Refinishing Oak Hardwood Floors

A dog lays on hardwood floors.
  • 4-6 hours
  • Advanced
  • 150-300
What You'll Need
20 to 60 grit sandpaper
Hand sander
Putty knife
Long-handled roller
120 grit sandpaper
Wood filler

Oak hardwood floors are one of the things that can make a home seem extraordinary. It has the natural beauty which does not go out of fashion through time and you are adding to the value of your house if you have oak floors installed. However, although oak is known to be very durable, it can lose its shine over time. It needs to be refinished once the polyurethane covering on its surface starts to wear out.

A refinishing job is also important to protect the wood itself from everyday wear and tear. You will only require a weekend to do the job yourself and if you do not possess some of the equipment needed, you can rent it out from your local hardware outlet. Although a bit challenging, the results of your effort will be well worth it.

Step 1 - Prepare the Room

Remove all of the items from the room that has the floor for refinishing. Once the room is free from any obstacle, take out the moldings from the room edges and sweep the floor to make sure that there is no dust around.

Step 2 - Inspect the Floor

Inspect the entire flooring that you will be refinishing. If there are any staples or nails on it, make sure that you are able to remove all of them before doing the refinishing. Nail holes should be filled up with wood putty. Use the spatula to do it. Ensure that you fill out evenly to make the flooring as even as you can. There is no need to sand it since you will be sanding the entire area anyway to remove the old finish.

Step 3 - Prepare the Sander

Take out the instruction manual for the drum sander and assemble it as directed. If the flooring has been heavily worn down, choose 20 grit sandpaper. If the wear is moderate, you can use a 60 grit sandpaper.

Step 4 - Sand the Floor

Sanding should be started from a corner of the room. Move in the direction of the wood grain and allow the drum sander to work for you. Go about the task back and forth until you have the entire area covered. To ensure that everything has been sanded down, overlap each pass by 1 inch.

Step 5 - Sand the Room Edges

Room edges should be sanded down by hand since they cannot be reached by the drum sander. Use the same sandpaper grit that you used on the sander.

Step 6 - Fine Sanding the Room

After you are done with sanding the edges of the room, repeat the sanding process for the entire room, but this time, use a 120 grit sandpaper. This will be your preparation for the staining.

Step 7 - Clean the Floor

To remove the dust that resulted from sanding, sweep and vacuum the entire area. Never use water on the bare wood.

Step 8 - Stain the Floor

Take a rag and the stain color of your choice and work it over the entire floor area using a circular motion. Ensure that you have the room properly ventilated as you do this as the stain fumes can be toxic. Allow the stain to dry for 6 hours minimum.

Step 9 - Apply Polyurethane

To protect the wood and show its luster, apply a coat of polyurethane. Apply the chemical using a roller with a long handle. Allow the first coating to dry for 6 hours before applying a second coating.