How to Do Your Own Hardwood Flooring Refinishing

Hardwood flooring refinishing is an expensive project, but it can revitalize your home and add beauty and value to the property. Refinishing involves sanding down the hardwood to remove the existing finish, exposing fresh wood and eliminating deep scratches and stains that aren’t removed by resealing alone. Although professional floor refinishers are usually recommended, a skilled DIYer with the right tools can make this a relatively simple project.

To refinish hardwood flooring refinishing, first vacuum and sweep the floor thoroughly to remove any dust or dirt. Next, remove any furniture that can be moved. Spray the floor with a cleaner, such as a commercial hardwood flooring cleaner, and wipe it down using a terry-cloth mop or rag. Allow to dry before sanding. A large drum sander is used to sand the hardwood, so it’s important that the room be sealed off and that you wear a respirator mask to protect against the dust.

It’s also a good idea to cover any exposed electrical outlets with plastic sheeting and tape them shut, to prevent dust from escaping the work area. It’s also wise to close any doors that lead to the work area and to apply masking film over the door frames. Before you begin sanding, remove any baseboard or shoe molding along the wall-floor joint. This can be difficult to do, but you’ll want to do it in order to avoid damage as you work.

After sanding, you should clean the floor using a commercial hardwood flooring cleaner or your own homemade mixture of 10 parts water to 1 part white vinegar. Vacuum the floor, again to remove any dust. Then, using 180-grit sandpaper, hand sand the entire floor, including any nooks and crannies that you can’t reach with a buffing machine. You’ll probably need to do this several times to achieve a smooth, even result.

When the floor is completely dry, it’s time to stain it. Choose a color that best suits your taste and the decor in your home. There are many different types of stains, from water-based to oil-based, so do some research before you decide what to use.

Once the stain has dried, you’ll need to seal the new surface with a polyurethane or similar product. There are many different sheens available, from matte (low luster) to high-gloss. The sheen you choose will depend on your lifestyle and how much traffic the floor receives, as higher sheens can magnify minor imperfections in the wood.

It’s a good idea to refinish your hardwood floors every 5-7 years, but how often you need to do it will depend on how heavily your floor is used, the amount of sun exposure they receive and whether you have pets or children. Keeping your floors well maintained will keep them looking beautiful for a long time to come.