Hi, y'all! Bama here! When faced with the decision of refinishing your wood floors or replacing them, here are a few questions to ask yourself before breaking out your wallet:
Most importantly: What is your budget? Is there any water damage? You want to make sure your subfloor is still intact and solid (not to mention mold free!).
Are there any warped or missing boards? If so, how many square feet? When looking at minimal square feet you can always hunt for the pieces needed at your local restoration store to feather in.
Has the floor been refinished before? If so, how many times? A floor that is ¾’’ thick can be refinished 4-6 times...and depending on the type of finish you may only need to refinish it every 8-10 years.
Last, but not least, are there pet stains? Honestly, if you have pet stains you almost 99.9% of the time have to replace the boards. I personally haven’t seen anything on the market that can get rid of that mess, but if someone out there has the answer to this issue, PLEASE hit a sister up.
As a big advocate for trying to save everything that is original, I’ll give something Reno CPR unless its beyond repair. This is exactly why I’m a huge Rehab Addict fan! If you're going to keep your floor, keep reading to learn how you refinish it...
Step 1: Prep the Room.
Remove everything from the room. Cover all your light fixtures, switches, electrical outlets, and vents with plastic; be sure to secure with masking tape. You don’t want sawdust getting stuck in any of these.
Step 2: Remove all the shoe molding.
It's not necessary to remove baseboards unless you plan to replace them. Be sure to clean the floor completely before beginning to sand.
Step 3: Start Sanding
Start in the center of the room and work your way around to each side of the room. You want to use a drum sander with at least a 120-grit sandpaper to start. Be sure to sand with the grain of the wood moving in smooth back and forth motions; only overlap each pass 1-2 inches. Never stay in one place too long or you will sand through to the subfloor. Once the main portion of the floor is sanded, you can switch to a hand or edge sander to reach the spots the drum couldn’t reach.
Step 4: Clean up your mess!
After you're finished sanding, vacuum and wipe with a dry cloth before applying a layer of wood conditioner. This step is really important if you are staining pine because otherwise your stain will turn out very uneven and blotchy.
Step 5: Stain & Seal!
Be sure to shake your stain thoroughly before applying evenly over the freshly sanded wood. You want to go at a consistent speed with the grain of the wood in order to prevent streaks from forming. I like to call this stain and ragging! This is where you apply stain with a brush, then immediately go over it with a rag. Now, after all that work, you want to make sure you put an adequate amount of polyurethane to protect your floor. I recommend at least three coasts—anything less and you’ll be right back to refinishing your floor in just a few years.