5 Steps to Refinish Hardwood Floors
Want to revamp the look of your room without breaking your bank? You can simply refinish your hardwood floors.
Start off by removing all the furniture, rugs, and window treatments from your room. Next, use painter’s tape to cover the vents and electrical boxes so that dust does not make its way into the ducts and the electrical works. Here are some simple steps to refinish a hardwood floor:
- Prepare the Room
Begin by removing the shoe molding, also known as quarter-round, from the perimeter. Carefully insert a molding bar between the floor and trim, and slowly remove the base molding. You can pry away the small piece of quarter-round and leave the other baseboards in their position.
Make sure you do not use a demolition bar or crowbar, as they are likely to damage the molding. If you do not have a molding bar, you can use a putty knife. However, it may not be effective if the trim is stubborn. Check the entire floor to ensure that there are no protruding objects that may damage a sanding pad.
- Sanding the Hardwood Floor
For sanding, you would need to rent a drum sander from a home improvement store. This can be somewhat difficult as incorrect usage may damage your floor.
Practice sanding on a plywood sheet until you feel comfortable enough to use it on your hardwood floor. Turn on the motor and slowly start moving forward with the sander.
Engage the sander as you proceed and disengage it before you stop. Use a 40-grit sandpaper to start sanding. Moreover, as a drum sander is quite large, you may have to change the sander for the room edges.
- Buff the Floor
Buff the floor to get rid of the micro sanding marks and achieve a smooth finish. Many people prefer to rent an industrial floor buffer for this process. However, a pole sander is also a good choice.
Put on a dust mask before you begin buffing. Move the buffer from one side of the floor to another in the direction of the grain. The old finish will become powdery as you proceed, making it easy to see which areas you have covered. Buffer continuously but take a break every 5 minutes to vacuum the pad.
- Prepare for Staining
Leave the room and let the powder settle for 10 -15 minutes. Next, insert a clean filter in the vacuum and sweep the floor with a flat-bottomed attachment.
To ensure proper staining, use a tactic known as “water popping”. Combine one part denatured alcohol with two parts water. Use a pump sprayer to spray the room, and spread it all over the floor using a rag or mop. Let the floor dry for about 30 minutes.
- Stain and Seal
Staining is an optional step to refinish a hardwood floor. If you prefer skipping it, you can simply use polyurethane to seal the flooring.
For sealing, you can either use oil-based or water-based polyurethane. An oil-based solution will have a tinge of yellow or amber, while a water-based one is hazy at first and clear when it dries. Your choice really depends on the kind of look you prefer. Remember that the yellow hue of oil-based products is set to become deeper with time.
Other than polyurethane, you can also choose to use varnish or protective sealer for sealing the floor. To refinish a hardwood floor, make sure you use all products in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply thin, even coats so that no puddles or drips affect the final appearance.