Tools and supplies
To refinish a hardwood floor, you will most likely need a combination of the following tools and supplies: floor buffer, terry-cloth mop, microfiber cloth, vacuum with a felt-bottomed attachment, long-handled roller with a nap cover, dust mask, respirator, and surface sealer or penetrating sealant.
Procedure for refinishing the floor
Remove all of the furniture from the room. If possible, close the doors and windows to keep the dust contained in one room. Clean the hardwood floor with a terry-cloth mop and a hardwood floor cleaner or a water and vinegar mixture.
After cleaning the hardwood floor, hand-sand areas of the room that will be tough for the buffer to reach. Rub with the grain four to six inches out from the base board, working until the finish becomes dull and a powder starts to form. Using the buffer, work your way across the hardwood floor, moving the buffer continuously from side to side in the direction of the grain. Overlap each pass by about six inches. This will be extremely dusty and a dust mask is highly recommended. Stop every few minutes and vacuum the pad. After the room has been buffed, use a felt-bottomed attachment on a vacuum cleaner to remove the dust. Then use a microfiber cloth to dry-tack the floor.
Before applying the finish, cover your nose and mouth with a respirator and cover your shoes with booties. Brush the finish on in 10 minute increments, being careful to apply an even coat. Continue until you have covered the entire hardwood floor. If you need to apply a second coat, wait about three hours before doing so. Let the finish cure for a week before you move the furniture back into place.
Types of hardwood floor finishes
There are several types of sealers you can apply to your hardwood floor. A surface sealer offers a protective coating over the hardwood flooring, creating a barrier between the wood and the natural elements. In comparison, penetrating sealants soak into the wood and fill the pores in order to protect them.
Surface Sealers include:
Shellac. Shellac is versatile and neutral and offers a desirable gloss aesthetic.
Varnish. Modern varnishes use synthetic resins as opposed to vegetable oils.
Lacquer. Typically a sprayer is used to apply lacquer, which dries very quickly.
Polyurethanes. Polyurethane products are ideal for a high gloss finish that is hard and durable.
Wax. A wax finish soaks into the pores and hardens like a penetrating finish but leaves a top layer like a surface finish, offering the best qualities of both types of sealers.
Penetrating Sealants include:
Tung and linseed oils. Both tung and linseed oils are finish and sealers as well as drying oils, which means that they absorb air and harden as they cure. Tung has a light amber shade while linseed is slightly darker.
Danish oil. Danish oil is a tung oil and varnish mixture. It is more durable than oil and less harmful to the environment than varnish. It leaves a quick-drying satin sheen.
Hardwood floors with surface finishes should be swept, dust mopped, or vacuumed regularly, following the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations. When routine cleaning does not restore the shine any longer, apply a new surface finish coat. The amount of foot traffic will determine how often you must re-apply the finish to the hardwood floor.
For penetrating and wax finished floors, vacuum or dust mop regularly and use a floor buffer to retain the shine. Depending on the traffic level, a properly maintained hardwood floor will need re-waxing once or twice a year.
If you have more questions or need more professional advice on refinishing your hardwood floors, Gowdy Flooring is your go-to resource. We specialize in wood, carpet, stone, tile, and laminate flooring. Gowdy Flooring and our professional staff is here to help you with all your flooring needs. Click here to send us an email, or for more information go to About Us. Give us a call at (806) 353-6226, or stop by our showroom at 5205 S. Coulter St. in Amarillo to learn more.