How to Refinish Wood Floors DIY

Wood floors look fantastic but with such hard treatment in the average home, they can soon become scuffed scratched and discoloured. The good news is that in most cases you don’t need to strip the wood back to bare wood to make your wood floor look like new.  How to refinish wood floors DIY is easy if you have the right equipment and take time to do the job properly.

If the scratches on your floor are not deep, you can sand your wood with a buffer (which you can hire from your local DIY company). Once the sanding has left a natural even color, you can then apply a new coat or two of finish and your floor will look like new.

How to finish hardwood floors DIY successfully, largely depends on your preparation. So, here’s how to do it right!

Your first step is to clear the furniture away and spray the floor with a hardwood cleaner or a solution of white vinegar 10: 1 water to vinegar.

Prepare the edges of the wood by hand sanding the areas where your buffer will not be able to reach.

Then scuff sand the floor with a buffer. To do this, move the buffer from side to side following the grain of the wood. Stop every few minutes and clear the powdered residue away, cleaning the buffer pad with an industrial vacuum cleaner (you can hire this if you don’t already have one).

Once the room is done, leave it for 20 minutes or so to allow the dust to settle. How to refinish wood floors DIY requires time and patience to get the best results so don’t be tempted to skip any steps.

Then vacuum the floor with an industrial vacuum cleaner using a felt attachment. You need to ensure you have removed all powder so go over it again with a broom and finally a microfibre cloth.

To apply the finish, you need to be careful with safety. The fumes can be toxic do use breathing protection and make sure you cover your feet with protective booties to avoid spoiling the finish.  You can apply the finish with a paint brush. You need to strain the finish first and it is best to add to a small container and to do it in stages.

First brush a narrow strip of the Finish next to the skirting boards on the opposite side of the room to the door. Then pour out the Finish in a narrow strip and spread it evenly with a roller. You will need a ¼ inch nap cover for best results.

It is important to spread the finish quickly and evenly because it will dry in around 10 minutes so make sure you overlap each pass you make when it is still wet, or you will find you get a visible line.

Continue in this way until the whole floor is covered, then leave it to dry for around three hours. Once your floor has dried completely you will be able to see then, whether you need another coat.

For more information on household improvements check out This Old House for money saving tips and techniques for carrying out DIY in your home.