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How to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Instructions on How to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are probably the most beautiful floor coverings, but over time, and due to heavy use, their protective finish wears off. Hence, it becomes necessary to refinish them. Read on to know more about the process of refinishing a hardwood floor....
DecorDezine Staff
Last Updated: Mar 9, 2018
Bright room
If the protective finish of your hardwood floor has worn off, it's the perfect time to refinish it. Applying a modern new finish will give it a classy look (removing the dullness that has come with prolonged use) and the floor will be easy to maintain, with their life extended. The required amount of maintenance depends on the amount of use; for example, low-use areas like living rooms or offices may need only vacuuming and seldom damp mopping with a cleaner, whereas high-traffic areas such as kitchens may need a regular re-coating, sanding, and refinishing.

The job takes a couple of days to be completed, and if you periodically re-coat the floor every 3 or 4 years, you may never require a complete refinish. Anyone who has had an experience in flooring knows how messy it can get - starting from removing the previous finish to sanding, staining, and putting up a new finish. It's always better to leave such a job to professionals, unless you have had an earlier experience.


Sanding the Floor
  1. All furniture and rugs from the room should be removed.
  2. Do a careful check for any stray nails, carpet staples, etc., because these can rip your sandpaper.
  3. Get a floor sander from the market, or a better idea is to rent it from an equipment shop. Traditional drum sanders are heavy and should be cautiously used. If left standing at a place, they quickly sand a grove in the floor that is almost impossible to remove.
  4. Ask for a good supply of sandpaper, in range of the grits of 36, 60, 80, 100.
  5. The heaviest grit should be clipped to the sander first.
  6. Run the sander over the floor in direction of the wood grain.
  7. When the floor has been sanded, remove the heavy grit and clip a lighter one.
  8. When changing sandpaper, use a shop vac to pick up sanding dust.
  9. Again, change to lighter grain sandpaper. If you need a beautiful smooth floor, go from 36 to 60 to 80 to 100.
  10. Repeat the above steps with the edging machine, if the sander doesn't reach the edges of the floor.
Staining the Floor
  1. You can either stain the floor or leave it in natural tone.
  2. Clear the floor of all the sawdust from the sander.
  3. Use a vacuum to suck out finer dust. The cleaner the surface, the better the finish will be.
  4. Ensure that the room has a proper ventilation system; if not, open up the windows.
  5. Apply stain with a rag to a corner of the floor to check if the color is the one you wanted. Wait for the stain to dry.
  6. Coat the rest of the floor with stain.
  7. Make sure this coat is completely dry before you start the finishing.
Finishing the Floor
  1. Stir the container containing the polyurethane finish. Remember that shaking the mixture will create bubbles in the final finish.
  2. Apply the finish with the help of a brush or roller, with smooth, even strokes to avoid marks.
  3. Let the finish dry. It may take up to 3 hours to dry.
  4. Put on a second coat, and let it dry for at least 3 days before getting the furniture back in the room.
Waxing the floor is also an option, though it's not popular these days. Wax should be applied only in light and it shouldn't be mixed with polyurethane.

With these simple solutions, you can keep your house looking as good as new for a long, long time. One precaution to take while doing this process is covering your nose with a cloth or a filter and keeping the ventilation system on, since the dust can cause respiratory problems if not dispersed in time.