Wood Floor Refinishing
Restoring your floor's beauty
If you're considering refinishing your wood floor, you've come to the right place. Please read on and follow our step-by-step guide to this home improvement project. Don't forget to scroll down to catch our helpful tips and hints on how to get the best refinishing job, ever!
Stage one: sanding the floor
- Clear the room of all furniture, pictures and rugs.
- Pull out any carpet staples or tacks in the floor and hammer down any nails so that they are below the surface. This step is especially important if you're refinishing a wood floor that's been covered with carpet or another floor covering that's been secured to the wood beneath. The use of a floor nailer may be helpful for this task as it will help you quickly complete the job. Available in both pneumatic and manual models, a floor nailer helps you position nails, sets them in the right place and prevents the marking that can happen with the use of a hammer.
- Rent a floor sander. Orbital sanders are best because they are easy to handle, but drum sanders do a good job. However, drum sanders are more difficult for the average homeowner to work with. Either way, be sure to get the rental outlet to give you thorough instructions on how to operate the machinery and provide a demonstration before you take it home.
- Buy a decent supply of sandpaper in a variety of grits. Guide to grit: The lower the number the "heavier" the grit. You will start using the heaviest grit and work your way up.
- Run the sander in the direction of the grain. Never sand across the grain as this will produce a rough finish and may cause irreparable damage. Be sure to push or pull the sander in smooth, even strokes.
- Repeat step 5 with each "lighter" grit of sandpaper you have, right through to 100 grain.
Stage two: staining the floor
Please note that this stage doesn't apply to everyone. If you're not staining your floor, please scroll down to "Stage three: finishing the floor".
- Sweep the floor thoroughly to get rid of all the sawdust. Additionally, you may want to use a specialty dry floor dusting product or a vacuum to make sure no trace of sawdust is left behind.
- Use a brush in long, even strokes following the grain to apply a heavy, dark coat, and smooth out with a rag. If you're going for a lighter look, use a rag to apply the stain. A second coat may be necessary, but allow the first coat to dry thoroughly before deciding on or proceeding with a second coat.
Stage three: finishing the floor
- Use a brush or roller, going with the grain, to apply the first coat of polyurethane finish.
- Allow your first coat to dry completely before going ahead with the next coat.
- Repeat step 1.
- Allow your polyurethane finish to dry and cure before returning furniture or allowing foot traffic in your space. This process can take approximately three days.
Helpful hints and tips
- Testing one, two, three - always do a test area of stain in the corner or behind a door to make sure the color is right for you.
- Stirred, not shaken - stir your polyurethane finish. Shaking it will create air bubbles that may be visible in the end.
- High gloss appeal - polyurethane not only produces that luxurious, luminous glow on your hardwood floors, but gives it a layer of protection against foot traffic, furniture and pets.