I would seriously question my sanity if I tackled another major project sanding floorboards that were in poor condition again.
Floorboards that are in poor condition will require you to spend a lot of time and effort sanding the top layer down so that the wood will look like new again or meet an acceptable personal standard. This standard will be directly proportional to the amount of back breaking effort you are willing to commit to. However, floorboards that are already in good condition, will only require a simple sanding regime, therefore saving you money, time and effort.
During every stage of the project, you will need a moderate degree of skill and perseverance learning the various techniques (punching nails, sanding, lacquering) required to attain your own professional standard. Just do the best you can during every stage with the time and effort you are willing to invest. Midway through the project I dropped my standard of workmanship so I could finish it, as I totally underestimated the enormous amount of effort required for the sanding stage for floors in poor condition.
For the sheen level I chose a Satin lacquer, so that it would hide some of the fine scratches and still have a moderate shine to it. The other sheen choices were High Gloss, which would have highlighted too many imperfections and Matt, which would have been too dull.
This is the final satin finish (3 coats) of the floor in the lounge room.
From what I know now, I would recommend:
- only work with floorboards that are new or in really good condition, otherwise you will end up spending too much time and energy sanding/repairing the floor and spending lots of money on sandpaper.
- avoid this project if you have a bad back or knees, alergic to dust or the strong smell of lacquer.
- don't start this project if you don't have the time or patience to do the job properly, especially with floorboards in poor condition
- using a professional or reconsider this project if you meet the above points.
Overall, I was happy with the final look of the floorboards, even though it was time consuming and a lot of hard work. Dropping my standard during the sanding stage was a hard decision, but necessary to finish the job on time.
In my opinion, DIY is about the pride you feel after you've completed a job yourself and not paid someone $1000's to do it.