How to refinish hardwood floorsThe beauty of natural hardwood floors will fade over time due to normal wear and tear. Luckily ,the hardwood can be rejuvenated with a little sweat equity. This task is similar to painting but does require more steps and does take more time.

To beging with, thoroughly clean the floor. A simple cleaning solution can be made with 1 part vinegar and 10 parts water. A good pre-cleaning is important for any refinishing job. Contaminants on the material surface can affect adhesion and ultimately the end result.

Make sure to use proper PPE (personal protective equipment) when sanding and applying the finish coatings. This would include an appropriate respirator and safety glasses, you may want to wear gloves as well.

Sand the floors. You will want to prepare your area to prevent an excessive dust mess. This includes using drop cloths and sheeting to contain the dust. The wood floors will need to be sanded to remove imperfections in the top coating and to create a good surface for finish adhesion. Most typical damage and wear in the topcoat can be sanded out. Deeper damage or scratches may need to be filled with an appropriate wood filler. Severely damaged floors may need the assistance of a professional.

refinish hardwood floorsThe edges of the floors near the walls and baseboard trim need to be hand sanded. You can use a sanding block and or a palm sander for the edges. For the rest of the sanding, you will want to rent a floor sander. Most equipment rental businesses will have this tool. You’ll want to make sure to read the manual on the sanding equipment to ensure safe and effective practices. Sanding will take time and you’ll want to start with more coarse grit sandpaper and progress to a less coarse grit to achieve your desired finish.

After the sanding is complete all of the remaining dust will need to be vacuumed and cleaned from the surface to prepare for the application of the topcoat. As a final cleaning step, use a tack cloth to remove any remaining dust and debris.

Water-based polyurethane is a good choice for a top coat since it dries quicker than an oil-based polyurethane product. Different products exist for different finish looks, you can choose a high gloss or a matte finish. Take care when applying the polyurethane, follow the manufacturer’s directions, and use a proper respirator. Much like painting a room, you will want to cut in the corners and floor edges before working on the rest of the floor. The polyurethane can be applied with a brush for the corners and can be applied with a foam roller on the rest of the floor. Be sure to plan this process accordingly to prevent boxing yourself into the room. If an even coat is applied with the foam roller it should lay down and dry to a nice sheen. Allow enough time for the first coat to dry and then apply a second coat.

Most hardwood floors can be refinished multiple times to extend the life and beauty of the product. As with any DIY job, make sure you take your time and plan out your process to achieve the safest and best results.