Most of the time hardwood floors will last for the entire life of a home. The only problem is that they are exposed to a lot of wear and tear which makes them look tired. But this should not be a huge issue, as you can easily refinish your floor to make it look glorious once more.
The good thing with refinishing projects is that they are quite easy to work on, especially if you love DIY projects. You may need to rent a few pieces of equipment and buy some supplies, but that’s as hard as it gets.
Sanding The Floor
To refinish your floor, you will first have to get rid of the old finish. To do this you should use different types of sanders, which you can rent. No matter what you do, safety comes first. For this reason, you should use a dust mask, as well as ear and eye protection. Use a walk-behind sander to evenly remove the finish, while using the correct series of sandpaper.
You will require the three most common grades of sandpaper, these are fine, medium, and coarse. If, after you have finished sanding, you notice any nicks or gouges, you can fill these with wood putty using a broad knife to fill and spread the putty. Let the putty dry according to the directions, and then sand the areas until smooth by hand, using fine or medium-grade sandpaper.
After all the sanding is complete, it’s time to get rid of the dust so it won’t ruin the new finish as it dries. Use a dry rag once, to wipe down the walls and mouldings, then use a damp rag to remove any residue on the mouldings. That way, no dust particles will be falling onto the floor to ruin the new finish.
Let the dust settle, and then use a standard shop vacuum with a dust filter to get rid of the remaining dust. You can then use a tack cloth to pick up the remaining dust particles. Remember to use new tack cloths when needed, for maximum effectiveness.
Finishes For Your Hardwood Floor
The finish you decide to use will affect the look of your floor as well as its durability. Here are the best choices to consider:
- Varnish: This comes in different lustres, from glossy to matte. A higher gloss makes the surface more durable. Varnish darkens with age, but the good thing is that you can spot repair it.
- Polyurethane: Polyurethane, whether water or oil-based, is available in different degrees of lustre, and usually has a plastic look. Both types can darken or yellow wood, but there are also newer water-based types that won’t darken as much. It’s highly recommended that you use poly finishes for high-moisture and high-traffic areas. If the finish is nicked or gouged, however, keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to spot-repair.
- Penetrating sealer: If you want a natural-looking finish that will bring out the wood’s grain you should use a penetrating sealer. If waxed, it can offer very good protection for the wood. It’s, however, not as durable as varnish or polyurethane. On the upside, it’s the easiest to spot-repair among the three.
To prevent the wood surface from absorbing moisture, you should seal the floor on the same day you sanded it. For amazing results, use a sheepskin applicator to apply the stain (if desired), and then apply a sealer. When applying the sealer, you should be careful to avoid applying too much but ensure that you use enough to evenly cover the entire surface. Keep in mind that any excess sealer will not soak into the wood. It will pool on the surface, leaving an ugly mess.
Refinishing the floor
Once the sealer is completely dry, follow the steps outlined below:
- Use fine steel wool to buff the floor
- Remove the dust by vacuuming as well as using a tack cloth
- Apply the first two coats of floor finish or finish wax while following directions on the container for the recommended drying time
- Lastly, apply the final coat
Renewing the look of your floor is not a hard thing to do, as long as you have the necessary equipment and supplies. With the information in this article, you should find it easier to give your floor a new and shiny look. If you are not certain that you can handle the project, it’s advisable that you hire a professional, to avoid ruining the look of your floor.
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