Examination and diagnosisAfter removing the old coating, carefully check the condition of the blades. If some seem suspicious to you, probe them by trying to insert a blade into them; if you take it in easily, the wood may have rotted. It is then necessary to remove the affected blades, identify the cause of the decay and remedy it before replacing the damaged parts.
What objective?It is always possible to give a decorative aspect to an old parquet, even if it has been varnished many times or that it carries traces of glues and various products, because the wood does not deteriorate. Even if you intend to lay new carpet, vinyl or another covering, a preliminary renovation of the parquet is always necessary to obtain a clean, clean and healthy surface.
Tools & materials• Belt sander
Dust mask -
Pre-strippingIf the parquet was previously waxed or varnished, take the precaution of stripping it in order to avoid the rapid clogging of the abrasive - which may entail quite significant costs. Use a stripper or varnish remover. In addition, if some blades are held by visible nails, drown them in the wood, with a nail set, because they would tear the abrasive.
Three-step sandingTo obtain a perfect finish, you must make three successive sandings, the first with a coarse abrasive, the second with a medium grain, and the third a fine grain. Beware of the first, because it digs quickly and may leave marks. However, if the parquet is in fairly good condition, dispense with the first step. If you use a floor sander with a handle, it has a "declutching" lever, very useful to avoid marks on wood. Put it in position at the end of the floor, start it and lower the lever by starting to push - the machine is actually advancing by itself, and you must not hold it. If the sander has a speed controller, set it to a slow speed.
Plug the gapsThe fine dust released by sanding may spread to other rooms. To avoid this, seal under the doors with rags or with painter's masking tape.
Varnish testThe glazing varnishes do not give exactly the same color depending on whether the parquet is made of fir, oak or another species, and the second layer leaves a slightly darker finish than the first. In addition, it should not be forgotten that a dark shade appears even darker over a large area. This is why it is often beneficial to retain a very clear (or colorless) product, and sometimes even to lighten the wood beforehand.
SlantwiseSand in the direction of the blades. However, if the edges of certain blades protrude, do the first sanding at an angle, to level them.
Varnishes and other products• Odorless polyurethane sealer. Very easy to apply, non-toxic, quick-drying varnish, giving a satin or waxed appearance.
Polyurethane sealer with incorporated hardener. It is more impact resistant and more durable than the previous one, but also a little more difficult to apply. Shiny, satin or waxed appearance.
Two-component sealer. Varnish with high resistance to wear, scratches, impact and stains. Shiny, satin or waxed appearance.
Launderer. Apply before vitrification to lighten the wood.
Parquet shampoo. Cleaning product for cleaning dirty floors. Know-how © La maison rustique - éditions Flammarion, 2005