Hardwood floor refinishing can be a fun do-it-yourself task for some – others may choose to hire hardwood floor refinishers. It’s not terribly complicated, but there is quite a bit of elbow grease involved. When you’re learning how to do this, you’re going to have to take into account that you’re going to be using chemicals that are sometimes quite hazardous. If you go the DIY route instead of hiring hardwood floor refinishers, the first things you’re going to need to pick up to do this job are a good dust mask, a pair of gloves, eye protection and ear protection. After you have all of those things on hand, you want to make sure that you have someone to help you, as the job of refinishing hardwood floors will go better and faster if you do.
Start By Cleaning the Floors
Floor refinishers first prepare hardwood floors by cleaning them thoroughly. You want to make sure you get any sand, dust or other grime off of the floor. If you happen to have a nasty stain that you’ve been dying to get rid of, this is the right time to do it. You can remove the stain by using a light steel wool. You can also sand it out, if it’s particularly stubborn.
The first major step for a wood floor refinishing project is to sand the floor, which is usually done with machinery and with grits that get finer and finer as you go. Once you have the floor sanded down and ready to be refinished, it’s time to apply the stain. There are several different options where stain is concerned. Oil-based stains are very popular for hardwood floor refinishing. Water-based stains are also good, and may be easier for some people to handle. Remember to pick a color that either matches your existing wood floor stain or that changes the color of the wood to something you like.
Staining and Sealing Like a Professional
Apply the stain using rags. Part of the job of being good a hardwood floor refinisher is being able to concentrate on this rather tedious part of the job. Start from the edges of the floor and work your way in as you stain. You’ll want to make sure that you get any access stain wiped up. For many, this step is time-consuming because of the fact that it takes quite a few hours for many of these stains to dry. Make sure that your home is adequately ventilated. Not only does this keep you safe, it speeds the process of the wood floors drying.
The last step that hardwood floor refinishers typically take is to apply the sealant. The most popular wood flooring sealant used today is polyurethane. This is a surface sealant that provides an excellent barrier against moisture and other damage. It’s also very easy to clean up and makes shining your floor into a short job. The price of refinishing the floor is generally very inexpensive. These sealers and protective finishes are generally not prohibitively expensive products and, of course, doing this on a regular basis extends the life of your floor a great deal. If a board is particularly damaged, you may want to simply remove it and replace it with a new one that matches your existing hardwood flooring. If feel this goes beyond your amateur refinishing skills, have a friend help who is handy at carpentry, or hire a professional wood floor refinisher to finish the job.