Our son has bought a older house built in 1958. It has all hardwood floors except for the kitchen. I suspect they are original, and have been refinished at least once before. A check at an air register shows the surface starting to get close to the dovetail fit. It is not in very good condition, with some stains. The finish looks kind of cloudy, flat, and grayed. It probably should be replaced, but this is his first house and he cannot afford it at this time. So, any suggestions or tips you may have on refinishing it would be much appreciated. Dad, who is retired, is obviously going to be pressed into service to help! Some questions and concerns:
1. I'm concerned that wax has been used on the floor, and perhaps even to finish it instead of a polyurethane. Best way to remove it? Mineral spirits and steel wool has been suggested. Sounds very labor intensive!
2. Plan to use a rectangular sheet (12"x18") rental orbital sander with 80 grit to minimize thickness removal of wood. Is it going to be fine enough? He wants to use a dark stain, and I wonder if orbital sand marks will show?
3. Suggested stain? I mainly use Minwax Wood Finish for my woodworking projects. Suitable for a floor?
4. Plan to use a fast drying oil based polyurethane to be compatible with the stain, and also for durability. This is likely the last finish job this floor can take. Minwax? Varathane? or ?? Best application tool?
5. Suggested type of wood filler?
Any suggestions or tips are much appreciated. I've installed prefinished oak hardwood, but never refinished a floor.