Step 2 : Clean the surface
Remove all dirt and any loose material from the floor with a shop vacuum.
Step 3 : Ventilate the room
Open windows or doors so there's plenty of ventilation and air circulating in the room. Wear a respirator and safety goggles for protection against dust and grit particles.
Step 4 : Power up the machine
Prepare the floor sander by installing the sandpaper and checking out how to use its "on" and "off" switch. The "off" one is especially important. It's a power-hungry brute so make sure there's no other appliances running in the house before turning it on (you don't want to blow a fuse!).
Step 5 : Operating a sander
Turn on the sander in the center of the room and adjust the sanding drum from its raised position to lower and begin sanding the floor following the direction of the floorboards. Keep the sander moving at all times. If you stop in one spot for too long, you'll grind yourself right into the basement.
Step 6 : Getting into tight spaces
Use the edger to remove the floor finish near the walls, in closets and on stairs, holding it securely with both hands and moving it in a circular motion. A good pair of knee pads are invaluable for this part of the job - though not as valuable as a willing helper with younger knees.
Step 7 : Remove finish with a scraper
Use a hand scraper to work on stained or dented areas that the edger can't reach.
Step 8 : Second time around
Make a second pass sanding both with the drum sander and edger, replacing sandpaper when necessary.
Step 9 : Applying a floor stain
Vacuum the floor thoroughly making sure to remove the grit from inside corners and around the edges of the room. Then apply a penetrating floor stain, which is easy to apply. Outline the room with stain using a wide paint brush coating the border around the room, and then use a roller with pole handle to apply the finish on the floor surface. Work from the far inside corner out to the door so you don't stain yourself into a corner.
Step 10 : Dry and topcoat
Let the stain dry thoroughly, and then apply a second coat. For added protection, apply a clear top coat and let it dry.
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