Ask Our Experts

Answers to your questions about gardening, energy, homesteading and other sustainable living topics.

Add to My MSN

How to Refinish Wood Floors (Video)

9/25/2013 2:12:00 PM

Tags: refinish wood floors, best wood stain, wood floors, DIY, Steve Maxwell

How can I make a worn wood floor look new again? Can I avoid heavy sanding and starting from scratch?

Sunlight, dents and foot traffic can all take their toll on a wood floor, causing it to appear worn and resulting in reduced stain color. But with a few key supplies, you can revive worn wood flooring without heavy-duty sanding.Wood Stain (See below for an instructional video on how to refinish a worn wood floor.)

How to Refinish Wood Floors

Start refurbishing your floor by finding a wood stain that matches the color of your existing floor. If you can’t find an exact match, choose a color that’s slightly darker. Experiment with the stain by rubbing it into a 1- or 2-square-foot area to see how it looks. The best wood stain I’ve found for this job, Minwax PolyShades, is actually a stain and sealer combination.

Stained floors need some kind of protective coating over the stain. The easiest coating to apply is oil-based urethane with a satin sheen, but — just as you did with the stain — you’ll have to experiment with the product before coating the entire floor. You don’t want to find out later that your urethane is incompatible with your stain, which would cause it to peel and pucker. Apply two coats of urethane over the 1- or 2-square-foot section of floor you stained, and then live with it for a week.

If both the wood stain and the coating are compatible with the wood, you can tackle the whole floor. Start by giving the wood a light sanding with 120- or 180-grit sandpaper in a 1/4-sheet finishing sander to roughen any remaining urethane slightly, then vacuum every last bit of dust and dirt off of the floor before rubbing in stain. Wearing rubber gloves, rub the stain everywhere, giving special attention to dented, scratched and worn areas. Let the stain dry for a day, and then apply two coats of the protective urethane (apply the second coat after the first coat dries). If all goes well, you’ll end up with a distressed but elegant floor that looks even better than a freshly sanded floor.

Photo By Fotolia/Razmarinkas: A few supplies and some simple steps will help you make your worn wood floor look beautiful again.


Contributing Editor Steve Maxwell has been helping people renovate, build and maintain their homes for more than two decades. “Canada’s Handiest Man” is an award-winning home improvement authority and woodworking expert. Contact him by visiting his website and the blog, Maxwell’s House. You also can follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and find him on . 



Related Content

Woodworking Basics

Learn the basics of woodworking with this book — or buy it for a young friend or family member with ...

Deck Finishing That Works: Products, prep techniques and application strategies from 20 years of experience

Steve shares current results and recommendations from his 20 years of observing and applying deck fi...

Simple, Healthy and Green: Stencil and Paint A Scuffed Wood Floor

Tearing out wall-to-wall carpet is one of the healthiest things you can do. Dress up the scuffed woo...

Restoring a magical woodworking machine

The challenge of refurbishing an ingeniously designed 30-year-old combination woodworking machine wa...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

Silvasiny
11/14/2013 4:49:29 PM
What a post! Narrated stylishly, true thoughts ..."Can you have some spare time to sit back in your chair having your laptop with you and making some money online for some interesting online work “said Jenny Francis in the party last night ....see more what is for you there to increase your pocket money ... .. http://www.bay91.☪om

judym1a
10/12/2013 1:51:58 PM
Hi Steve. Kind of a slant to the question that you answered. We have already sanded and refinished our floor twice over the past 30 years. Can we lightly sand at this point? We also have the additional challenge of accidents our dogs have had during those same 30 years. Any recommendations for us? Thanks.







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.