You can bring back the shine and brand new look to your old drab wooden floors by investing time and diligence, and equipping yourself with the necessary tools and techniques of refinishing hardwood floors. Seeing your hardwood floor gleam again will make you realize that this tedious and messy task is certainly worth the hassle.
There are three main phases of refinishing hardwood floors: sanding, staining, and finishing. Let us take a look at the steps in each phase.
1. Take out all furniture and rugs from the room.
2. Carefully inspect the floor for any protrusion you see, such as nails, carpet staples, and other fasteners. Remove staples and hammer down nails so that they cannot tear your sandpaper.
3. Sand the floor using a floor sander which can be rented from an equipment rental store. This equipment is easier to handle than the traditional drum sander, which can be heavy for you to handle and is heavy but requires that you keep it in constant motion the whole time. You have to make sure not to let it operate in one spot for some time, or it can swiftly sand a furrow in the floor that is most likely to become permanent.
Instead of this sander that needs getting used to, opt for a more up-to-date and easy-to-control orbital sander engineered for refinishing hardwood floors. If it is your first time to handle the equipment, make sure to ask for a demo of how it is operated.
4. Before leaving the equipment rental shop, do not forget to bring ample supply of sandpaper ranging between 36, 60, 80, and 100 grits that will match the sander you rent. Ask the shop if they accept back extra sandpaper that is unused. You can find shops that allow this.
5. Attach the 36-grit or heaviest grit sandpaper into the machine and steadily move it over the floor following the course of the wood grain, never across the grain. Make sure to constantly move the machine while it is running. Should you slightly scrape the floor while sanding, run the machine through it again with a few long strokes to level it off.
6. After sanding the entire floor, detach the 36-grit sandpaper and fasten a 60-grit or lighter grit into the machine. Repeatedly sand lines and scratches on the hardwood floor as frequently as needed to erase them.
7. Vacuum dust each time you replace sandpaper.
8. Sand the floor again using the subsequent lighter grain sandpaper. Use grits in sequence from 36 to 60 to 80 to 100 to achieve smooth and magnificent results.
9. If the sander cannot get through the edge of the hardwood floor, sand the edges using an edging machine, which you can also rent from the equipment shop, by following steps 3 to 8.
1. If you opt to stain the floor, rather than leave it in its natural tone, start the process by sweeping the floor free of all sawdust. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck in finer dust. For a superior finish, make it as clean as possible during this point.
2. Allow ample ventilation by opening windows.
3. Test that the color of the stain you are about to apply is what you want by daubing it to the rear of a cabinet or a corner of the floor using a rag. After five minutes of letting it dry, check if you are pleased with the color you see. If not, test another one, but if you are already, you can proceed to the next step.
4. Smear the initial coating of stain to the entire floor. For heavier and darker coats, apply using a brush and then even out using a rag. But for lighter more controlled coats, use rags only. Put on long, even strokes working along the grain.
5. Leave the initial coat to dry. When needed, put in another coat, or enhance spots with light coats.
6. After making certain that the floor is totally dry, you may now apply the finish.
1. Mix the container of polyurethane finish well by stirring, not by shaking because the latter can produce bubbles that will appear in the final finishing.
2. Evenly work in the finish using a roller or brush, making sure to go along the grain to prevent marks.
3. Let the polyurethane dry for approximately three hours depending on what brand you applied.
4. Apply the second coat and let it dry at least overnight, or for as long as three days. After which, you can bring in the furniture and rugs back on your now shiny hardwood floor.