How To Refinish Hardwood Flooring

Over the years, your hardwood is going to pick up a few bruises, scratches, dings, and blemishes. Basically, you need to refinish the surface every few years to restore the protective seal. If you let your hardwood finish wear off or fade away, it could lead to water damage, warping, and discoloration. This article explains the best process for refinishing hardwood floors in order to repair and prevent damage.

Remove the Finish

The first, and probably the hardest, step of the whole project is removing the existing stain. This can be done in a number of ways. In most case, you need to take off all of the existing stain before the new stain can be applied. This is definitely necessary if you are going to stain your floor a different color. However, if you are just applying the same color stain that is already on your floor, you might not need to do such extensive sanding. That is, you will still need to sand the floor to make it smooth, but you won't need to worry about getting all of the stain off of the wood.

Sanding Methods

There are a few different ways that you can sand the stain off of a hardwood floor. First, you could use hand-held power sanders. This is only practical and time efficient if you have two or three people sanding at once. It will take way too long if just one person is sanding. The other option is to rent a drum sander. This enables quicker stain removal and is recommended for large floors.

Staining Techniques

Staining floors is actually simple work, but it is time-consuming and messy. Stain goes on very easily. You can dip rags into the stain cans and spread it directly on the floor. You need to use dry rags to control the stain and prevent pooling up. Basically, you spread it until every square inch is covered.

You need to apply several coats and you need to buff out the finish between each coat. So, you wait for the coat to dry, buff it out with steel wool, vacuum it, and then apply the next coat. Most floors will require two or three coats for a lasting finish. The more coats you apply, the darker the finish will be.

Refinishing your floor with a full sand and stain job is a big project, but it is definitely a DIY that you can handle. Use these tips right after your hardwood floor installation to protect it from the start.