How to Successfully Refinish Hardwood Floors


Hardwood floors require a lot of maintenance. Over time, your floors may lose their shine because of the consistent foot traffic within your home. Fortunately, professional wood floor refinishing can help you deep clean and restore your hardwood floors. There are several steps you must complete before calling your project a success. There are many tools that you may need such as sanders, pry bars, lots of tape, wood fillers or patches, a spackle foam roller and the required finish. Here is our process for successfully refinishing hardwood floors.

Kitchen with hardwood floor
Used with permission of Lisa Furey Interiors


Empty the room and tape the skirting, the electrical boxes and the vents. Use tape and plastic sheets to cover all the spots you want to protect. Covering the doors is also a good precautionary measure. Start with the base molding. Since you are refinishing you can use small amounts of moldings to prep the floor for further treatment. Simply start with cleaning the floor with a mop. You can use a mixture of baking soda and synthetic vinegar for a good clean. Now use sandpaper to buff the floor before refinishing it. Use small sandpaper as it will give you extra control.


With the help of a spackle, check for main vents and cracks in the floor. Use wooden patches to cover the damages. Use a thin layer for heavily damaged surfaces so that it covers a major area. Cover the patches and then use the sandpaper buff again.


Buffer machines come in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is best that you rent one. Use the buffer machine to buff in circular motions. Turn it off every five minutes as you go and vacuum. This buffing is done in order to remove the finishing or polish that was done before. As you buff, the polish layer will turn into dust leaving a clean and smooth surface to start anew.

Dining room with hardwood floor
Used with the permission of Lisa Furey Interiors


You have to let the floor rest for a minute after buffing. The powder may seem a little overwhelming, but once it is left for 20 minutes it will settle down leaving the floor visible. After that use a conventional vacuum cleaner to sweep the dust. It is great to go linear with the floor as it will help get the dust out. After vacuuming use a microfiber cloth attached to a mopper stand to clean the remains.


Use small brushes as they will give you more grip. Put the varnish in a container and start from the edges first. Start from the corner opposite your door so you do not step over freshly polished floors. It is a great tip to let the individual strokes dry out before you move on as they can leave rough edges.

Living room with hardwood floor
Used with permission of Lisa Furey Interiors

Rolling and Recoating:

Use the roller brush with a quarter-inch nap cover. Spread the finish in a small amount so you can easily spread it out before it dries. Do not let the strokes dry completely and overlap them. Wait 3-4 hours before you start recoating.

Some Health Tips:

Always use an air purifier mask, because the particles from varnish and dust from buffing can be problematic. Also, wear gloves and boots to avoid any skin irritation.

Refinishing the floors will be a time-consuming project and might take weeks before you get to see actual results. However, doing it yourself is extremely rewarding, and you will have the satisfaction of getting exactly what you wanted in the end. Thanks to for consulting on this post.


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