Whether you are sprucing up your recently completed house or refurbishing an old one, refinishing your hardwood floors is an excellent way to breathe new life into your living space. Hardwood floors are sturdy and durable, but they will eventually succumb to the wear caused by daily foot traffic over time. Luckily, you don’t always need a professional to get this done. If you have a knack for DIY projects, this is a guide to refinishing hardwood floors.
Why would I want to recoat my hardwood floors?
Various scenarios may make hardwood floor refinishing the best option. Some of these include:
It is old
Hardwood floors will eventually show signs of wear and tear. If the wood floor has been around for a while, you may grow tired of its lackluster appearance. Refinishing hardwood floors is an excellent way to get them back looking like their initial self.
It is unfinished
Some types of hardwood floors are available in unfinished, hand-scraped, and prefinished varieties. Unfinished wood will require you to recoat every time it’s sanded down or after some years for your area’s climate conditions. Hand-scrapped wood should be sanded and refinished every time it begins to lose its luster after sanding. Prefinished hardwood floors are not designed for recoating because of their factory-applied finishes, but you can always seek a professional’s assistance in refinishing the hardwood floor if necessary.
It is water damaged
Your wood may have gotten damp or been damaged by moisture. To fix this, you will have to strip away the old finish and recoat with a new one before trying anything else.
What do I need to recoat my hardwood floors?
There are a few items that you will require when getting the task done yourself. You should have:
-A dust mask and eye protection
-Sandpaper (80, 100, and 220 grades)
-Water-based floor finish or oil-base varnish
Optional items include:
-Putty knife or old credit card to apply the polyurethane with a smooth finish
-Dropcloth or tarp to protect your floors
-Cotton rags for cleaning up any excess polyurethane.
How do I prepare my hardwood floor before recoating?
When you want to refinish hardwood floors, be sure to follow the steps below:
Prepare the room
You want to start by getting all furniture and items out of the room. This includes rugs, curtains, and any other obstacles that may get in your way.
Clean the floor
Use a vacuum to remove all dust from your floors. If necessary, use a mop or rag dampened with water mixed with cleaners like vinegar or ammonia. These are good for removing dirt and wood stains due to continuous foot traffic.
Follow this up with a deglosser/stripper
Strippers are great for removing old finishes on bare wood floors to prepare them for recoating. You can find this applied directly to your wood floor by professionals, or you can use a high-quality brush dipped in an oil-based paint stripper. The oil-based product will take the longest to dry, so ensure you have enough time before painting over it with a fresh coat of polyurethane or varnish.
Sand your floor thoroughly
This is done best by professionals as they should know how much sanding your hardwood floors need to create a smooth surface for your new coat of finish. If you choose to do this task yourself, be sure to sand by hand using 80-100 grade sandpaper and follow up with 220-grade grit until the entire floor is completely level and free from deep scratches or blemishes.
Once your floors are prepped, you are ready to refinish the hardwood floors as follows:
-Pour your polyurethane or varnish into a paint tray and use an old credit card (or putty knife) to spread it onto the floor with your chosen applicator. Make sure there is enough product left on the brush for all areas of coverage.
-Allow the product to dry for as many hours as indicated on your can or package. You should be able to walk back onto it within a few minutes, but you may need up to 24-hours of drying time before using any furniture again.
-Recoat flooring and use brushstrokes that go with the wood grain direction to achieve the best results.
-Apply additional coats of finish as needed to get desired color and luster while wiping off any excess stain. This will depend on your climate conditions, so check with a professional if you are unsure how frequently it needs to be done.
-Remember that unfinished wood floors should be recoated every time they lose their shine after sanding. It is best to use a water-based polyurethane or oil-based varnish as these will be the easiest for you to clean in case of any mistakes.
Should I replace or refinish hardwood floors?
If your hardwood floors are faded, chipped, or warped beyond use, you may want to consider having them replaced. However, if they only need a little touch-up, you can easily recoat them yourself to give them a brand new look. There are even brands of polyurethane or varnish that come in colors to enhance the color and shading on your flooring without having to sand down completely.
How much will it cost to recoat my hardwood floor?
The actual price of refinishing hardwood flooring depends on how many coats you will need to apply and what type of flooring is underneath your current finish.
Your Local Hardwood Floor Specialists!
Woodfloor Masters are your go-to guys whenever you need help with your hardwood flooring. We’ll help you find the perfect option for your space and install it. Give us a call or send us an email for a free quote for recoating hardwood floors in Vancouver WA!