- Refinishing hardwood floors


Preparation is key to successfully restoring dull worn hardwood floors. Fortunately the tools needed for proper preparation are available at reasonable rates from many hardware stores and rental outlets.

Remove all furniture from the room and take off the base-board before starting to sand the floor. Make sure that all nails are set below the surface of the floor. Any needed floor repairs should be made before sanding.

Make the first pass with a drum or pad sander using coarse sandpaper working in the direction of the floor grain wherever possible.

Tilt the machine back slightly then turn it on and gradually lower it onto the floor. Work from one wall to the opposite, then gradually raise the drum off the floor. Move the sander so that it is just overlapping the previously sanded area and make another pass. Continue until the entire floor has been sanded down to bare wood. Now change to a finer grade of sandpaper and make a final pass over the entire floor.

The edger is designed for use along baseboards, on stairs and in other areas that are inaccessible to the larger sander. Start with coarse paper and make the final sanding with finer paper. Sandpaper discs are used with the edger. These are changed by turning the machine upside down and using a socket wrench to loosen and tighten the the locknut that holds the discs in place. The edger will not go into the corners so you will have to resort to hand sanding or scraping these areas. An orbital sander can also help if you have one in your arsenal of tools.

After sanding is completed there may be some stubborn spots remaining on the floor. These are usually caused by moisture that has penetrated the old surface and darkened the wood. You may be able to remove such spots by rub-bing vigorously with a cloth dampened with household ammonia.


Remove your shoes to avoid soiling the freshly sanded floor. Thoroughly vacuum the floor to pick up all sawdust and dust that was missed by the sander's collector bags.

Urethane finishes for hardwood floors are very popular and for good reason. They provide an excellent surface with long wear and low maintenance properties and are both water and scratch resistant.

Apply finish along the baseboard using a brush. You can use a wide brush to apply finish to the rest of the floor as well but a roller will make the job go faster and a roller with an extension handle will make things a little easier for your back. Strokes should be long and even with laps joined evenly. Work in the direction of the wood grain.

Article courtesy of: Shell Busey

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June 21st, 2024