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Stripping Wood Floors: Two Ways

If you’re looking at turning your old carpet space into wood floors, or just want to bring some freshness to your wooden floors, stripping and sealing is a necessary task. However going about the process of stripping and sealing is different depending on the floor your working with. Also available are two different methods when stripping, with these methods there are different benefits, however their success will depend on your floor.

wood floors


When preparing to strip wooden floors you need to analyse the condition of your current floor. You need to ensure your floor is clean and that the surface is completely flat, with no debris attached or any carpet backing stuck. If you do have anything that needs to be removed, make sure you do a thorough job, as once the sealer is applied, you cannot rectify anything. Getting the best result sits on your preparation work and attention to detail, you’ll require a lot of patience.

Your Stripping Options:

When you’ve got a clean wood area ready you can get on with the next step, stripping. Basically you have two options, however you can conduct both methods if you want to ensure the best results.

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Sanding Method:

If you’re going to use the sanding method for stripping wooden floors then you will be able to get a very smooth base for your re-sealing. Sanding is used for wood floors that are very old, worn our, marked etc. You can’t get away with any other method if you need to get rid of scratches or stubborn marks, as sanding is the heavy duty option.


  • Working around teh perimeter by sanding with your hands: meaning you go around the perimeter of the surface area with a coarse 180 grit paper. Best to rub about 5 inches around, because this helps you sand the parts that a sanding machine can’t reach.
  • Next step is to hire out a indoor floor sander from an equipment hire place, or your hardware stores. At the rental store you will be able to get some handy tips on your sanding project and what the best grit sanding papers you should use.
  • You would have been told to begin your sanding with the thicker grit paper to begin, as this will do most of the heavy job. You need to then go over the over with a medium grit, making sure you are regularly changing your sanding paper.

Some of negatives to sanding is the mess it causes and that it can ruin wood if you make any mistakes with your steps. It’s a permanent result, so take it carefully.

Chemical Stripper:

Your other option when stripping wood is to purchase a chemical stripper, this is a quicker method than sanding, but doesn’t leave you with much control. If you have wood floors that are marked or very worn, as a chemical stripper won’t deliver the right stripping results. However chemical can work for many wooden floors, but make sure you follow all safety instructions and complete the steps with care.

  • Get all safety gear ready, most chemical strippers will recommend safety ideas. You should be wearing gloves, ensure you’ve got enough clean air running through the area, and put on some safety glasses.
  • Chemical strippers have their own instructions so it’s best to follow them, however they begin with getting you to pour a certain amount down on a particualr surface area.
  • You then need to make sure you wait until the directed time until your next step.
  • Your next step will be to clean the chemicals, with whatever method is outlined. Some will just say water, others require other substances, like turpentine.
  • You then repeat the process until all your area is processed, then allow it to dry clean. Make sure you wait until completely dry before you begin the re-sealing.

wood floors 1

All those who are searching for a quick solution, this is the perfect method. However chemical stripper is not completely safe, as it’s a chemical, you need to be cautious. Always manage your breathing throughout the process.

Stripping your wooden floors is only part of a larger process, however if you get this first part completed with success you’ll be in good stead for the sealing process. Make sure you take the time you need to prepare and you can get your wood floors in fantastic condition before giving it that extra shine.

If you don’t want to undertake this process because you’re constrained with time, or would just like a more experienced hand, then you’ll find there are cleaning companies who offer these services.


Categories: Interior Cleaning

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