When we moved into our home, the first thing I knew needed to go was our wood floors. The original owner had installed pine wood floors throughout.
The problem with pine floors is every time you move anything across them; they show a mark. Therefore, I’m not a huge fan.
My husband and I discussed ripping them out and putting a different style floor, but I’m not one on wasting perfectly good floors.
I figured if I could refinish them, I could potentially learn to like them over time. I set out to do wood floor refinishing, and here’s how I went about it:
- A good quality vacuum
- Clear coat
- Rollers and pans
1. Clean, Clean, Clean
Any time you’re going to make changes to a floor, you must begin with a clean surface. Therefore, pull out your high-powered vacuum and suck up any dirt which may be on the floor.
Be sure you get into the corners and any crevices where dirt likes to hide. When you’ve cleaned the floor as much as possible, go over it one more time for good measure.
Any particles which are left will get stuck in your new stain. Therefore, cleaning is an important step.
Also, this would be an excellent time to make sure you know the boundaries for the floors you’re working on. Make sure you have a valid line where you’re to start and stop to keep a DIY catastrophe from happening.
Once your area is clean to start the project, and you know the boundaries of the project you’re good to go.
2. Grind it Out
Once your surface is clean, it’s time to put your sander to work. The size sander you will need, depends on how large the area is you are refinishing.
Since I prefer to minimize my budget in any way I can, I chose to use what I already had on hand. Either way, go over the floors with a sander.
The idea is to make sure you remove any previous clear coat, stain, and smooth out any areas which may have rough spots.
When your floor is smooth and back to the natural color, put your sander down. Be sure to change the sandpaper on the sander when it begins to look smooth.
It won’t be as effective as a fresh piece. Pay attention to this, or it could make the job last much longer than anticipated.
3. Cleaning Round Two
After you’ve sanded the floor, it’s time to get moving on cleaning the floors again. This time the cleaning is even more critical.
Pull out your high-powered vacuum again. Go over each part of the work area to be sure you’ve removed any dust particles.
When cleaning my floors for DIY projects, I use my Shop-Vac. It has great suction power and is meant for more heavy-duty projects.
If you don’t have a Shop-Vac (aka wet/dry vac), you can use your regular vacuum. Be sure you clean the canister regularly to remove the tiny dust particles.
When you feel confident you’ve sucked up as much dust as you can, go over the area again for good measure.
Put your vacuum away and get ready to be artistic.
4. Choose Your Color
Choosing the color is certainly one of the more fun parts of this project. You get to choose the color of the stain for your floors.
A few good things to remember are:
- Darker floors show more dirt
- Lighter stains help hide some dirt
- Larger rooms can get away with a variety of stains
- If you go too dark in a small area, it’ll make it feel smaller
Considering we downsized when we moved to our new home, I knew I needed to go with a lighter stain to help make my area feel bigger.
Plus, we get a good deal of traffic through the central area of our home. I need something I can sweep once a day, and it looks clean all day.
If I went with a darker stain, the dirt would show. Quite a problem when you have three boys, a husband, and a dog which roams about your home.
Choose the correct color of stain for your home based upon your needs. When you’ve chosen the desired stain, place it in a paint pan. Use a roller with an extended handle (to save your back.)
Roll the stain over your floors evenly. Be sure you note how much pressure you’re putting on each part of the roller to avoid darker streaks in some areas and lighter streaks in others.
When you’ve coated the floor with stain, place a fan over the area and allow it some time to dry. When the stain no longer has a sticky feeling, it’s dry enough to finish the job.
Be sure to rinse your roller out, pour any remaining stain back into the can, and throw the paint pan away.
5. Time to Protect Your Work
This last step is simple but is vital to protect the work you’ve put into your floors. A clear coat will give your floors the shine they need but will also protect them from mud or liquids (which may end up on them) from unintentionally staining them.
Use a new paint pan to pour the clear coat in. Either use a clean roller or the roller which has now dried. Apply the clear coat evenly over the stained floors.
Place a fan in a position to where it can blow air over the wet floors and give them time to dry. When the floors have dried, add a second coat of the clear coat.
Allow the floors to dry again. From here, you may decide how many coats your floors need beyond the second.
Some floors will have a subtle sheen to it, letting you know they have ample protection. Some may still seem rather dull.
In those cases, go ahead and add more than two coats. It’s a personal call at this point. Once the clear coats have all been applied, allow the last application to dry.
From there, you can go back to using your floors as normal. I wouldn’t put any furniture or rugs on the floor until you no longer feel the sticky feeling of the clear coat.
The floors should feel smooth. This will keep you from accidentally smudging them. When you feel confident everything is dry, go ahead and place your rugs and furniture back over the floors.
This whole process will unlock the hidden beauty of your old worn, wooden floors. For me, it was a cost-effective solution to improve my old, dingy pine floors and give them a new look I love.