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"PhilÅ" wrote in message

"Kieren" wrote in message
Hello all,

basic question is Do it myself or get in the professionals.

Have done reasearch on the web and friends and family and really get a
mixed response from
'yeah it is easy' to 'no way I tried it once and just can't be
bothered with the hassle get the professionals in mate'

We recently bought a victorian property, want to sand the front room
boards approx 4 meter by 3.2 metre room and dining room approx 4metre
by 3 metre(front room is priority)

Various professionals to do our front room are charging from around
£350 to £450 to sand, varnish and then an extra £50 to £150 to stain.

Live in SW London way (Sunbury) and found a sand hiring company called
Floor Sander Hire . com (website surprisingly is have experience of using these guys

I reckon to hire the sander and edger plus mask, varnish etc would
cost me around the £200 mark for the weekend (including VAT)

I have to admit I am DIY incompetent, I am not stupid but have a
natural lack of ability at these things.

So given the facts above I wondered if anyone could advise me.

I realise I could potentially sand two rooms in that weekend saving
more money, although things could go wrong and I don't even complete
the first room (remember I am a first timer at this)

We are worried we may muck up the staining bit if we do it ourselves,
so advice round this area would be appreciated as well.

Not asking for instructions (although any are gratefully recieved)
more any useful tips, useful companies, knowledge from experience or
advice really

Thanks in advance


PS Sorry should have said that money is an issue for us, many many
projects for the house, very limited cash to do it, hence the dilema.
If it was around £350 for the whole sheebang I probably would go for
professionals but the figures quoted make me think

I've done it, it isn't terribly difficult, not in the same league as
plastering or brick-laying. Only you can judge what you're capable of so I
can't promise you can breeze through it or do a good job. It certainly
wasn't at the top of my 'difficult jobs' list, but it was tedious and
I didn't spend £200 on doing my dining room, certainly not on hiring
the belt sander and the disc sander, but the cost varies with how much
sandpaper you use. I think it cost me just over £100 overall.

Anyway, if you do do it allocate the entire weekend, you may be able to pick
the sanders up on the friday evening. It is terribly dusty. You need to have
all preparation done in advance, that is, carpets and underlay up, grippers
up, staples removed, any
protruding or proud nails or tacks either banged in or removed ( they will
chew up your sanding belt if they are proud ), in fact, since you may remove
2mm of floorboard in some areas ?( i.e. the edges of cupped floorboards ),

make sure all nails in these areas are that far down. You may want to fill
the nail holes with filler if you want a really perfect job, but don't worry
too much, a little character is better ( and easier ) than perfection. You
may also need to regap the boards if the gaps are
too large or irregular, if you are bothered. That would involve pulling up
some or all floorboards, not easy and potentially damaging. I pulled up two
and inserted card shims in the gaps and relaid them, the shims forced the
gaps to be fairly regular in width.

So, you've taken care of all this, and removed the furniture and
curtains and put dust covers on anything that's left. You're ready to go.
Get your belt and disc sander and sandpaper sheets ( and probably you'll get
a 110V transformer too ). Start sanding the floor with the belt sander and
the coarse grade paper ( I'm assuming your floor is fairly beaten up, cupped
boards etc, and you want it flat and unmarked - there is no reason you can't
leave it that way if you want, instant character, but I'm taking the worst
case ). Sand at +/- 45 degrees to the boards. Do the corners and edges with
the disc sander: try not to tilt it too far and get crescent shaped grooves
cut in the floor!. If your floor has black gunk on it around the edges, it
will clog up the sandpaper badly, consider removing most of it with
paintstripper ahead of time.

When you're satisfied you've done all you can with the coarse grade, go
to a finer grade. When the floor is level you can sand along the floorboards
instead of at 45 degrees. Keep sanding with finer grades 'til you have your
desired finish. Keep the disc sander away from central heating pipes, it
will slice them. Get in the corners and really awkward bits with a detail

When you're done and cleaned up properly, varnish as directed or apply
Danish oil or whatever your finish of choice is. I advise using a clear
quick-dry floor varnish ( if you're going down the varnish route ), but if
you want a coloured finish stain the boards first ( practise at getting an
even stain on some scrap wood frst ). Coloured varnish shows up a chip quite
noticeably. Write your weekend off!