Upon family recommendation, we went with Brandon Tool hire and honestly they could not be anymore helpful if they tried! We went with a week hire but focussing mainly on the weekend to get the bulk of the job done. We snapped up a floor sander and edge sander at a combi price and the good thing is you almost lend sandpaper if that makes sense. You receive a full invoice which outlines ALL the papers you have taken but you don’t pay for it all then. You put down a deposit and then whatever over the deposit amount is used then you pay for that and simply return the unused papers. It is so simple but literally blew my mind.
Anyway, we got chatting to the woman who served us and she informed us that the lovely dark stain along the edges was in fact tar..yes TAR! You know that thick oily material which covers poor birds when there is an oil spill. That stuff and apparently it’s an absolute bugger to get off.
It looks so easy when you see it online and then equally you read horror stories of how difficult it is. I must put josh on a pedestal as I was like well he can build me a campervan it’s going to be a walk in the park.
If you live in a terrace or semi then do the honourable thing and inform your neighbours. Luckily we get on with ours so when we mentioned we might make a racket they were totally cool with it. I wonder if they quite realised what lay in store. Honestly, the noise that machine makes rivals being stood next to a jet engine. Pair that with the almost immediate ripping and blowing up of sandpaper meaning continuous turning off and on and we were already at the end of our tether on day one. I couldn’t bear the noise or the machine itself in fact and had to let josh do it and my input was replacing the papers if/when they disintegrated. It is a ball ache of a job but if you are thinking of doing it then don’t be deterred by this because we did save ourselves heaps of money! In total, I think it was about £250-£300 to get our boards back to basics and looking sweet. If you look up quotes online you’ll be paying quite a chunk more especially for three rooms like we did!
As we had zero furniture we didn’t need to play Jenga in our rooms which did help the process that paired with the fact that again we didn’t have anything again meaning nothing could get covered in dust. We hung plastic sheeting over the doorframes which is an absolute must when sanding as the dust will cover every inch of wall, ceiling, light fitting, window, skirting board you name it and there will be a thin film of dusty memories from the past 100 years. Anyway, we got the bulk of the sanding done over a Saturday and Sunday with only touch-ups in the evenings throughout the week (at considerate times I will add).
The floorboards were hard work and maybe if a professional came in he would laugh at the job we had done but for our budget, we did what we could and I think we did a pretty epic job especially considering the tar. If we didn’t have that to battle, the way it warmed up under the sandpaper and melted spreading like marmite across the floor, then things would have taken maybe a third less time. But we are super happy with what we have achieved. The next step was choosing a stain and boy was that a minefield of its own!