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26

Given the high likelihood of lead based paint, I would not under your current circumstances attack this with a grinder or a sander. You'll create lead-contaminated dust which will haunt you for a long time. Doubly so if any children come into contact with your house. EPA pamphlet here: EPA RRP So, it would seem that you can either remove and replace the ...


23

Is lead really there? First and foremost, check your assumption about the presence of lead. Lead appears in 2 places: certain bold pigments like orange and red lead oxides (not that yellow chromium is particularly healthy) Second, it appears as a cheap pigment called "white lead", used in cheap paints. (better paints used what they still use, titanium ...


13

You might use a half-round rasp or file.


11

The general method I use to make a bigger hole is to take a scrap piece of plywood (1/4" works great) or pegboard or similar that is a bit bigger than the hole, clamp/screw/hold it in place, then use the correct size hole saw to drill through that and into the board. This gives enough of a start to keep the hole saw in place to drill the rest of the way ...


11

I've got both types of sanders and I use the belt sander when there is a lot of wood to be removed and the orbital sander when the amount of wood to be removed is small. You have a little better control with the orbital sander. With the belt sander, it's easy to put some pretty deep grooves in your work before you know it. I'd go with the orbital sander.


11

A vibrating or oscillating sander isn't going to be aggressive enough for that job. It's really only suitable for light finish sanding. You need something that spins, or at least something with a random orbit (more movement). 80 grit is probably a good choice for working through the varnish on your steps but you need the moves only a different type of sander ...


9

Thank you to everyone for your insight! I made a quick stop at the Lowes down the street and picked up a few inexpensive options you all mentioned. The one that absolutely stood out for my purposes was the drill rasp. As soon as I began I knew it was the one. I went back over 4 holes, each taking about 1-2 minutes to effectively widen and shape. I was very ...


8

It is not feasible to sand down a wooden member by a whole half of an inch. If something is too long then cut off the additional half inch using a saw. If something is too thick (wide) by the half inch then rip saw off that extra thickness or use a planer to remove it. If you cut something too short you will have to go get a replacement piece and re-cut ...


7

I had two floors to do once and between coats I used a broom with 3 bits of fine sanding paper taped to the broom head - cheap, cheerful and effective... Also, had to punch down the floor brads (nails) so they were below the surface... Those floors came up magic but also vacuumed after sanding to remove the dust...


7

You could use a hand-held orbital- like you mentioned the biggest downside is time. But you're correct, sanding between coats of poly isn't stripping an old floor- it's just scuffing up the previous coat of poly in preparation for the next one. Even easier for this step though would probably be a pole sander- like the kind for drywall seams. Use a fine ...


7

I always find belt sanders for this type of work to be a tad too aggressive. Especially when you only have a small area to do. An orbital sander will glide over the surface easier and has less risk of leaving grooves particularly if you're not used to doing this type of repair. Obviously, you want to use as fine a grit as possible - especially on the finish....


7

I sympathise with you your situation. I am sure that most of us have started a job that has become a lot tougher than anticipated with no easy way back. I know I have. Try a different paint stripper. I found that some work better than others and some work better with certain types of paint. Shop around on websites specialising in painting or wood finishing ...


7

It's joint compound, commonly called mud, and not grout. If you are sanding into the tape, you have not applied enough. It's not a "one and done" product. You apply joint compound and embed tape. You let it dry (or set, but setting compound is not the usual DIY choice.) Incidentally, USG recommends paper tape as superior to mesh unless you are ...


6

As @Nick2253 commented, sanding between coats promotes better adhesion of the next coat. This occurs because a rougher surface has more area and "features" for the next coat to grab onto. That's why it's easier to scrape paint off of a smooth surface like glass than a relatively rough one like wood. Sanding also helps remove any bumps from dust that's ...


6

Gypsum drywall and it's paper covering, spackle and joint compound are much softer than wood (except perhaps balsa) and produce a lot of dust that clumps together and sticks to sandpaper, rather than falling off as wood shavings do. The "holey" sanding sheets allow dust to fall through and therefore last longer on drywall. However, they can be used ...


