the way.

Next, look for any issues in your flooring, such as protruding nails or damaged or missing floorboards. You need to hammer down those nails and fix your wood floor problems before you proceed. Otherwise, they can damage your floor as well as the drum sander.

3. Prepare & Clean The Floor

Thereafter, you’ll need to seal your doorways and vents to avoid spreading dust across the rooms. At the same time, ensure your area of work is properly ventilated too.

Once done, make sure you wear your safety gear for sanding, i.e., a mask, pair of goggles, and hearing protection. This will protect you from the dust while you sand your wood floors with drum sander.

Begin removing the shoe mouldings and baseboards to free up the edges for sanding. Alternatively, you can cover it with a foam fixed on it with a tape.

Lastly, clean your wood floors properly with a vacuum (and a mop if needed) before you start sanding. This will remove dirt and grit that can potentially cause scratches during the process.

4. Read The Manual & Test The Drum Sander First

For DIY sanding, drum sander can be risky equipment if not operated properly. So, if you are a beginner or using it for the first time, it’s better to be prepared.

Read the usage instructions manual given with the drum sanding machine. Following it to the tee will help correct operation. And before you actually sand your floors, you need to test your machine too.

Use it on a hidden area of your wooden floors or sand a spare piece of plywood for instance. This will get your feet wet with how the machine operates and prevent any damage to your wood floors.

5. Start Sanding The Floors From Coarse Grit

Once you’ve tested your drum sander and got familiar with it, begin sanding your flooring.

Attach the coarse grit sandpaper/sanding sleeve (40 or 60 grit) to your drum sander to begin with. Maintaining some distance with the edges, begin sanding your main area first.

You need to begin sanding from the innermost area of your room, moving towards the exit to avoid boxing yourself in as this is one of the common DIY floor sanding mistakes to avoid.

→ Take the machine to the spot you need to start from.
→ Lift it up and then turn it on before putting it back and moving.
→ Move it across the grain of the wood while sanding.
→ Go slow with a steady pace without applying much pressure.
→ Keep moving and avoid keeping the drum sander in one spot for long as it can cause gauges.
→ Sand in forward motion and sand the same area backward.
→ Move it in overlapping motions on the floor without rocking or tilting it.
→ When you’re done sanding a spot, lift the sander and then turn it off.
→ Repeat the above steps to sand the entire floor similarly.

If you’ve used up your current sanding sleeve, replace it with a new one. But be cautious to turn the machine off and unplug it before changing the sandpaper.

6. Move On To Finer Grits And Repeat

Once you’ve properly sanded your entire flooring with the coarse-grit sanding sleeve, it’s time to change it and move to a finer one (100-grit).

Remember that you need to keep some distance from the edges and corners to avoid damaging them from the machine. Leave these tight areas for an edge sander to help you blend the edges of your wood floors.

Make sure you clean the sawdust on the wood floor everytime you change the sanding grit. Thereafter, you can fine-sand your floors with the drum sander the same way you did with the coarse grit.

Repeat the process, clean the floors, and change the grit level to the finest one (120-grit). This is the last pass of sanding to achieve the smoothest finish.

7. Clean The Floors Before Staining, & Finishing

After sanding your floors with all three grit levels using the drum sander, give them a final cleanup. You can prefer to stain them now before applying a protective finish and ensuring post-sanding care. With this, you can finally achieve a new-like flawless look on your floors.

Bottom Line

Sanding wood floors using drum sander is a task that needs attention. Make sure to follow the above steps and operate the machine as per the instructions to ensure safety. Opting for a high-quality machine and a careful sanding process can help make a difference to your floors for good.

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