Distressed hardwood floors have a unique appearance that it is impossible to replicate. If your home has a distressed wood floor, you already know how attractive they can be. However, it is far too easy to accidentally damage the finish on a hardwood floor. Unfortunately, if this occurs it can be necessary to refinish the whole thing. While this process is long and requires a lot of work, it is simple enough that you can do it yourself. If you know what you are getting into, you can have the seal of your hardwood floor back in perfect condition.
Step 1 - Preparing the Area
Before you can do anything, you will need completely unobstructed access to your floor. Remove all furniture and other objects from the area you plan to work in. If your floor is carpeted in any area, you will need to remove the carpet as well. If it is not, simply skip to step 3.
Step 2 - Removing the Carpet
To begin, remove the carpet from your floor. Take out any tacks and staples. Be very thorough, as you will need to have them all out, and it is easy to miss one, especially if your floor is dirty.
Next, you will need to remove the carpet adhesive. There are plenty of commercial carpet adhesive strippers that you can buy at your local hardware store. While the exact procedure will vary from brand to brand, you will usually need to ventilate the area, apply the adhesive stripper, and wait several hours for it to do its work. Once you have done this, you can continue. Consult the manufacturer's instructions carefully before using an adhesive stripper.
Once the stripper has done its job, remove the weakened adhesive with a metal scraper. This may damage the finish on your wood floor, but this is unavoidable.
Finish up by sweeping or vacuuming your hardwood floor. This may reveal more tacks or staples that escaped your notice the first time around. If so, remove them before you continue.
Step 3 - Preparing the Floor
Use your floor sander to sand the floor. Do so using long, straight strokes that cover the entire length of the floor. Keep the floor sander moving as steadily as possible as you do this.
Start out with your heaviest sandpaper. When you have finished sanding the entire floor with it, move on to a lighter grade of sandpaper.
Finish up by using your broom, shopvac, and mop on the floor to remove any debris. Small particles left behind during the sealing process will be trapped, making your finish less attractive and functional.
Step 4 - Refinishing the Floor
Use a cloth to apply your stain of choice to the floor. This may take multiple coats; base your judgment on a combination of the manufacturer's instructions and your own personal opinion on your preferred appearance for the floor. If you need to apply multiple coats, clean the floor between coats to avoid sealing dirt into the finish.
Once you are done applying stain, apply sealer and wait 3 days. You can now move your furniture back into the area.