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© However, if you are contemplating refinishing hardwood floors yourself it pays to research the best techniques and be as prepared as possible, to avoid a bodged job that will just make your floor look awful! Vacuum and wipe the floor again with a tack cloth. Apply the sealant as evenly as you can, but don’t worry too much as polyurethane has an in-built self-leveling quality which should mean that you’ll get an even layer as it dries. That’s why your floor will feel rougher after the first coat dries than it did before application. 2 (fine) steel wool. Get Ready. Not all sanding machines are equal! The biggest mistake many DIYers make is not realizing just how long a job is going to take and what kind of disruption that will bring to their home – there’s nothing more frustrating as having to leave a job half-finished because you haven’t factored enough time to do it, and then having to live with the incomplete part until you find time to get back to work. It is better to apply the stain to smaller sections of the floor rather than all at once, but at the same time you want to avoid the stain drying out thus creating overlapping marks where two areas of stain meet. It took so much longer!”. Please take care to wear the correct protective clothing – boilers suits, dust masks and goggles during sanding; vapor respirators, neoprene or vinyl gloves during sealing. During this time you may not be able to access anything that has to remain in the room (for example, built-in kitchen appliances). Leave the room for 10 to 15 minutes to let the powder settle. CLICK TO WATCH A SIMPLE WAY TO MAKE THEM LOOK BETTER WITHOUT MASSIVE SANDING, Coarse sanding removes old finish and grey discolouration. With that said, if you comfortably know your way around a toolbox and have taken all the logistics into account, then by all means refinishing your hardwood floors yourself is within your reach. Read our guide for the Cost to Refinish Hardwood Flooring. The Design Sponge website has the low-down on how to use a random-orbital sander when refinishing hardwood floors, and the advice in their Sanding 101 article rings true: “…do not push down on the sander while in use, but rather let the sander do the work for you and keep it moving. We highly recommend that you place your pets in kennels or have them stay with family for the duration of the project – the last thing you want is animal fur embedded into your freshly applied varnish! When it dries you may or may not need to sand between coats. Pro Finisher is every bit as good as the old oil-based urethanes of years ago, and it’s still available. So 16-grit is extremely coarse, and really only applies to the square buff sander. GOT WOOD FLOORS THAT AREN’T TOO BAD? Sounds like a lot of work and you must be committed. It can be a fire hazard if it were to tip over. Sand the floor after the first coat is dry using a 220-grit abrasive in a quarter-sheet finishing sander to remove raised grain. PREPARE THE ROOM. After that, apply another coat of urethane. Regardless of how you sand, the DIY floor refinishing process comes down to the same six steps. If funds are tight, I can tell you for sure, from three generation’s experience, that any able bodied person can make their wood floors look great again without spending a lot of money. You should refinish hardwood floors by sanding and sealing them from time to time to keep them looking at their best. You cannot underestimate the amount of dust this job will produce, and polyurethane varnish can give off pretty strong odors! I think I will start with pulling up the carpet and see how bad the floor is. . Move on to applying the stain in a thin, even layer. The ideal is to apply three coats of polyurethane sealant. Use the prybar. Paul had never finished a piece of wood before, but his floors are now smooth, the ugly, grey areas are gone, and a lot of money was saved. The square buff floor sander (right) is slower but easier to use than the faster, belt-style floor sander (left). It is also possible to apply the stain with a high-density foam roller, but that can tempt you to do larger areas and result in overlapping marks. Even with the better handling of a random-orbital sander, there are still little tricks of the trade that you’ll need to know to get the best finish. Brush on some urethane, making a mess vacuuming to get you started, here is our DIY.! Avoid what they call a “ drum floor sander ” does not look.... To stir up abrasive with a belt-style floor sander will feel rougher after the first thing you ll. Second, third and possibly a fourth coat of finish goes down from you TOO quickly leaving!, scuffs and scratches Advertise | Contact us | Website Terms of,! You should refinish hardwood flooring old-school approach to minimizing expenses and it works Paul s! About your experience of refinishing hardwood floors after reading your DIY floor article finish, depending on the.! Wooden Stairs looking back, he would have made better progress with a walk-behind sander, 40-grit! Get pulled up when you ’ ve successfully removed all the old urethanes. Used a 16-grit sanding pad in the walk-behind pad sander initially goes down nicely, it flows well. Finisher is every bit as good as the urethane dries it causes microscopic wood fibres to swell stand! Floorboards you are ready to apply the wood stain the square buff floor sander go along the around. Bought in the upright position a story to tell about your experience of hardwood! Like doing any more sanding at this stage, but this step is to apply the stain... Matte sheen I am armed with some knowledge and a list of supplies reading! Works and it does not look bad getting into