DIY Refinishing Floors

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Periodically refinishing hardwood helps maintain the shine and beauty that homeowners prize in wood flooring. DIY floor refinishing is a large project, but easy to complete with the right materials.

Replacing or Refinishing Hardwood?

Before refinishing hardwood, take a critical look at the floor. Badly damaged flooring may not be worth refinishing. In such cases, you may choose to completely replace the floor or paint over the wood.

DIY floor refinishing is possible if the flooring has scratches that can be easily sanded out or if only the top coating of sealant is damaged. Badly splintered floors may not be able to be refinished.

The type of hardwood usually doesn't affect whether or not you can complete DIY floor refinishing. Maple floors, however, are best left to professional refinishers.

Using a Floor Sander

Refinishing hardwood first requires sanding down the top layer of the floor until it's as smooth as possible. While you can purchase a floor sander, most people find it more economical to simply rent a sander from a local hardware store. In addition to a floor sander, you'll need an edger to sand where the floor meets the wall.

A floor sander creates an amazing amount of dust. Before refinishing hardwood, move all furniture out of the room and tape plastic sheeting over heating ducts. You can hang bed sheets across doorways to help control dust, although large plastic sheets work better.

Floor sander dust is an irritant, so be sure to wear goggles and a dust mask when refinishing hardwood. Begin sanding with a coarse grain sandpaper and switch to increasingly finer grades of paper. Once you finish sanding, vacuum away dust and clean the floor thoroughly before continuing.

Staining and Sealing Hardwood

Seal any gaps and cracks in the floor with putty. Be sure to use the right type of putty: Your local hardware store can recommend products designed for use with hardwood floors.

Staining hardwood requires anywhere from one to three coats. Keep the room well-ventilated and allow time for each coat to dry completely between stainings. Once the last coat of stain dries, apply one or two coats of polyurethane coating to seal the floor.

Finish your DIY floor refinishing project by buffing and waxing the floor. As with a floor sander, you can rent a buffer through your local hardware store.

Need More Help?

If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help.

The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!

Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a pro today!

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