Refinishing Fir Floors

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Forum topic by kspears posted 12-26-2013 05:44 PM 1019 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1637 days

12-26-2013 05:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: refinishing hardwood floors

I am attempting to refinish fir floors that are anywhere from 50-110 years old. We have sanded with 36 grit (to remove paint and linoleum adhesive) and then 60 grit and are pleased with how they look. We would like to go straight to applying something like Verathane clear water-based polyurethane to the floor (no staining) because we are on a very tight budget and timeframe. We have a few questions first. Do we absolutely need to sand with a higher grit first? Can we clean the dust from the floors with a tack cloth or is something like mineral spirits better? Finally, do we need to use a sealer before the polyurethane? Thanks for the help!!

3 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5702 posts in 2836 days

#1 posted 12-26-2013 06:20 PM

Well, I’m sure some of the flooring experts will be along to give definitive advise, but I can’t imagine finishing at 60 grit. I usually take softwood and hardwood projects to 150 grit.

As far as cleaning, I avoid tack cloths (they have a residue). I would vacuum the dust, and wipe the floor down with cheese cloth.

I hope you find your answers.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Hammerthumb's profile


2853 posts in 1998 days

#2 posted 12-26-2013 08:13 PM

I agree with Pinto. Soft wood should be sanded to a higher grit. Wipe the wood with mineral spirits. You will see sanding marks at 60 grit. I would sand to 150. 80 or 100 grit with hardwoods. I do not recommend staining fir. As far as sealer, use the recommended sealer for whatever waterbased floor finish you are using. Also, make sure you use flooring finish. They are more expensive than regular finish for a reason.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View WibblyPig's profile


172 posts in 3297 days

#3 posted 12-26-2013 08:32 PM

Yes you absolutely need to sand to a higher grit. 60 then 80 then finish up with 100. Always going WITH the grain. Fir is soft and will show divots so don’t stay in any one place too long.

Vacuum between grits because if you get a piece of 60 stuck under the 80, you’ll never get rid of the scratches. You can use mineral spirits after you vacuum to check how it’s going to look when it’s finished without raising the grain. If you see scratches, divots, etc, go back and redo that area.

No sealer needed before poly but if you’re using a water based poly, wet the floor down first with a damp rag to raise the fibers, sand off the fuzz, vacuum and then poly. If you don’t, your first coat of poly will raise the grain and a lot of hard work will have been for nothing.

Just remember the saying: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

-- Steve, Webster Groves, MO "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

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