Hardwood Floor Edge Sanding and Handscraping Tips

Key points:

  • Blending the edge of a hardwood floor with the rest of the floor is a key skill when refinishing a hardwood floor. Luckily, you can use a combination of techniques shared by Lenny Hall at this year’s NWFA Training event, including using an edger, a scraper, and plain sandpaper.
  • When using sandpaper, make sure to copy the same mineral and grit that you used with the big machine and/or buffer. This will help you blend in the edges of the floor with the scratch pattern throughout the rest of the floor.
  • Perhaps the most important tip that Lenny offers is to not remove the scraper from the floor until you’re ready to move on to another spot. Taking the blade off the wood in between scrapes will create micro-cuts which will show up when you stain and finish the floor. After scraping, you can use sandpaper to go over the scratch pattern you’ve created with the scraper and make it closer to the scratch pattern as the drum sander. The goal is to make it look as if the drum sander went right up to the wall. You should move the blade in the direction of the wood.
  • Using a scraper is often better than using a palm sander right up to the wall in some cases because the palm sander will often leave swirl marks that you’ll then have to get out.
  • A key point to remember when using an edger is to move in a back-and-forth motion, not a swirling motion.
  • When using sandpaper to go over the floor, use your palm rather than your fingertips because your fingertips will create pressure points.
  • If you’re having trouble with removing finish from the wood, use sandpaper first, then go back over it with a scraper so that the scraper can actually cut into the wood.

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