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Tips for Refinishing Hardwood Floors

By Karen Lawson
Tips for Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful, durable, and never go out of style. However, you may need to refinish your hardwood floor to bring back its original luster.

Refinishing hardwood floors is a large project that should be done with the proper tools, know-how, and lots of patience. Following these steps can save you time, money, and frustration.

Check the floor

Newer hardwood floors may not be thick enough to withstand refinishing. When restoring hardwood floors, make sure your floor is at least 3/4 inch thick to survive sanding.

Have the Right Tools

You'll need drum and belt sanders, sandpaper, a hammer, a pry tool (crow bar), masking tape, plastic sheeting, and a sealing or stain product.

Prepare

Remove everything from the room. Cover light fixtures with plastic. Doors should be sealed with masking tape and plastic sheeting. Remove any shoe molding, but baseboards can be left intact. Vacuum thoroughly.

Safety First

Refinishing and sanding hardwood floors involves lots of noise and dust. Protect your ears and eyes with earplugs and goggles, and use a respirator while sanding.

Use Sanders Properly

Because sanding is required when restoring a hardwood floor, it's a good idea to practice sanding on a sheet of plywood, or to choose a practice area that won't be visible. Keep the sander moving and overlap passes by an inch or two on each side. Sanding mistakes cannot be fixed -- slow and steady is the way to go.

Finishing

Apply your chosen stain or finish according to directions, and make sure it is absolutely dry before replacing your furniture -- don't risk ruining your hard work.

Clean-up

Vacuum two or three times and use a dry-damp cloth to remove traces of dust.

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