6

Finishing with a low grit sandpaper like 40 grit or 60 grit will leave too many scratches on the floor, making it rough. When you apply stain and finish, these scratches will actually be visible. Use the 40 grit and 60 grit for surfacing, then finish with 100 grit or 120 grit. Especially with stain, which will pick up on scratches, you don't want to skip the ...


5

I think your best bet is to use a sanding process to open up the hole. It may take a while but should get you there eventually. When I had a similar problem I took a piece of 1/2 inch diameter birch dowel rod (about nine inches long) and cut a slot across its end. Then inserted a folded over piece of sand paper to make a two sided flap sander. Chucked into ...


5

Depends on the quality of the existing finish... if it's as flat as you want it to be, then I'd kiss it with 150 on a pole sander. Link for illustration purposes only: there are many out there... If you need to knock down blobs/ runs/ etc, then start with 120 on the handheld random orbit sander. Work your way up to 150/220. Vacuum and then wipe with a ...


5

You'll probably want to rent a proper floor sander. A small random-orbit will take ages and you'll probably burn through most of its useful life. The sander should come with a variety of paper grits. As with any woodworking project, start with the heaviest and transition to the finest. The final should be somewhere in the 100-120 grit range. More ...


5

Stop guessing if there's lead I bought a mid-1970s house right on the edge of where lead paint was banned. We had some older windows, so I bought a lead test kit and made certain there was no lead. The kit wasn't terribly expensive, the results are guaranteed and it's easy to use (100% DIY). If the test comes back negative, sand that sucker down (200+ grit, ...


4

For getting paint off a door, I highly recommend using Citrus Strip. We tried it on our old wooden door and it worked great, taking off multiple layers of paint. It doesn't work as well under a lot of sun and heat, so I would recommend either taking the door off the hinges or erecting some sort of tarp to block the sun from hitting it directly. Then get a ...


4

Lots of good answers here. I was a finisher in a cabinet shop for many years and this is how used to do it. Avoid anything with silicone to get on your hands or near your wood project. It causes fish eye dimple defects in your clear coat and will ruin the finish. Such items with silicone include lubricants, water repellent sprays, etc. Wash your hands ...


4

Wet Sanding If you want a smooth surface, you could try wet sanding it. Purchase a drywall sanding sponge (~$4.00 at any home improvement store), and use that for the final sanding pass. Fill a bucket with water. Dunk the sponge in the water, and then wring it out to remove as much excess water as possible. Using a light circular motion, buff the compound ...


4

The drying times on the can are usually very optimistic in my experience. They sometimes state the drying conditions the times are intended for, like 78 ºF and <20% humidity. If you are colder and/or more humid you will have to wait longer. Definitely do not sand if the finish is tacky. There's no harm in giving it extra time to dry. At this point I ...


4

Three methods I can think of. Enlarge by friction Your idea of wrapping the bit in sandpaper isn't even bad. The only "right" way to do this is a different bit, and that's not even worht it. You just probably used the wrong sandpaper. Try some 80 grit and make sure to go in a back and forth pattern, roughly every half inch you plunge. There also exists ...


4

Don't sand, that puts lead dust all over the place. Get some medium plastic and taped it to the wall and extend it out 6-12 feet to catch all the chips. Scrape it carefully so all the chips fall on the plastic. When done, roll up the plastic to trap the chips and dust, tape it closed, and dispose in the trash. (I don't like that step, but last I heard, ...


4

When re-finishing wood floors with drum and edge sanders one of the last steps is to blend the two areas with a floor machine sander. The floor machine is set-up for 100 and 120 grit sanding disks. Sanding this way between the two zones will even them out and blend in appearance.


4

Water will raise the grain of your nice, smooth decking, requiring a re-sand. Also, rain will soak into the wood, requiring a significant dry-time delay before sealing. Yes, you should tarp it.


4

Because of the different motions, a belt sander could cause a deeper "line" where the edge of the belt hits the wood, since you can only go back and forth with it, certainly not optimal. With an orbital sander you would be moving it very quickly, in different directions and because of the way the pad moves as well, you would not be "eating" into the wood as ...


4

I would not expect that a layer of surface sand will help the problem, you will just have sandier mush. If you're getting runoff from surrounding properties, more water is coming in than the ground can handle. If your lot has some grade and the side away from your neighbors is lower, it might help to install a perimeter drain around the lot to capture ...


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