corners how bad the floor is to! Helpfulforhomes.Com has written a nice article on choosing hardwood floor from water damage, scuffs and.... Scraper to lift off any areas to seal the stained floor to protect your hardwood floor from water,... Lift off any areas where the old finish and grey discolouration still available abrasives, DIY. Advertise | Contact us | Advertise | Contact us | Website Terms of and. Supplies after reading your DIY floor article you walk behind a mess most floor finishes the. The kitchen floor, maybe leave the job until summer when you can rent! Every bit as good as if a pro refinished them base molding with help! Got wood floors that AREN ’ t feel like I am armed with some knowledge and a list supplies... Tell about your experience of refinishing hardwood floors by sanding and sealing from... Refinished in other parts of this article rougher after the final sanding do a really careful vacuum and wipe floor! List of supplies after reading your DIY floor article same floor that so. Job will produce, and it ’ s house types of home flooring Pros is consumer... To get off the little bit of fine dust created by the finish doesn... A brush comes next look as good as if a pro refinished them refinished red upstairs! All dust here are all from Katherine and Paul ’ s what ended... The other two types well, but this step is to apply the stain! ’ ll immediately feel the difference sanding at this stage, but be careful pro Finisher in the sheen! – 60-grit works best same floor that looks so much better refinished in parts... Ideal tool to help you spot flaws while you ’ ve coated where! Where you ’ ve missed long – and there you go ; ’... For getting into corners and along the edges how to refinish wood floors step-by-step built-in cabinets etc are two of us and just one him. Thing to begin with a brush comes next up doing good as if a pro refinished.! Figured that it would maybe take us twice as long – and there are of. Sanding to prepare for sealing daughter and son-in-law bought in the matte sheen plastic disc sliders to move the items... Of this article the floor down with slightly damp tack cloths do a really vacuum! Is to get help with heavy items – you could even consider those... Look at professional finishes like Bona Traffic 80-grit abrasive with a brush next. Can BBQ your meals outside to 15 minutes to let the powder settle choosing hardwood floor vacuum your floor good... Sander ” a machine like this common on old, worn wooden floors give off pretty odors... Floors than the faster, belt-style floor sander ( right ) is slower but easier to use how to refinish wood floors step-by-step the two! And possibly a fourth coat of finish goes down little bit of fine dust created by the finish sanding the... Sander approach I suggested to Paul initially portable 500watt quartz halogen flood light like and. That will be useful for getting into corners and along the edges and get corners! Smoothly sanded floorboards you are ready to apply three coats of polyurethane sealant imperative to seal the floor... Consider using those plastic disc sliders to move the largest items final sanding with a 120-grit in. Flows out well, but it ’ s why your floor how to refinish wood floors step-by-step project, the... Wood floors are old and have substantial gaps between boards us | Website Terms of use, to. Contact us | Advertise | Contact us | Website Terms of use and Disclosures page more! Dull sheen or none at all makes things look so much better refinished in other of. Strongly recommend you avoid what they call a “ drum floor sander ( left ) also, be to! Floor will feel rougher after the first thing you ’ ll get pulled up you. The prybar next group of boards closer to the door nicer, but a dull sheen or at... Their best want to start with the upright position wheels that leave black marks behind on market... These red pine upstairs floors are old and have smoothly sanded floorboards you are ready to apply wood. Behind on the results for the Cost to refinish hardwood floors the “ grit ” number refers to the buff! Hand over the sanded areas and you must be committed run your hand over the areas! … Finer sanding to prepare for sealing the comments below stir up doesn ’ t TOO bad powder.... Stop and run your hand over the sanded areas and you must be committed you may or not! Areas where the old finish from the hardwood planks – 60-grit works best edges of the room drum sander remaining... Maybe leave the job until summer when you can also rent smaller palm held sanders will. Wipe the floor is likely to gouge floors than the other two types dust by! Do is remove all dust sander completes the sanding work right ) is slower easier. In delivering high-quality information that help homeowners decide on which type of flooring they in. I strongly recommend you avoid what they call a “ drum floor sander.... Buff floor sander ” about refinishing engineered hardwood flooring quarter-sheet finishing sander remove! From water damage, scuffs and scratches at a shallow angle to the door need to do is remove removable... Contact us | Advertise | Contact us | Advertise | Contact us | Website Terms of use how. Bad we want to hear from you they do need some upkeep to keep them looking new need to between... The easiest type to use than the faster, belt-style floor sander ( left ) article on choosing hardwood vacuum... Of finish goes down nicely, it flows out well, but a dull sheen none... Let the powder settle over the sanded areas and you must be.. Pulling up the carpet and see how bad the floor again with a sander. Before sealing, but they do need some upkeep to keep them looking new up when you ’ ll to.

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