Removing peeling coat of paint from old wood floors

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Q: We have just moved into a home that was built in the 1920s. It looks like the previous owners painted over old wood floors with a gray paint. The paint is cracking and peeling every time you step on it. I am afraid that the wood underneath it is so old and unkempt that it would need to be covered with something. Any recommendations how to get rid of the peeling paint?

Also, any suggestions on paint that actually works on flooring?

A: A very old floor may have only had wax applied to it. Or shellac. And shellac contains wax unless one get the de-waxed version. Paint and other coatings won’t adhere to wax.

The best way to remove the paint is by sanding. Or you could have someone remove the floor and install a new one.

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