How to Refinish Hardwood Floors the Easy Way

Refinish hardwood flooring with ease

The end on even the best types of wooden flooring is sacrificial and in time will should be refinished to carry again that new flooring shine. Trendy, pre-finished hardwood flooring is coated on the manufacturing unit and may look new for 10 to 30 years. However the coating on traditional flooring ideas which might be site-finished will not final practically as lengthy. Grime, dust, footwear, children, and pets can beat up a flooring’s protecting polyurethane end and present indicators of damage in only a few years. Left unprotected, the wooden beneath will begin to get broken too.


Security Issues

Massive upright sanders make a variety of noise and throw up a variety of mud. Make sure that to put on a protecting masks, eye safety, and listening to protectors when utilizing this device. The place potential, open home windows and ventilate with followers in the course of the process. Masks off vent duct openings and passage doorways to forestall mud from touring all through your own home.

Upright flooring sanders are highly effective instruments. If used incorrectly, it’s simple to create deep gouges or dips that destroy the ground's look. Take your time when sanding, ensuring to make use of sanding belts or pads with the correct abrasive grit. Keep away from tilting or rocking the sander, as that is assured to gouge the ground.

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Prepping hardwood flooring for refinishing

Earlier than getting began, remember to:

  1. clear the room of all furnishings and some other homeless objects that at all times find yourself “saved” in spare area.

Something, and severely something additional will simply make the possibility of getting a very good end that a lot tougher. The tiniest hidden mud particles will destroy your effort and create extra work. 

Fortunately, my child brother had simply moved out of this room so it was empty. Prime time!

You want the room as clear and naked as potential. And if there isn’t a door barricading the room, I might severely contemplate creating one with a plastic drop material and a few heavy responsibility tape or staples.

Since we solely did one bed room, we had been in a position to shut the door and preserve it protected from the canine, child, and extra particles whereas the sealant dried.

2. take away any baseboards (you need to see any gaps between the flooring and the wall). It received’t be fairly.

The pry bar is just for eradicating baseboards or the rest nailed to or across the hardwood. Bear in mind, you want these flooring naked. Your complete room was surrounded by the small hole between the wall and the put in flooring. I wished to verify I may sand to absolutely the edges.

3. take a earlier than image! (see above)

4. patch imperfections/gaps with wooden filler

Wooden filler is addictive, and never within the everlasting marker scent method (yay). Who knew how satisfying “filling wooden” might be? These items covers cracks, dents, holes, and so forth. You should purchase totally different colours to match your wooden, however I’m fairly certain the “pure” coloration will stain with the flooring. The one we purchased begins pink and dries beige, so there’s no questioning if it’s prepared or not.

On prime of that, it’s low-cost and straightforward to make use of. Simply shmear it into any nook and cranny with a putty knife. Additionally verrrrrry satisfying ?

We didn’t hassle renting the sander till the wooden was all stuffed and patched and able to go. That half took up about 3 hours in whole. There have been a LOT of cracks.

This was the nastiest gap we had from severe water
This was the nastiest hole we had from extreme water injury.
5. sweep, vacuum, and mop with water

5. sweep, vacuum, and mop with water

Whereas that dried, we purchased the remaining provides and rented a sander from Residence Depot for twenty-four hours (1pm to 1pm). They required a $200 deposit, however the rental value was $64.95.

Facet observe: this stuff are silly heavy… Getting it out and in of the automobile was horrible… for my husband lol. I used to be advised to get away and I wasn’t about to argue.

At this point we turned the hardwood floors into w

At this level we turned the hardwood flooring into wood-filler flooring so it was time!

Step 3: Sand the Flooring 


Instruments: drum sander

It’s a good suggestion to do a tough sand of your flooring after the wooden putty dries. A drum sander works finest, and you’ll have to lease this piece of apparatus should you don’t have already got one. 

Be sure you substitute the abrasive belt on the drum sander each 250 sq. toes.

You must start by utilizing a 36-40 grit sandpaper belt. Subsequent slowing work your method to a 60 grit, then an 80 grit and lastly 100 grit sand. You will need to begin with coarse sandpaper and transfer your method as much as high-quality sandpaper for the perfect outcomes. 

This course of will assist you to remove scratches and stains. 


Is it cheaper to refinish or substitute hardwood flooring?

You’ll be able to virtually at all times guess that refinishing is cheaper than changing hardwood flooring. With the latter, you’d be paying not just for the brand new wooden but in addition for the labor of ripping out the outdated wooden and toting it away.

Step 5: Display the ground

  1. Vacuum the ground once more then wheel the drum and edger out of the room.
  2. Roll within the buffer, fitted with a 120-grit sanding display screen. This display screen’s job is to mix your complete flooring collectively so the drum and edger sander’s marks are indistinguishable. It might take some getting used to when working the buffer; it is extra of a dance than making an attempt to muscle the machine so ask for suggestions once you lease it. Run the buffer over your complete room alongside the wooden’s grain, overlapping the earlier course by just a few boards.
  3. When you’re achieved buffing, go away the room and let the mud accept about quarter-hour.
  4. It is likely to be useful to usher in a battery-powered or plug-in electrical leaf blower to power the settled mud out of baseboard warmth registers – with the room clear now could be the time to wash and vacuum these too.
  5. If you happen to had the window open to expel mud, shut it now to keep away from any particles blowing into the room and onto the end.
  6. Vacuum the ground once more.

