Back in the mid-2000s, sports floor pro Mike Allen, owner at Holliday, Texas-based Allen Sports Floors, was doing a high school in a low-income area. In addition to bleaching the court, he brought in an airbrush artist to paint a big custom logo at center court. “As we were standing there, I see 10 boys standing at the door looking in, and one said, ‘Man, this is like playing in the NBA!’ This is the closest most of these kids are going to get to playing on some big fancy court, and we give them the opportunity to have a court like that.” This project was no exception, even though it was a middle school practice court that hadn’t been resurfaced since the early ’90s. Allen guesses the court probably had four coats of finish a year until the last 15 years, when it likely had two—leading to a massive amount of ambered poly to remove. The Allen crew first used 24 grit on both drums of the rider sander instead of the usual 24 on one and 36 on the other, and they even cross-cut the floor first to flatten it. After sanding, most of the court was bleached, while the areas inside the 3-point line were left natural, and they painted an oversized center court logo measuring 19.5 feet across. The entire court was coated in poly for a final result that inspires the kids at Smithfield Middle School in North Richland Hills, Texas.—K.M.W.
SUPPLIERS: Abrasives: Norton | Big machine: American Sanders | Buffer: American Sanders, Nilfisk Viper | Finish, Paint: Bona
RELATED: What I Learned Going From Residential to Gym Work