Refinishing wood floors typically requires the application of new coats of wood finish after clearing away the damaged layers of old finish. Usually there is no reason to clear the finish down to the bare floor, unless the damage goes completely through the present finish.
- Buff and vacuum the floor
Use a buffer to remove most of the old finish, down to a level where scuffs and scratches are no longer present. Vacuum the dust raised by the buffer to create a clean and clear surface for applying the finish. Buff the floor down to bare wood if there is damage extending completely through the finish.
- Apply finish
Apply the first layer of polyurethane finish to the scuffed floor. Use a paint roller to apply the finish, beginning at the edge of the floor and working along its length in a straight line. Place the next line of finish so that it overlaps the first by about an inch. Always work in the same direction, and continue until the floor is completely covered.
- Repeat finish application
Allow the finish to dry, and then apply a second coating to the floor following the same procedure. Water-based polyurethanes take about 3 hours to dry, while oil-based polyurethanes take about 8 hours. Add a third layer of finish if working upwards from a completely bare floor.