Deep Cleansing is as Simple as One-Two-Three

A good deep cleaning might restore your drained flooring’s former luster. Here is what to do:

  • Start by totally sweeping flooring with a soft bristle broom. So that you understand, stiff bristles can scratch the wooden’s floor.
  • Subsequent, use a vacuum to take away hard-to-reach dust in room corners and between floorboards.
  • Afterward, mop utilizing a micro material and concentrated cleaner for hardwood floors. Methodology Squirt and Mop, and Bona Hardwood Ground Cleaner are two good ones. Remember steam, water, vinegar and cleaners like Murphy’s Oil Cleaning soap that produces suds ought to by no means be used to wash wooden floors. 


Hardwood flooring in high-traffic areas in your house might require a deep cleansing by a flooring skilled. Consultants like these sometimes use a scrubbing machine designed to take away embedded dust.

After deep cleansing your flooring, right here's what you could do to maintain them in tip-top form:

  • Floor clear 3 times per week utilizing a vacuum or micro material.
  • Deep clear as soon as per 30 days utilizing a concentrated wooden flooring cleaner.
  • Professionally deep clear as soon as per yr.

Illustration: The Spruce / Elnora Turner

Instruments Supplies

  • Microfiber flat mop

    Microfiber flat mop

  • Floor buffer, fitted with maroon buffing pad

    Ground buffer, fitted with maroon buffing pad

  • vacuum fitted with clean filter

    vacuum fitted with clear filter

  • respirator fitted with organic vapor canisters

    respirator fitted with natural vapor canisters

  • Plastic watering can (no sprinkler head)

    Plastic watering can (no sprinkler head)

  • paint brush - 3-inch

    paint brush – 3-inch

  • Paint roller with extension

    Paint curler with extension

Uh Oh! This Job Requires A Full Refinishing

Mandatory Supplies:

  • Molding Bar or Putty Knife

  • Hammer

  • Masking Tape

  • Plastic Sheeting

  • Pencil

  • Drum or Orbital Sander

  • Sand Paper (30-40, Tough Grit)

  • Sand Paper (50-60, Medium Grit)

  • Sand Paper (80+, High quality Grit)

  • Wooden Filler

  • Mineral Spirits (optionally available)

  • Ground Stain

  • Polyurethane Sealer

Step 1: Prepare The Room For Sanding

Step 1: Put together The Room For Sanding

Virtually 90% of your success with a hardwood flooring refinishing undertaking will come right down to preparation, so it’s essential to take it sluggish and with the correct care from the start. Begin by eradicating the shoe molding — additionally known as quarter-round — across the total perimeter. Do that by gently inserting a molding bar between the ground and trim, and gently prying it away. Don’t use a big crowbar or demolition bar as these will injury the molding. If you happen to don’t have a molding bar, you may strive utilizing a putty knife, although it could not work as nicely if the trim is cussed. Additionally, take away any doorways that may block wooden thresholds, and go over your complete flooring fastidiously trying to find nails or different objects protruding up from the ground that will tear or injury a sanding pad. If you happen to discover any nails sticking up, gently faucet them again in with a hammer and appropriately sized nail set. Make sure that to maintain observe of the place the holes are, and should you discover some other imperfections preserve observe of these as nicely, so you may fill them in after your first spherical of sanding. While you’re achieved, be certain to tape off any flooring registers so that they received’t get scratched in case your tools bumps into them. Lastly, cowl all openings besides exterior home windows with tape and plastic sheets–including electrical retailers, doorways, and vents.

