Sanding With A Random Orbital Floor Sander – Instructions & Tips!

The random orbital floor sander is a useful tool for those with wood floorings. Your flooring, just like any piece of furniture, will require finishing. This finishing involves sanding the floors. This is best done with a floor sander and like any other tool, you should know good techniques and are willing to put effort into achieving the nicest polish. 

No one would like to see a surface looking old and worn out. And so, learning how to use a random orbital floor sander will help for this purpose a lot.

So, keep on reading to find out the answer…

How To Use A Random Orbital Floor Sander

How to Use a Random Orbital Floor Sander

After taking the good prep, check the thickness of the floor and pick suitable sandpaper or pad. Then, insert it on the random orbital sander and start turning on the switch to use. 

Applying a palm sander on surfaces like hardwood, plyboard, or other types will mostly require a bit of skill and lots of patience. Before we get to the instructions, it’s good to know what is a random orbital sander. 

It is a hand-held tool that continuously rotates wearing a sanding disk and pad or sandpaper. The main function of the random orbital floor sander is to provide a finer finish. 

Now, let’s jump into the procedure. 

Step-1: Preparation Before Using the Sander

Without prepping, you can’t start the sanding with the random orbital sander. Fixing the place is compulsory since it includes furniture and other fixtures that distract a lot. 

Plus, you got to keep some items in your hand to use in the step. Let’s learn what you need to prepare.

  • Keep out curtains and carpets from the room.
  • Cover all the furniture with plastic bags. Make sure they are sealed properly.
  • Clean the room to make everything ready in an organized form.
  • Ask a friend to help you.
  • Wear goggles, gloves, and a dust mask.
  • Get sandpaper, vacuum, and random orbit sander.

Step-2: Think About the Floor Depth

It is wise to determine the floor depth before actually sanding the surface as this may cause damage. If the thickness of the floor is around 0.75” or more, then you can polish the surface. But, don’t sand down the floor if it is less than that. 

Pro Tip: Get help from an expert if the floor is thin (less than 0.75 inches).

Step-3: Pick the Right Sandpaper

Grab the proper sandpaper which suits your purpose for sanding with a random orbital sander. Be sure to have open-face sandpaper to use easily. To decide the right grit, here are some indications.

  • Taking out the old finish from the floor, you’ll require 40 – 50 grits (coarse) of sandpaper.
  • For smoothing the surface, the 120 – 220 grits (finer) sandpaper is decent.
  • To remove paint from the floor, using 20 grits of sandpaper will be ideal. Yet, if it is shellac or varnish, then you’ll need 36 grits.  
  • For finishing the surface, the 100 grits paper is good.
  • To do medium sanding, be sure to use 60 – 100 grits of sandpaper.

Step-4: Sand Down the Floor Base

Before you ask ‘how do you use a random orbital sander’, follow the given steps to do it in the right way. 

  • Turn on the dust collection system if your sander contains this feature.
  • Insert the random orbit sander pads or sandpaper on the bottom of the machine. Just ensure to line up the holes to align rightly. 
  • Attire all the safety gadgets. 
  • Plugin the cord and then grip the palm or random orbital sander. 
  • Turn the button (mostly red) on the front. 
  • Land the sander on the floor like an airplane. Move it in forward to backward (1” in one second) motion to do the sanding procedure simply.

Pro Tips:

1. Never leave the corners when sanding. 

2. If you can’t reach a place, then be sure to use your hand with the right sandpaper to polish the floor surface. 

3. Do not use pressure during usage.

Step-5: Clean the Mess Using a Vacuum

Right after you have completed sanding, it’s time to use a vacuum to clean the surface. And, detach the dust collection system to remove the debris. 

If the surface is filled with dust, then turn on the vacuum and use it until the floor gets clean. 

Then, you can again re-sand if a surface needs sanding using a finer or finish grit sandpaper in hard-to-reach areas. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Can I sand a floor with a random orbital sander?

Yup, you can! It contains a big and round sand pad or paper to take away the old finish with a little effort. Also, the random orbital sander doesn’t harm the floor material. 

2. How long does it take to sand a floor with a random orbital sander?

Well, it might take around 2 to 5 days per room based on your polishing skill. But if you have a sanding kit, then the work will be done in 2 days.

3. What’s the difference between a random orbital sander and an orbital sander?

The main variance between these 2 is their movement. The orbital sander moves in round motions to polish a surface. On the other hand, the random orbital sander moves in the front-to-back position. 

Wrapping Up

Finally, the procedure of using a random orbital floor sander is clear to you. We have tried to include tons of tips along with explained techniques to simply sand any surface.

In most cases, the cost of sanding with the help of an expert would be $7 – $15 per square foot. Something you will be able to escape after learning the usage yourself. 

Don’t skip wearing the safety equipment and ensure to follow the procedure right. Good Luck!

Related resource:

Sanding Hardwood floor with a belt sander

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