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Can Painted Hardwood Floors Be Salvaged?

Posted by struggle09 (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 11, 09 at 16:23

I recently bought a house built in 1907. As part of fixing it up, I would really like to restore the hardwood floors that are underneath the upstairs carpetting. However, I had a flooring guy come by today and say that they cannot be salvaged. He said that the padding used under the carpetting was shoddy and from what I can see there is a gray layer over the hardwood between the paddind and wood (looks to be paint). I was wondering, 1) is it normal to paint hardwood floor before carpetting? 2) can substandard padding lead to ruined hardwood floors? and 3) are there any suggestions out there for ways to save my floors and refinish them so that I don't need to recarpet or install entirely new floors?

I'm pretty sad about the whole thing right now so any advice or insight would be brilliant. Thanks so much.

Mat


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Can Painted Hardwood Floors Be Salvaged?

After reading through posts, it seems that pictures always help too. I couldnt figure out how to post on this site so I put them on flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40675409@N08/sets/72157622340786920/

Mat


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RE: Can Painted Hardwood Floors Be Salvaged?

It was typical for houses built around that time and earlier to paint the wide board floors and then lay a decorative oilcloth or painted enamel rug over them...think of it as a poor man's persian rug.

The biggest challenge you face in restoring these floors is the likelihood that one or more of the paint layers contains lead. You can purchase lead testing kits that will tell you right away if lead is present. If it is, then there is not much you can do but chemically strip the paint off, dispose of the contaminated waste, and then sand the wood as you would a normal floor.

The species is probably douglas fir or heart pine. The gaps between the boards (there will be some) are best not filled. Some of us simply dig as much junk as we can get out from between them or we leave them alone.

Substandard padding...poppycock! I had a good laugh at that one!


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RE: Can Painted Hardwood Floors Be Salvaged?

I have done it. Just get a good stripper, the thicker kind, put it on and let
the stripper do the job. I did a bedroom, it took a couple of days.


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RE: Can Painted Hardwood Floors Be Salvaged?

Unless the guy was able to see the wood by removing a floor vent and verified the wood could not be sanded anymore, he just doesn't want to deal with it, along with it being more profitable to replace, take your existing wood and have the mess planed off the boards, and resell them for a mint, as reclaimed wood.


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RE: Can Painted Hardwood Floors Be Salvaged?

Yeah, what floorguy already said.
Makes me chuckle to hear that wood floors (especially old ones that are solid, probably 3/4") would be ruined by some gunk-uss on top of them. You can strip them as others have suggested, or sometimes sand the paint off. But I would try stripping first.
Been there, done that with 100 year old quarter sawn oak flooring.

Might be better as a DIY than a hired flooring contractor project, by YMMV. Good luck!


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RE: Can Painted Hardwood Floors Be Salvaged?

We have redone painted floors in our 170 year old house by sanding. They come out beautifully. Nasty job, but doable. Wear a good mask.

In some rooms only the parts around where rugs used to be were painted. My son wouldn't let us redo his floor as he loves the beaten up, lived in look. We just put another round rug on top of the unpainted round area already there.


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RE: Can Painted Hardwood Floors Be Salvaged?

I stripped every floor in my upstairs and they looked exactly like this. I used the Silent Paint Remover which works great on floors (not as good for wood trim that has alot of intricate details but perfect for floors. And there's very little mess compared to liquid stripper. I'm only mentioning this product because it saved me hours and I had so many floors to strip.

Try stripping first.


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RE: Can Painted Hardwood Floors Be Salvaged?

Some older pads can damage the finish on a wood floor, but they are not going to damage the wood.

They guy wants to sell you new wood.

Keep looking.


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RE: Can Painted Hardwood Floors Be Salvaged?

A better method to stripping the paint, rather than chemicals, is the Silent Paint Remover, just as view2mtn said.

I've been using one to strip all the paint from my 1919 house, and it works like a dream, especially if the paint is older. It doesn't allow the lead paint to be released ( I still wear a mask) and the strippings can be put into the garbage for disposal. Just make sure you wear a long sleeve shirt, as I've gotten a few burns from it!

It is an infrared machine, and doesn't burn wood, yet releases the grip that old paint has and, in my case I just peeled the paint right off, with minimal need to scrape.

A few years ago, when I bought my machine, you could rent them from their site. Good Luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Silent Paint Remover


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RE: Can Painted Hardwood Floors Be Salvaged?

My pine floors in my house had three layers of oil based and epoxy paint on them. my flooring guy sanded them down, and they look absolutley amazing now.


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