How do you refinish hardwood floors?


Quick Answer

To refinish a hardwood floor, a drum sander and detail sander are required. In addition, masking tape, a plastic sheet, sandpaper, a vacuum, a cloth, protective eye and ear wear, stain and a paintbrush are needed. This project can be completed in five steps.

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Full Answer

  1. Clear the room

    Before beginning, the room must be cleared of all furniture and wall hangings. To protect any light fixtures in the room, cover them with something plastic, such as a trash bag, and secure the plastic with masking tape. Tape all electrical outlets and light switches, and place a plastic sheet over the door to close it off from the other rooms in the house. Vacuum the room before proceeding.

  2. Start with the drum sander

    Starting from the center of the room, move the drum sander to the end of the room and back to the center. Follow this same pattern for the second part of the room, and finish by sanding the center itself. It is important to keep the sander moving at all times, but keep any movements with the tool at a slow pace. Protective eyeware and ear protectors should be worn when using a drum sander.

  3. Sand the rest of the room

    To get to the places that the drum sander could not reach, use sandpaper or a detail sander. The corners, in particular, might require this particular treatment.

  4. Vacuum the room again, and hand sand

    After the sanding is complete, vacuum the whole room. With 120 grit sandpaper, pass over the entire floor again. Vacuum a final time and wipe the floor down with a dry cloth.

  5. Stain the floor

    Once the floor has been wiped down, apply a water-based or oil-based stain with a paintbrush. Make sure that is dries completely before returning any furniture to the room.

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