How To Refinish Hardwood Floors - Do It yourself

Before you find out how to refinish hardwood floors, you should first decide whether your floor really needs a refinishing job or not. A good way to gauge if it does or not, is if drops of water soak into the floor slowly, then you can get by with some simple cleaning and polishing. However, if they soak in right away, then that is when you need a total refinish. If the floor is damaged, you should make repairs first before refinishing it.


You will need to do some preparations first, before starting your hardwood floor project, and even before learning how to refinish hardwood floors. If you make the proper preparations first, then other parts of your refinishing project, especially the sanding part, will be a lot easier to accomplish.

Empty the whole room. Remove the furniture, rugs, wall hangings, and everything else. Next, cover the light fixtures with a trash bag and secure it with masking tape. After that, tape every opening and isolate the room by sealing the door. You should then check if there are nail heads sticking out of the floor. Pound them down if you see any because they could tear the sandpaper. The last thing you need to do is vacuum the floor to remove debris and dirt.


An important thing to know when gaining knowledge on how to refinish hardwood floors is that the sanding process is the most essential part of the refinishing project. It brings back the grain of the floor, achieving its original look. By cutting the floor using different abrasives, the old finish is removed and the floor is smoothed out for the new finish. The whole process is done using a drum sander, a tool that most homeowners do not have. You will need to go to the nearest rental store to rent the equipment.

Sanding Equipment

If you are going to use the drum sander for the first time, it is important that you practice on a piece of wood to avoid making mistakes on your hardwood floor. You can also practice in an area that will be covered by furniture. You should be careful not to leave it standing while running. It can damage the floor in just a matter of seconds.

Sanding Process

Choose a sandpaper type to clip onto the sander. The smaller the number, the rougher the sandpaper will be. You should start with a 20-grit or 36-grit in order to remove more material. Remember to vacuum the surface after every sanding. Once you've achieved the desired texture, sand the floor with a finer grit to make it even smoother.

Applying the Stain

Staining will add a new look and texture to your hardwood floor. You just have to follow the directions on your chosen stain or sealer. Before applying the stain, be sure to test a small area so you will know how it will actually look like on the whole floor. If you have to apply a second coating, wait until the first coating on the floor is dry.

Hardwood Floor Refinishing Tips

There are a few more tips that you can incorporate into your refinishing project, aside from the ones mentioned above on how to refinish hardwood floors. To minimize the spread of dust, you can hang wet bed sheets over the doorway. To make the sanding portion of the project easier, wear comfortable clothes, a dust mask and/or eye protection, and a respirator. Lastly, do all of the preparations before you rent a sander, so it does not get in the way while you are cleaning the area.

Date Created: 21-Oct-2011
Last Updated: 18-Sep-2013
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