Does it need to be professionally redone?

Q: I took 20-year-old carpeting up and have 80-year-old pine floors underneath. I sanded with a machine and sandpaper recommended by a local home store, then stained with a stain recommended by another store (only one coat, and nothing else applied). The sander left marks on the floor from its wheels, and never did sand all the old dark stain off.

I went through 20 pads on the sander, and when I would turn the machine off, the burned up sandpaper pads left black gunk on the floors that I had to scrape up with a screwdriver, and I still couldn’t get it all off.

I now have floors that still have a few pet stains, roller marks from the wheels of the sander, burned charcoal-like black gunk from the sandpaper pads, and have uneven color from never being able to fully remove the old stain, no matter how many times I went over it.

Is there anything I can do to redo it and get it to look decent, or does it need to be professionally redone?

A: Not to be very critical, but you summed it up in your last statement. Hire a professional. It is a lot easier to say that than to write a book about sanding and finishing, which takes an apprenticeship to do well.

I may never understand why people think my job is so easy, that anyone could do it.

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