How Can You Remove Polyurethane?

can-remove-polyurethane Credit: PhotoAlto/Ale Ventura/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images

Polyurethane breaks down after some time and requires you to refinish your wooden floors. One of the most important steps in the refinishing process is effectively removing the old layer of polyurethane. Avoid the possible hassles of removing polyurethane and protect yourself as well as your floors with these steps. This task requires polyurethane stripper, rubber gloves, safety goggles, a fan, a scraper, a sander and a paintbrush.

  1. Prepare for stripping

    Protect yourself from the strong polyurethane fumes. Equip yourself with rubber gloves and safety goggles, open the windows and doors, and blow a fan in the room.

  2. Apply polyurethane stripper

    Use a paintbrush to apply the polyurethane stripper to the wooden floor with even strokes. Make sure that you use an ample amount of polyurethane, but do not overapply. You may see the stripping effects almost immediately upon application.

  3. Remove the polyurethane

    Allow the stripper to soak into the wood floor for at least five minutes. Use a metal scraper to remove the polyurethane finish from the floor. Reapply the stripper to problem areas and repeat the process if needed.

  4. Return the floor to a completely bare state

    Use a sander to remove any leftover polyurethane traces. Sanding is also essential to provide a smooth surface for reapplication or painting. An effective sanding along with a final sweeping brings the floor back to its original state.