How to Sand a Wood Floor by Hand

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A sanding block helps you evenly sand wood by hand.
A sanding block helps you evenly sand wood by hand. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Sanding a wood floor is a tough task that is usually done with a power sander. If you need to get the project done and can't get a hold of a power sander, you can still sand the floor by hand, it will just take much longer and require much more effort. Sanding a flat surface by hand is generally done with the sandpaper wrapped around a wood block as the paper needs even pressure to avoid digging trenches into the wood when you sand it.

Things You'll Need

  • Painter's tape
  • Nail set
  • Hammer
  • Vacuum
  • Knee pads
  • Mask
  • Sanding block
  • Sandpaper

Remove all furniture and decorations from the room. Tape up any cabinets or cupboards, as the dust you will create will get everywhere.

Walk over the floor with your nail set and hammer. Drive down any nails that are sticking up from the floor. Be sure you don't miss any, as these will quickly tear up your sanding block. Vacuum the wood floor thoroughly when you are done.

Put on your knee pads and mask, then walk to one corner of the room. Place a piece of 60-grit sandpaper around your sanding block and get on your knees.

Sand the floor, starting with the board in the corner of the room. Apply light pressure to the sanding block and sand with the grain of the wood. Once you have sanded the board, move the block half-way over the adjacent board and sand again. Continue in this manner, sanding back and forth with the grain of the wood, until you have finished the entire floor. Check your sandpaper regularly and replace the piece once it becomes smooth.

Vacuum up the dust from the entire room. Go back to the first corner and put a piece of 80-grit sandpaper on the block. Repeat the entire process, then do it again with a piece of 120-grit sandpaper. This should be enough sanding for a floor, but it you want your floor even smoother, you can keep increasing the grit of the sandpaper until you are satisfied.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some sanding blocks are designed to be used with a telescoping handle. This will reduce the amount of pressure on the block, meaning you may have to sand the area for a greater amount of time, but you will save yourself a lot of discomfort by being able to do the whole process standing up.

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