Do it yourself!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How To Refinish A Wood Floor

Nothing adds to the beauty of a home like hardwood floors and refinishing them isn’t as difficult as you might think. A 20 foot x 20 foot floor can be refinished in as little as 3 days, even by an amateur.

Tools Needed:

It may sound like too much to deal with but most of these items can be purchased or rented from a rental supply store.  Anything that can’t be purchased there can probably be bought at your local paint store.

Steps To Take:

  1. Try to do the job when it is warm outside and the humidity is low;  in order keep the windows open comfortably
  2. Remove all the furniture from the area
  3. Tape the plastic drops over the doors to the rest of the house
  4. Begin with the drum sander and use the course grit paper.  Sand ‘with’ the boards as opposed to ‘across’ them.  Move from using coarse, then medium, and then fine sandpaper sand until the old finish is removed and the floor is smooth. Use the belt or edge sander to do the edges and the oscillating sander and scraper to do the corners. Work down through the different grits just like you did with the drum sander.  Always try to keep a light touch, moving fluidly as you go, to avoid putting gouges in the floor.
  5. Use the shop to vacuum thoroughly between each different grit sandpaper you use.  After all sanding is done vacuum very thoroughly
  6. Use the tack cloth to pick up all the remaining dust.
  7. Use the brush to apply the finish around the edges and in the corners of the room.
  8. Starting furthest from the exit, pour a line of finish along the wall. Using the floor applicator spread the finish evenly over the floor.
  9. After the first coat has dried, use a fine grit sandpaper to sand before re-coating. Use the vacuum and tack cloth between coats.

One decision you will have to make is whether to use water based or solvent based varnish.Each will achieve a satin or gloss finish. Each has it’s advantages. Water based will dry much quicker allowing you to do all the finishing in one day. Solvent based will take 5 or 6 hours to dry between coats making the job take a lot longer. Solvent based is usually considerably cheaper and water based usually takes extra coats.

Wait at least 24 hours before heavy traffic!

Sometimes one can run into some bad urethane. You can see the bumps in the pictures below. In this case the floor has to be resanded and another coat applied.


Below is a picture of the finished product



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