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How To Refinish a Hardwood Floor

When your hardwood floor's appearance is no longer improved by floor wax, it is time to sand the wood down and refinish it. The steps are summarized here.


  • Step 1: Polish the floor with an electric floor polisher, stain it, and then apply a floor finish.
  • Step 2: Repeat steps three, four, and five with a finer grade of sandpaper.
  • TIP: Buff the floor before applying a second coat of floor finish.
  • Step 3: Wait two or three days for the finish to harden before waxing.
  • FACT: The Boston Celtics basketball team played home games on a parquet floor for over 50 years.
  • TIP: Make your own putty by mixing some of the wood dust with sealer.
  • Step 4: Vacuum the floor when you are finished sanding. Fill any cracks with wood putty.
  • Step 5: Nail down any loose floor boards with a hammer. Also check for protruding nails.
  • TIP: Cover cabinets and appliances. Leave windows and outside doors open for ventilation.
  • Step 6: Fit the drum sander with coarse sandpaper, and sand the floor along the grain.
  • TIP: Keep the sander moving at an even rate to prevent gouging. If you gouge the wood, work back and forth over the spot until it blends with the rest of the wood.
  • Step 7: Use the disk sander along edges, and sandpaper wrapped around a wood block in hard-to-reach areas.
  • Step 8: Remove everything you can from the floor and seal off the rest of the house from dust.

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