Refinish Wood Floors

How to Refinish Wood Floors


Before taking on the task of renovating the appearance of your wood floors, it’s important to know how to refinish wood floors, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional. In this way you can ensure that it is being done correctly.

Note – a DIYer can take on refinishing natural hardwood flooring (solid), but engineered wood floors, because of their layered construction may best be left to a professional.

Some of the first steps toward refinishing wood floors are obvious, such as removing furniture, sweeping, damp mopping, and allowing the wood flooring to dry. The next step is to ensure that you have the proper tools and equipment to get the job done without a lot of stops and starts.


To refinish a wood floor, you’ll need some basic yet very necessary equipment that includes hand and power sanders, extra packs of sandpaper squares for hard to get to areas with sanding blocks. Do be aware that some power sanders, including detailing sanders, may cause gouges or grooves in the wood depending on its age and condition. For tight spots or corners, opt for folding a sandpaper sheet into manageable squares and take your time.

Note – don’t forget to buy a supply of air masks to reduce inhaling dust and sanding debris. A pair of clear work goggles are also recommended to protect your eyes.

The Sanding Process

Refinishing the wood floor requires sanding old varnishes, sealers, and wood stains off the old flooring. Before you start, remove baseboard molding, tap in any exposed nail heads, and if removing old carpet, make sure all staples and pieces of padding are removed.

You can rent a large, orbiting sander (ideal for flat floors) or drum sander (for less than flat floors) or start sanding by hand with a rougher grid sandpaper. Test a small area with a fairly rough 40-grit sandpaper to make sure it doesn’t damage the floor. Sand in the direction of the wood grain, not against it! Smaller, narrower edges such as along baseboards or around corners can be sanded with a small hand-held block sander or by hand, using the same grit sandpaper.

After the first pass in the room, sweep the floor free of dust and debris. If necessary, sand again, using a finer grit sandpaper. A 60-grit is recommended for this pass (the higher the number of the grit, the finer the sanding capability). This pass should be effective in removing any leftover stain. After this pass, sweep and then vacuum the floor, using a hose attachment to get into the corners and around the edges.

Make a final pass using 100-grit sandpaper, which should leave the floor feeling smooth. Sweep, vacuum, and mop the floor. On your hands and knees, sweep your fingers across the floor. Any rough areas can be sanded down with 120-grit sandpaper, again working with the grain of the wood.

Finally, you’re ready to stain!

When you know how to refinish wood floors, you’ll find the job easier to tackle, and with patience, achieve excellent results. ProSand Flooring in Indianapolis is excellent at refinishing hardwood floors, but you may also check out their vinyl flooring in Indianapolis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *