After a while even the best quality hardwood floors will start to lose their luster and shine and it will be time to refinish them. It really isn’t that difficult, you sand the floors and then give them a finish and they will look brand new again. Here is a step by step guide to refinishing your hardwood floors and bring that sparkle back into your home.
Identify the Wood
There’s a variety of woods that are using on floors including oak, pine and maple. Some of these are a bit easier to refinish than others. If you have engineered floors, those cannot be refinished as they cannot be sanded. You also need to consider how often the floors have been done in the past at some point they will be too thin to refinish again.
Get Your Tools Organized
If you have never done this before and this is a new DIY project then you want to use a belt sander. A flooring installer will probably use a drum sander, but for you it is too heavy and you can take chunks out of your floor. You are also going to need an edge sander to get into hard to reach areas. You will also need a scraper, buffer, putty knife and some safety equipment like masks and safety glasses.
Get the Room Ready
You will need to take all of the furniture out of the room, take off any heating grates on the floor, remove rugs and area rugs. You want to give the floor a good clean before you start sanding off the old finish. Sanding generates a lot of dust that can get into eyes, nose and throat so make sure you have an N95 mask and safety goggles on first.
You want to start sanding in a corner of the room that is easily accessible. You want to move the sander along with the grain of the wood. Start close to the wall and move back and forth, this first time around is to remove the old stain and finish. You will want to use your edge sander where the belt sander can’t go.
Sand again to remove the scratches on the floor, this is where you would use a drum sander with 80 grit sand paper. Here is a look at how to use a drum sander on your floors.
Lastly you want to do a final sanding with 100 grit sand paper to give a smooth scratch free finish.
Pick Your Finish
Now you want to choose your finish and seal your floors. Your finish can be either oil or water based, it can be a matte or glossy finish. You will use a brush applicator to make sure that the finish goes on evenly, you may have to sand a bit between coats. Then you want to apply a last coat of stain to finish off your floors.
After all of that you should have floors that look brand new. If you’re not comfortable doing your floors yourself for fear you may damage them then definitely find a flooring expert to do the job for you.