Refinishing softwood floor


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I am a remodeler who recently bought a nice lake home with soft pine floors--6" ship lap. I have never refinished a softwood floor and refinished one hardwood floor years ago. The previous owner did not apply any finish to the floor, as in poly or other hard floor varnish so they are quite damaged from unprotected chairs etc. I have a 5' x 5' closet to experiment in. First I need to set the nails as they wanted a rustic look and used horseshoe nails that stick up in places, and obviously I need to clean the floor well. I believe I need to use an oil poly for a hard finish, and will probably put at least 3 coats.

My questions are: can I use my random orbital 6" sander in my experimental area? What grit should I start with? Any wisdom about this project is appreciated.
 
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I have successfully used a random orbital sander on hard woods but never soft woods. Since you have an out of sight area to experiment on, I would try it. I would start with 150 grit just to be safe. You very well may wind up going to 40 grit to remove all the stains but start with the higher number. It is hard to get sanding gouges out once they have dug in. Let us know how your project goes for future reference.
 
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