A Guide to Hardwood Floor Refinishing

hardwood floor cupping

Wood Floor Sanding and Refinishing Guide

Hardwood flooring can become scratched and dull with age. The hardwood floor, however, may be repairable. To achieve this, you should simply refinish the floor. Read A Guide to Hardwood Floor Refinishing below.

Hardwood flooring often needs to be sanded and refinished 10 to 12 times throughout its lifetime. For Engineered wood floors, the thickness of the hardwood veneer will determine how many times engineered wood flooring can be refinished.

Do it yourself wood floor refinishing may save you money, but mistakes are costly. It’s difficult to handle a drum sander, which is a heavy piece of equipment you rent from a tool rental shop. If handled correctly, however, it’s amazing. If you stay too long at one spot, you’ll leave a permanent divot in the ground.

Steps to Take in Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Step 1.  You should remove all furniture and area rugs. This will ensure that you don’t damage any part of the floor during the process. Make sure to enlist the help of a friend or relative to carry heavy items away. While this may seem like a tedious task, it will give you a fresh start for your refinishing project.

Step 2. Another thing to remember is that proper preparation is 90% of the success of your refinishing project. Remove shoe molding, also known as quarter-round. You can use a molding bar to remove it, but you should avoid using a large crowbar because you will damage the molding. If you have trouble removing shoe molding, you can use a putty knife to carefully scrape it off.

Step 3. Before starting any flooring project, it’s important to select the proper tools. A high-quality sanding tool should be durable and can withstand long-term wear and tear. A quality floor refinishing tool will ensure your floors will be free of scratches and nicks. If you’re unsure of the type of sander you need, you can try out a trial run first.

Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Refinishing your hardwood floors can be done yourself, but it’s not as easy as you might think. There are many factors to consider when refinishing your flooring. For instance, what type of wood is your floor made of? What finish will you use? What type of look are you looking for? You also need to prepare the surface before you begin the refinishing process. If you want to make sure everything goes smoothly and that your new floor looks amazing, read on for a complete guide to hardwood floor refinishing.

For Do-It-Yourself Wood Floor Refinishing

Surface Preparation

The surface of your hardwood floor will impact the final look of your new finish. Some surfaces need to be sanded before you begin refinishing, while others may require chemical stripping.

For sanding a hardwood floor, start with 40 or 60 grit sandpaper and work in small sections. You’ll want to make sure to cover all the wood grain and leave a smooth finish with no bumps or ridges. This will help prevent scratches and imperfections from becoming too noticeable after the refinish is complete.

If you’re going to strip your hardwood floor, you’ll want to use a commercial stripper. If you’re stripping a natural wood floor, this may mean using mineral spirits (paint thinner). For stripped floors that have been finished with polyurethane, use acetone instead of mineral spirits (acetone works great on polyurethane).

Sanding and Sealing
To ensure a quality finish, it’s important that the wood is prepared before you start the refinishing process. To do this, you’ll need to sand and seal your flooring.

Sanding will remove any imperfections in the wood and leave a smooth surface for the final coat of paint. Sealing gives your flooring a protective coating that prevents moisture from causing damage or degradation.

The sanding process is straightforward—just use an orbital sander with 80-grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections. You’ll want to work in sections, because some areas of your floor may need more attention than others.

Next, use a vacuum cleaner attachment to remove any excess dust left by the sander while it’s still wet. You want to avoid letting dust settle on your floor as it dries out and becomes part of the finish. Once everything is completely dry, you’ll be ready to apply the sealant coat!

What Type of Wood Floor Do You Have?

The first step in the refinishing process is figuring out what type of wood your floor is made out of. This will help you determine which finish to use and how to prepare it for a fresh look.

Some common woods include maple, oak, and walnut. If you have one of these types of floors, you’ll need to keep in mind that each has its own unique characteristics. For instance, maple hardwood has a unique grain pattern and can have assorted colors from one board to the next. Walnut, on the other hand, has an oily sheen and tends to darken rapidly with every sanding process.

Regardless of the type or color that your wood is, it’s important to know what tools you’ll need for your project before you get started. There are many different tools that come in handy when working with hardwood floors:

– Floor buffers are used for applying even pressure across large areas so that all parts of the flooring receive equal treatment.

– A random orbital sander removes any imperfections on the surface without leaving scratches or marks behind. It also helps smooth out small dents in the surface so they’re not visible through a finishing coat or varnish layer.

Selecting a Finishing Style

Before you start the process of refinishing your floor, you need to determine what type of finish you want. There are many different finishing styles to choose from, so it’s important to research the different choices and decide which one best suit your needs.

There are many finishing styles to choose from, including oil-rubbed bronze, an antiqued finish, and a matte finish. The finish that will work for your project depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, if you love the look of antique finishes but don’t want the upkeep, then a matte finish might be the way to go for you. However, if you’re looking for a shiny and deep in color with a high sheen then an oil-rubbed bronze or antiqued finish would be better choices.

Once you’ve chosen your finishing style, it’s time to prepare the surface of your wood floors before you begin sanding and refinishing them. This can be done by using either chemicals or abrasives to remove any stains or debris on the surface of your hardwood flooring. Coarse sandpaper and steel wool are also helpful tools during this step as they help remove dirt from the surface without damaging it too much during

Oil-Based or Water-Based Finish

Before you choose a new finish for your floors, it’s important to determine what type of finish is best for your flooring type. There are three types of finishes: Oil based, or water based.

Wax Finish

Wax is a hardwearing finish that provides a durable, protective layer over the wood surface. Wax usually takes anywhere between two and five hours to apply. Wax is compatible with any kind of wood or furniture material because it bonds directly to the top layer of the wood. It also has a trouble-free application process and is inexpensive. However, wax can’t provide as much protection against scratches as other finishes, so if you’re looking for something with more durability and scratch resistance, this might not be the right choice for you.

Oil Based Wood Floor Finish

Polyurethane is a durable finish that protects against scratches and high heat while providing a moisture barrier at the same time. Polyurethane can take up to 24 hours to dry before being applied onto your flooring. The application process is also slightly more difficult than wax, but it’s still relatively easy and straightforward compared to other alternatives.

Water-Based Wood Floor Finish

Water-based finishes are a popular option.

What to Avoid

Before you even begin the process, you need to avoid certain things. It’s important that you don’t use any of these materials when refinishing your hardwood floors:




Baking soda

Coffee grounds

Clay paint

Dishwashing detergent

Dishwasher soap

Paint stripper/solvent or paint thinner solvent

Shampoo or hair gel/conditioner



A well-maintained hardwood floor can be a beautiful addition to any home. This guide offers an overview of the steps to refinish your hardwood floors, which can be simple or complex depending on the current condition of wood floors.

About Us

Keystone Hardwood Floor Care, Inc is dedicated to providing premium quality services for Fort Wayne, IN, within a 60+-mile radius. We provide wood floor services such as annual maintenance plans, refinishing hardwood floors, and restoration. Contact us today with your questions.

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