How To Sand And Refinish Hardwood Floors – Step Guide

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How to sand and refinish hardwood floors

How to sand and refinish hardwood floors is a rather simple and straightforward procedure once you get all the steps right. Refinishing your floor will guarantee that it can withstand the test of time.
Most people tend to postpone refinishing their hardwood floors because they think that it is expensive. However, the task is quite affordable when you decide to handle it by yourself. However, note that you will need to free up a lot of time to handle this project.

Consider staying somewhere else when you decide to embark on this project. Most of the time, the entire project will take anywhere between two to five days depending on several factors. During a few of the stages, you won’t be able to apply any weight on the floor.

How To Sand and Refinish Your Hardwood Floors

Before we start the entire process, you need to figure out the type of flooring in your home. Most people aren’t aware of the flooring type in their home. Follow the steps below to determine the type of flooring in your home.

- Remove the air vent on the floor and look at the ends
- You are good to proceed if you have a solid wood with a thickness of at least ¾-inches
- However, it is an engineered floor if you spot several individual layers of thin paint

To determine whether your hardwood floor needs refinishing, all you need to do is pour a few drops of water. If the water does not get absorbed within a few minutes, then your floor is fine. However, should the water get absorbed within a minute, it is time to carry out refinishing.

Materials Needed for the Task

If you are a beginner, ensure you hire an orbital sander for the project. However, regular DIYers can go for a drum sander. You will also need a power hand sander during this project. Note that you can rent the above pieces of equipment from your local store.

When renting any piece of equipment, it would be best if you asked for a small demonstration. Note that an expert will quickly bring you up to speed on how to effectively use the power tools. You don’t want to end up causing serious damage to your floors.

Note that you have to purchase the correct pads and sandpaper for each machine. When sanding and refinishing floors, you will need three different levels of sandpaper: 30-40 grit sandpaper, 50-60 grit sandpaper, and 80-100 grit sandpaper.

Understand that you will also need additional equipment to ensure you get a smooth finish. Some of the materials needs for the project include the following:

Dust mask
Earplugs
Goggles
Plastic sheeting
Painters tape
Putty knife
Cotton rags
Wood filler
Hardwood floor cleaner
Mineral spirits
Paintbrush
Paint tray

Prep Your Home

Before we can begin working on your hardwood floors, you have to empty the room. You then have to clean the entire surface using an appropriate cleaner. Start by removing all the furniture, decorations, and curtains.

Inspect the floors for any nails that aren’t flush with your hardwood floors. Drive all these nails using a small metal tool and a nail set. Ensure that no nail head is sticking from your floor before we start sanding. Note that such nails can tear the sandpaper and interfere with the entire process.

Use the wood putty to repair any existing dents, scratches, or holes on the floor. Note that this is a simple step that takes a few minutes to complete. However, you can only start cleaning the floors once you have repaired any damages on your floor.

Sand and Refinish Your Hardwood Floors

Attach the coarsest sandpaper to your sanding machine and ensure that you sand with the grain. Sanding Against the grain might lead to a lot of damages. However, what happens when you have a warped Floor? Well, you can move diagonally with the grain but never work against the grain.

Do not let your sanding machine stay in the same location for a long period. Move at a slow and steady pace until the entire floor is properly sanded. You should also constantly check the sandpaper to ensure that it isn’t worn out.

Use the same grit sandpaper with a hand sander to work on all the edges. Ensure you work in a semi-circular motion to ensure that every inch is properly covered. Ensure you vacuum your floor before we start the second round of sanding.

Repeat all the above steps twice using a 50-60 grit sandpaper and an 80-100 grit sandpaper. Your floor should look smooth and even once you are done sanding. However, you can always bluff your hardwood floors further should it appear rough.

Once you are done sanding, you have to clean the entire floor for a second time. However, ensure you use a damp mop and vacuum to ensure there are no dust particles left on the floor. It would also help if you use a cotton rag dipped in mineral spirits to remove any chemical traces from the floor. Allow the floor to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Stain the Hardwood Floor

Note that staining is considered an optional step. However, if you want to get that trendy dark finish, you will need to perform staining. Note that you have to skip this step if you want to stick with a natural-looking wood floor.

Use a paint brush or sprayer to apply the stain on your entire floor. However, ensure you stir your stain every ten minutes to ensure you get a consistent finish. You can apply as many coats as you need when it comes to staining.

Apply Finishing Coats

The final step to this project is refinishing the hardwood floors. Note that the coating will protect your floors from damages. Most people prefer finishing coats because they seal the floors and ensure you get long-lasting services.

Work in the direction of the grain when applying your coat. Note that you need to keep the paintbrush wet during the entire procedure. Doing this will help you avoid bubbles and drips on your floors. Once you complete a perimeter, use your lamb’s wool applicator to finish off the rest of the room.

However, always work while moving towards the door. Understand that you won’t be able to stand on the floor once you have applied the refinishing coat. However, you will have to apply an extra coat in high-traffic areas. Note that you can only apply the additional layer after 24 hours when the first layer is dry.

Note that some refinishing coats will need you to sand the floor between the coats. Look at the user instructions to determine whether you will need to re-sand the floor before applying an additional coat. If your refinishing coat needs you to sand between layers, then you have to clean the floor thoroughly once you complete sanding.

Final words

Ensure you learn how to sand and refinish hardwood floors. Understand that this is an important skill that will always come in handy. It would also help if you avoided refinishing your floors by taking good care of it. 

About the Author Louis

Louis is a DIY enthusiast, blogger and ecommerce entrepreneur. She created this website with an intention to reach out people and guide them to make best choices to deliver free extensive DIY home-improvement content.

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