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How to Sand and Seal Wide Plank Flooring

Finish a wide plank flooring installation by sanding and sealing it. The experts show how to seal the flooring.

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Step 1: Apply the Water Putty

Fill the holes in the planks with a water putty dyed to match the character marks. Do this so that the marks are still visible. It will eliminate the voids where the dust and dirt will otherwise collect.

Let the putty dry for one hour.

putty dyed to match character marks of planking

Step 2: Sand the Putty

Sand the putty off with a palm sander to clean the dye off the face planks.

Step 3: Remove the Lips

Use a hand planer to take off the lips between the boards.

remove lips between boards with hand planer

Step 4: Sand the Floor

Sand the floor with a box sander and three grits of sandpaper. Start with 60-grit and work up to 100-grit. Sand with the grain using smooth even passes. When the floor is smooth, vacuum up as much of the dirt as possible.

Step 5: Tape the Cabinets

Tape off the cabinets to prevent the sealer and polyurethane from getting on them.

tape off cabinets to protect from sealer

Step 6: Sweep the Floor

Attach tack cloth to the bottom of a broom and sweep back and forth until the floor is spotless.

Step 7: Apply the Sealer

Pour the sealer on in thin rows. Mop the sealer on with a lambs wool applicator.

Note: The sealer dries quickly, so you don't want any distractions.


mop the sealer on with a lambs wool applicator

Step 8: Allow the Sealer to Dry

Keep a wet edge and you will get a pretty even coat. Let the sealer dry for one hour.

Step 9: Apply the Polyurethane

Apply the polyurethane using the same method you used for the sealer. Pour it on in rows and mop it with the grain of the wood. Remember to keep a wet edge, as it dries slowly.

Note: You can use water-based polyurethane that takes two hours to dry or oil-based polyurethane that will take eight hours to dry. Ask your supplier for samples of different finishes for the type floor you ordered.

Step 10: Rough Up the Polyurethane

Once the polyurethane dries, go back over the floor between coats with a sanding screen on the box sander. This will rough up the polyurethane so that the next coat will adhere.

Step 11: Use Another Tack Cloth

When you are finished screening, use another tack cloth for cleanup. Apply another coat of polyurethane.

use tack cloth to clean surface new flooring

Step 12: Add the Base Molding

Add the base molding and a prefinished shoe to cover the seam between the floor and the quarter round. Nail it in place.

use base molding and shoe to cover seam

Step 13: Put Appliances Back in Place

Put appliances back in place and hook up the connections. If you have an island put it back in place and hook up the connections. Finish off under the cabinets and the island with quarter round.

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