Some tips for refinishing wood floors include sanding the floor instead of applying a chemical-based stripper, taking out any obstructions on the floor prior to sanding, staining whole planks at one time, and removing dust from the floor prior to applying a coat of finish. Also, apply several thin finish coats instead of a thick one.
A chemical stripper turns the existing stain and varnish into a liquid state, which then enter into the plank joints. Sanding the floor using an orbital sander with a coarse grit helps to avoid this problem.
Prior to sanding, countersink any raised nails, remove grates and registers, and take out the baseboards or base shoes. This makes sanding easier and permits sanding as near to the wall as possible.
Staining a whole plank at a time ensures even application of stain. This is of particular importance when using water-based stains, as these absorb faster. For longer application times, choose an oil-based stain.
To remove dust from the floor, vacuum it, or wipe it using a tack cloth. Applying several thin finish coats gives the floor a polished appearance. When applying several thin finish coats, wait for the previous layer to dry, buff the floor using 400-microgrit sandpaper, and wipe with a tack cloth before applying the subsequent one. Apply as many finish coats as required.