A refinished floor can bring a new look to the entire house or a room; however it has to be done very carefully. A slight mistake can be highlighted and can affect the entire look. If you wish to hire a pro for the work, he will charge about $4 per square foot.
If you can do this work on your own, then you will be able to save a lot of money. Here are few tips to help keep your wood floor looking new for a long time..
1. DIY Friendly Sanding Equipment
Random orbital sanders are a preferred choice for the DIY floor refinishing projects. They may take a bit long to remove the older finishing, but do not need much experience, and there are fewer chances that they will damage the floor.
Always make sure that the sander is in leveled position. If you are not careful, then the orbital sander can slip away and cause marking that will be difficult to remove.
2. Be Cautious
Floor sanding and refinishing can create a huge amount of fumes and dust. Always wear a dust mask and earplugs when you are performing tasks such as applying oil-based polyurethane and sealers.
Make sure that you are wearing an eye protection with splash-guards, vinyl or neoprene gloves and NIOSH approved organic vapor respirators.
3. Do Not be Aggressive
Start working with coarse grit abrasives to get rid of scratches and old finishing. Do not use grit that are coarser than 60 as it will only damage the floor. Proceed gradually with abrasives that are finer until you get the smoothness you want.
4. The Corners
While cleaning the floors, people often ignore or forget the corners. Corners are equally important like any other part of the floor. You can use palm sander for areas near baseboard molding, and a scraper to clean areas that a sander can miss. Scrappers will let you get into recesses without making much use of a sander.
5. Guard Against Hair and Dust
When you have finished the sanding work, make sure that you have removed the dust, dirt, and hair by vacuuming and wiping the area. If you find dust or hair on the dried polyurethane, then you can apply another coat. Remove the hair and re-sand the area with abrasive without breaching the stain layer. On re-coating, the mark made by the hair will disappear.
6. Seal The Deal
In most cases, a coat of sealer is not required, but if the floor is taking stain unevenly then this coating will help you in getting an even coat. Make sure that the sealer is applied evenly at all places so that it gives a proper look.
7. Applying The Stain
It is important to apply stain evenly especially over the large places. It may sound an easy task but needs a lot of work. Oil based stains can stay for a long time as compared to water base.
Many people throw the polyurethane all over the floor and then spread it along the place with a wool applicator. It will create a layer that is too thick. So a DIY that you should go for is to use a foam roller to roll the polyurethane. It will form a thin layer and will dry quickly to give a smooth and glassy finishing.
8. Exit Plan
Always begin the work from the place that is exactly opposite to the door from where you wish to exit after the work is finished. On getting close, make a change in the working pattern and start from end walls towards the exit door. Apply a little more poly and wait for it to give self-leveling smooth finishing. Go ahead with uninterrupted work and get the perfect finishing.