How to Sand And Refinish Hardwood Floors Yourself

Sanding and refinishing hardwood floors is often the best way to revive the floor and have it looking nice all over again. Additionally, it caters to the rough movement that brings wear and tear. Sanding and refinishing a hardwood floor is something that needs a lot of care and some level of knowledge. Some prefer staying off it completely by hiring a professional.  It is very possible to sand and refinishes the hardwood floors all by yourself. This is why you should know how to sand and refinish hardwood floors yourself. The look at the end will depend on what you do during the process and how well you do it. It is a process that needs some time though. You will need to keep off the room for about three days for everything to be right back to normal. 

Does Your Floor Need Refinishing? 

Sanding and refinishing hardwood floors depends largely on the state of the floor. The type also does matter. However, one thing that we should note is that an engineering hardwood floor needs a professional for the process. Now, here is how to check if your floor needs refinishing. 

  • Remove the floor air vent  
  • Check for solid wood  
  • If it exceeds 3/4 an inch, the floor needs a refinish (we discuss thickness of various flooring here)

For the engineered hardwood floor, if the layers are visible at the floor air vent, you need to call in a professional to refinish the floor. 

We can also do some tests by dropping some water on the floor.  If the water sips in, that would mean you need some refinishing for the floor. 

After you see the above, it is now time to get down to the main process and get it done. Sanding the whole floor would certainly need a sanding machine. A sanding machine is tricky, especially when we are using it for the first time. This is why we would need to go for an orbital or drum sanding machine. We will also need different grit sandpapers for each round. For the first, preferably, it would be 30-40 grit sandpaper s, for the second, 50-60, and for the third, it would be 70-80. The sanding would take three passes over the whole floor before it is done. 

Process for Sanding and Refinishing:

Clear space for the process 

Clearing the space for this procedure entails getting rid of any obstruction on the way. First, you will need to remove all the household items, the curtains, clear the floor of any dirt, and make sure there are no nails sticking out. Mend all spaces on the floor and make sure it is level enough before cleaning it. 

Clean the floor 

After the floor is clean of any obstructions, we will need to have it cleaned before we can finally settle on the actual process. Cleaning would need a hardwood floor cleaner. You can use some floor cleaning Spray too or some vinegar solution. This makes it easy to see any objects on the floor and remove them or fix places that have not been fixed before the sanding can start. After you make sure that the floor is clean enough, you can now get to the sanding process. 

Sanding the floor 

As we mentioned earlier, sanding the whole floor needs us to have a sanding machine. If you’re doing it for the first time, you should have had some demonstration when renting it and you should preferably choose an orbital one. For the first pass, you will need to attach the coarsest sandpaper. After the machine is ready for the sanding process we can now begin the sanding by passing over the floor in straight lines. Begin to move before switching on the sander. Staying in one position is likely to damage the floor badly. Move the sander gently over the floor in a straight line and evenly. You should also follow the grain of the wood across the room. 

After making the first pass across the room, move over and make the second pass on another line overlapping the first with a few inches. Do this until the whole room is covered. After that, find the same grit sandpaper and attach it to a hand sander and use it to finish off the edges. After that, repeat the procedure about three times but now with the different grit sandpapers. 

After the whole sanding process, a vacuum cleaner would be important for clearing off the dust and leaving the floor clean. This would take some little time and the floor would be ready for refinishing once it is done. When the floor is visibly clean and smooth, take a clean rag and use it to rub in some mineral spirits to the floor. This removes any chemical traces and leaves a clean unfinished floor. From here, the staining can be done to refinish the floor. 

This is the time that is very important in giving your hardwood floor a new look. For staining, you will need the right stain for your floor and a paintbrush. The paintbrush or cloth can be used to apply the stain along the grain, making sure that no part of the floor is left out. Apply the satin gently and evenly covering the whole floor before giving it time to settle and dry. After drying, the floor should be vacuum cleaned well before it can be ready for applying the finishing coat. 

Apply a finishing coat to the floor 

The finishing coat is the final and most important part of the whole process. It needs to be done carefully. Polyurethane coating is the most common one. You can use a paintbrush to apply it on the edges of the house before applying it to the rest of the house. There are two types of coating, the oil-based, which gives a golden yellow finish, and the water-based that finishes off by retaining the wood color. Apy the coat evenly, considering working the way towards the exit. Apply heavier coats where the floor is used most. Leave it to dry completely before it can be used again. 

Final Word

There are so many things to consider when it comes to refinishing the hardwood floor. It should take some time to do it. However, this process is not as complex as it may sound and you can do it on your own. Every step of the process is very important and it should be done carefully if we are to come up with the kind of finish we want. Since sanding the floor seems to be an issue to many people, it was important to learn the whole thing. This is how to sand and refinish hardwood floors yourself and you should try it sometime when you need your hardwood floor being refinished.