Hardwood floors are a highly sought after feature that add character and beauty to any home.
But they can scratch and damage over time, so those lucky enough to have wooden floors need to maintain them.
Refinishing floors can seem like a massive DIY job better left up to the experts. But with the right tools and knowledge anyone can tackle this weekend project and restore their wooden floors to look as good as new.
Step 1 - prepare
Prepare the floor; first remove all furniture including any photos frames or art.
Next repair any areas of damage. This includes nailing down any loose boards with finish nails and knocking in any raised nails. Nails can rip and damage the sander, which is expensive, so it is a good idea to sink them into the floor by about 2mm using a hammer and flooring punch. Then fill in the small nail holes with wood filler.
Step 2 - sand
To sand your wooden floors you will need to hire two machines: a drum sander, this will be used to sand the majority of the floor and an edger, to sand along the skirting boards and the corners.
Tip - measure the room, this will help the rental store staff estimate how many sanding belts and discs you’ll need. They can also recommend the sandpaper grit sizes required.
You will need to sand the floor three times starting with a coarse low grit paper moving through to a fine high grit paper. Begin with a coarse abrasive paper to cut through the finish and into the hardwood, this will remove the major scratches.
Remember to sand with the grain in a slow methodical pattern, sanding against the grain can seriously damage the wood. Continue this process moving through the grit sizes until the wood is smooth. Once you are finished thoroughly clean the dust removing all traces from the room.
Step 3 - finish
Before you begin polishing, find out how much one litre of your finish covers; too little and the finish can flake, to much and it can appear tacky. Begin by using a paint brush to apply the finish around the edge of the skirting boards and door way.
Then use a roller attached to a pole to apply your finish to the body of the room. Start in the corner furthest away from the door and work your way back, rolling one strip at a time with the grain.
Once you start don’t break for a cup of tea, if you stop you will create dry lines which will become very obvious once the floor is complete. Once you are finished allow for it to dry, and then simply enjoy your beautiful hardwood floors.