Refinishing Wood Flooring
How do you know it is time to refinish a wood floor? You can do this simple step. Go to the area where the floor is mostly used, your living room perhaps. Get a tablespoon of water and pour it onto the floor. If the water forms beads and can easily be wiped out, there is no need to refinish it yet. Your floor is still in good condition.
If the water that you just poured slowly seeps into the floor and creates a visible spot, it may already need refinishing touches. You may want to keep it in your to-do list and schedule a time when you can do the refinishing. However, if the water seeps in as quickly as you had poured it, then don't waste more time. Your floor definitely needs refinishing, and soon.
Refinishing your wood flooring requires the right equipment such as a drum sander. Other equipment may be needed for other more detailed tasks in the finishing process. You need not buy these, though. Most of the equipment you need is available for rent in your local home shops such as Home Depot or a rental store. You can usually rent them on a daily or weekly basis.
Different grit sand papers are used in the drum sander for different floor types. The lower the grit paper number is, the coarser it is for use on more damaged woods. Once you have chosen the right grit paper, you can start sanding the wood. Suggestion - do the sanding diagonally both ways then along the grain.
Once you are done sanding the whole floor with that procedure, repeat the process again using a finer grit paper (one with a higher number). After sanding the whole floor again, you can now sand the edges using a spinner/edger machine.
Vacuuming is the next step to clean off the sand dusts. Should there be gaps present after the sanding process, fill them in using the sand dust mixed with varnish to form a paste. Then leave the floor alone for some time. After a few hours, repeat the sanding process, this time doing it along the grain with a much finer grit. Do this twice using the highest grit number on the last sanding. After which, vacuum the floor once more and sweep off the sand dust.
Once the floor is dust-free, it is now time to apply the coat of urethane. You will need a roller to do this. Before using the roller, make sure it is clean first using a stiff brush to remove dirt and loose hairs that might get into the finish. The urethane coating can now be applied across the floor grain by strips. Once the whole array of strips is completed, go back to the starting strip and make sure there are no roller marks or urethane build up.
Let the first coating dry for some time. When the coat is completely dry, the next step is to sand the whole floor using an orbital sander. Vacuum and sweep the floor afterwards to remove the dust.
Finally, the second coating can now be applied using the same procedure as the first. When you do the second coating, make sure the sun doesn’t shine through the window to any part of the floor to avoid uneven marks.
Refinishing your wood flooring is a relatively easy do it yourself project as long as you use the right equipment. The rent may be a little costly, but not as expensive as replacing your whole floor.