How to Use a Floor Stripper

You might think that using a chemical floor stripper to remove the finish from your floor prevents the need to use mechanical equipment.

You must use the correct tools to strip a wood floor.You must use the correct tools to strip a wood floor.
This is not the case. Floor stripper, used in conjunction with a floor-stripping machine will make quick work of removing a floor's finish. The use of the chemical speeds up the process by weakening the surface of the finish. It also prevents the need to purchase costly sandpaper.

Vacuum the floor with a vacuum cleaner and then scrub the floor with a bucket of clean water and a mop. Remove all debris from the floor before starting. Allow the floor time to dry.

Fill a bucket approximately half full with floor stripper. In some cases, you must dilute the stripper with water. Follow the directions on the stripper's label.

Apply the stripper to the floor with a mop and allow it to sit on the floor for five to seven minutes. In some cases, the manufacturer might recommend a longer or shorter duration. Follow their instructions. Start with a 6-foot by 6-foot section of the floor in the corner furthest away from the door.

Secure a hi-pro or black floor pad to your floor-stripping machine. You can rent strippers from most DIY home improvement centers. The process for securing the pad will differ depending on the model of floor-stripping machine you use. Follow the guide supplied with the floor-stripping machine or ask the sales representative that rented you the machine.

Sand over the stripper with the floor-stripping machine until the floor looks very dull. Stop if you see sawdust. This means you are sanding into the wood.

Suck up the remaining stripper and dust with a wet/dry vacuum.

Repeat the process in sections until you strip the entire room.

Things You Will Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Mop
  • Floor-stripping chemicals
  • Floor-stripping machine
  • Pads
  • Wet/dry vacuum