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Can Hardwood Flooring Be Refinished?

Unlike most hardwood flooring types, floors can be revived to its previous, appealing look. All you have to do is a good refinishing job. More often than not, most people result in sanding the wood, then proceed to refinish it. In most cases, this approach might not bring the desired outcome, hence the reason most woodworkers result in refinishing the hardwood floors. 

 As the woodwork ages, it loses the cluster, and the once clear coating now becomes scuffed, dull or scratched.

Refinishing the hardwood flooring will help you remove those unsightly marks and scratches. Hardwood flooring can sustain up to 10 or 12 wholesome sanding and refinishing processes in its entire lifespan. As for engineered flooring, it will either sustain one or two refinishing jobs, depending on the hardwood veneer’s thickness. Although refinishing hardwood flooring is the best option, slight damage can be concealed by adding a new coat over the old finish, such as a polyurethane finish.

Considering Recoating? - Here’s All You Need to Know

First and foremost, recoating can work different flooring types- be it solid hardwood flooring, laminated hardwood flooring, and parquet hardwood flooring. However, a new coating of poly might not adhere to your prefinished hardwood flooring. First, your floor finish might be the conventional design finishes of varnish, wax, or shellac. Note that poly cannot stick to a previously waxed surface, but might stick to the unwaxed shellac or varnish finishes. However, these antique finishes are prone to wear, thus the beat alternative is sanding.

Waxing restores the flooring’s shine. Wax is quite easy to work with, but it might not be the best if you are looking for a durable finish. You might need to renew the waxing every six months. I’m not saying that poly offers the best adhesion properties since residues from furniture polish, wastes, household chemicals, insecticides, etc. might interfere. Regardless of the flooring type, you should test for adhesion before opting for recoating.

Step-by-Step Guideline on Refinishing Hardwood Flooring

Are you ready to start your refinishing project? Note that as with any woodworking project, most of the time is spent on preparation. Note that the refinishing job is quite noisy and dusty. So, you might need to wear goggles, dust masks, respirators, and ear protection. Also, seal the doorways to prevent the circulation of dust throughout your house. Other tools you might need include putty knife, knee pads, bucket, paintbrush, shop vacuum, rags, and roller trays.

Step 1: Clean the Floor

You should start by removing all furniture and spray the flooring with a hardwood floor cleaner. An alternative to this might be diluted vinegar (1:10). Gently wipe off the sprayed floor with a mop- you can also wrap a towel on the broom and use it to rub. When sanding, as highlighted earlier, you have to make sure all doors and windows are closed.

Step 2: Prep Your Perimeter

Use the 180-grit sandpaper to hand-sand the room’s perimeter and any closed areas you can reach. It would be best if you rubbed the sandpaper along the grain (4-6 inches) until the polish turns dull, and you are left with a powder. Avoid using a sanding block during this refinishing job as it might result in an unevenly scrapped floor.

Step 3: Scuff-sand the Finish

Ensure you wear a dust mask during this activity. Stick that maroon buffing to the buffer and waiver it from side-to-side along the grain, making sure it overlaps by 6 inches. As you move it along the hardwood flooring, this old finish turns to powder, making it easy to see the covered and uncovered areas. Maintain the buffer in motion, only stopping to vacuum the pad.

Step 4: Track and Vacuum

After scuffing-sand the finish, you should let the powdered finish settle for about 10-15 minutes. Use a clean filter for your vacuum cleaner, and use it to sweep the floor clean. Work along the strips of your floor, then across to wipe off any remaining powdered dirt. Lastly, use a microfiber along the wood’s grain to dry-tack the hardwood flooring.

Step 5: cut-In along the Floor’s Edges

Ensure your mouth and nose are covered with a natural respirator. As for the feet, wear shoes. Put some small portion of your finish into a container and brush stripe beside the baseboards. Leave it for about 10 minutes before proceeding for the next step after achieving the lap marks on the edge.

Step 6: Roll Out Your Finish

There are various finishes you can select for your floor. The factors to consider on your select polish include the aesthetic properties and durability. Some of the typical polishes include:

Polyurethane- poly comes in multiple luster degrees, either water or oil-based, and has kind of a plastic aestheticism. Regardless of the form, this finish will yellow or darken the wood, but recent developments have seen products that do not cause that much wood darkening. Poly finish is quite durable and convenient for areas collecting high moisture and supporting high traffic. One con of poly is that spot-repairing gouges become difficult.

Varnish: Varnish finish can be in glossy or matte form. A higher gloss is more durable than a light one and will darken as it ages. Unlike poly, varnish works perfectly for spot repairs.

Penetration Sealer: The penetration sealer is aesthetically appealing as it brings out a natural look, displaying the wood’s grain. When waxed, the penetration sealer can be quite durable but not as much as poly and varnish. On the upside, it is the best for spot-repairs.

It would be best if you used a roller to apply an even finish of 2-3 coats. Remove the excess polish to avoid leaving ugly spots and achieve an even, appealing look. Also, make sure you maintain it along the grain. Applying the polish should be done immediately you finish sanding to avoid re-absorption of moisture by the wood. Leave the polish for about a week before placing furniture.

So, can hardwood flooring be refinished? Yes, if you read through this article, it explains all you need to know about hardwood floor refinishing. Refinishing enables you to restore a damaged or old flooring. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to change the color of your stained solid hardwood flooring.

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