Step 2: Start Sanding

Step 2: Begin Sanding

After you’ve prepped the room, it’s time to start out sanding. For this a part of the job, you’ll want three energy instruments: a big, walk-behind sander for the principle space of the room, a hand-held random orbital sander for the perimeters, and a element sander for the corners. It’s potential to do the corners by hand as nicely, however it would take considerably extra effort and time. Ought to You Use a Drum or Orbital Sander? Stroll-behind sanders are available two varieties: drum and orbital. When deciding which one to make use of, first contemplate your expertise stage. Drum sanders are very aggressive and may be troublesome to regulate, so they’re sometimes not really helpful for DIY newbies. An orbital sander received’t be capable of appropriate probably the most excessive flooring points however can repair most scratches and average put on with out creating new issues. An orbital sander could be the most suitable choice for the overwhelming majority of newbies or intermediate-DIYers. Nonetheless, an orbital sander is a big, heavy machine, so if you’re renting one out of your native ironmongery store, be certain to ask one of many consultants on workers for an illustration once you decide it up. It’s typically a good suggestion to apply at dwelling earlier than beginning. Attempt it out with simply the pads (no sandpaper) on a easy cement floor, or do just a few passes in an not noticeable space of the room earlier than beginning on the principle areas. Ground Sanding Spherical 1: Tough Sanding Do the primary move over the room utilizing the walk-behind orbital with a tough sandpaper. 36-grit is typical, although you should utilize something between 30 and 40 grit. Make sure that to maneuver the orbital slowly, easily, and evenly, and don’t cease in a single space for greater than a second or two. Get as near the perimeters of the room as you may with out aggressively bumping the baseboards. While you’re achieved with the walk-behind, use the hand-held sander for the perimeters, and the element sander or your palms for the corners. You’ll need to press as firmly as you may with out stalling or slowing down the motion of the sander. While you’re achieved, vacuum the room to wash up extra mud earlier than transferring onto the subsequent move. Appropriate Any Flooring Imperfections Now could be the time to fill in any nails holes or gouges with a wooden filler that matches your flooring. For a color-accurate, DIY resolution, you may take a number of the sawdust from the primary spherical of sanding and blend it with some white glue to fill the holes. Simply combine the 2 elements collectively till they kind a toothpaste-like consistency and apply with a putty knife as you’d some other wooden filler. Ground Sanding Spherical 2: Easy Out Tough Edges Subsequent, sand the ground with a medium-grit sandpaper, comparable to 50 or 60 grit. Throughout this second spherical, it may be onerous to see the place you’ve already sanded as the colour of the ground received’t change, so it’s a good suggestion to attract pencil strains throughout the room. Then, because the pencil is erased by your sanding, you’ll know the place you’ve already been. Once more, comply with up the large sander with edge work and vacuum to arrange for the ultimate move. Ground Sanding Spherical 3: End Sanding For the ultimate sanding, use a minimum of 80 grit sandpaper. You’ll be able to even do two rounds if you’d like the smoothest end possible–once with 80 grit, and as soon as with 100. Comply with up on the perimeters, and as soon as once more vacuum and clear up. This time, take additional care to wash every part totally, as the subsequent step will probably be to use a ending agent. Along with regular vacuuming, comply with up with a humid microfiber material or tack material to get all mud potential. You might even need to end with a rag dampened with mineral spirits. The precise technique you utilize isn’t as essential as ensuring there may be completely no mud or dust on the ground that would mar the ultimate end. It ought to go with out saying although, that you simply shouldn’t use any oil- or chemical-based cleaners on the ground as they could have an effect on the flexibility of the ultimate layer to stick to the wooden.

Step 3: Stain Your Floors

Step 3: Stain Your Flooring

As soon as the ground is sanded, cleaned, and totally dried, you’re prepared to complete the ground. That is the place you may stain the ground if desired, however correctly staining hardwood flooring is an artwork unto itself, so it’s most likely left for a separate article.

Step 4 (The Final Step): Seal Your Floors

Step 4 (The Remaining Step): Seal Your Flooring

Supreme Sealing: Is Water- or Oil-Primarily based Polyurethane Greatest? The opposite, extra standard possibility is to only use polyurethane with none stains to seal hardwood flooring whereas sustaining their pure magnificence and coloration. If that is the route you select, you might have two choices: oil-based and water-based polyurethane. Neither is superior to the other–it actually simply comes right down to desire. One of many largest variations between the 2 is the end coloration, as oil-based polyurethane will imbue a yellow or amber coloration relying on the model used, whereas water-based merchandise will go on hazy and dry clear. Some individuals just like the yellow flooring end and assume water-based merchandise create a chilly and uninviting look, so it’s actually a matter of desire. Remember although, that the yellow or amber shade will deepen with time, so the shade you see now shouldn’t be an identical to what you’ll see in 5 years. When it comes to utility, every has execs and cons as nicely.  Water-based merchandise, for instance, are thinner, so they’ll naturally go on extra evenly and dry rapidly. Nonetheless, the quick dry time does make them a bit harder to get excellent. Oil-based merchandise supply prolonged working instances, however require a masks on account of fumes and take as much as 24 hours to dry between coats. IMPORTANT NOTE:If you happen to use an oil-based product, be certain to dry any dirty rags individually, or retailer them in a can coated with water. The pure oxidation that happens as oils evaporate from a pile of rags may cause a hearth below the suitable situations! Lastly, value generally is a differentiator. The truth is, water-based choices can value as much as 3 times as a lot as oil-based options. Regardless of which of the 2 finishes you choose, you’ll want a high-quality brush (made from pure fibers for oil-, or artificial fibers for water-based polyurethane) for edge work and wool applicator for the principle space of the room. Make sure that to rub the wool applicator down with a lint curler or piece of tape earlier than use to seize any free fibers, then use easy even strokes to use the polyurethane and keep away from bubbles that would create flaws within the ultimate end. When you’ve utilized the ultimate coat of polyurethane, and let it dry, you merely must reinstall the trim and the room is prepared to be used. If you happen to’re utilizing oil-based merchandise, it’s really helpful to make use of a minimum of two coats, and a minimum of three for water-based choices.



There are some stuff you want to bear in mind when making this a DIY undertaking:Time:  Work: MessLack of Expertise:
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