How to Finish a Hardwood Floor

August 4, 2020 by No Comments

In order to work on prefinished hardwood floors, you need a good knowledge of the process. If you are planning to finish your hardwood floor, you need to plan ahead of time with step by step instruction, necessary materials, and tools for the project.

Here’s finishing hardwood floor instructions with cost tips to save you money. Oscillating or drum sander can be rented from local home improvement stores.

NOTE: Use personal protective equipment like safety goggles, dust mask, and ear plugs.

Floor Preparation

Before you start working on hardwood floors, it is very important to carefully inspect the floor for loose or potruding nails and squeaks. Use claw hammer to countersink potruding nails.

  1. Remove furniture from the room and wrap all hanging lights and ceiling fans.
  2. Create dust barrier to adjacent rooms by isolating it using plastic sheet.
  3. To draw dust outside, place a square or box fan in a window.
  4. Using small pry bar, remove all build up debris and shoe molding.
  5. If there is any holes on the floor, use wood filler to fill.

Sanding Hardwood Floors

Depending on the floor conditions, sanding hardwood floors may require oscillating or drum sanders. If the floor just need minor uplift finishing, oscillating sanders will do the job. Drum sanders are best for major floor uplift. Handheld electrical sander will be needed for reaching corners and other unreachable spots.

  1. Starting with lower grit, place sand paper on the floor. (Read manual on how to use sander)
  2. Sanding over an area about 3 feet by 4 feet, move the sander evenly across the floor.
  3. To avoid clogged sandpaper, do not keep oscillating sander in one place for a ling time.
  4. Periodically, remove any debris from the sandpaper or replace with a new sandpaper.
  5. Using handheld electrical sander, sand floor corners and under obstacles surfaces.
  6. Vacuum the entire floor before changing from rougher to finer sandpaper grit.
  7. Once the wood sanding is complete, perform thorough vacuum of entire floor and dust off.

How to Apply Polyurethane Varnish

Finishing hardwood floors is easy but very important step on refinishing a hardwood floor process. Pay close attention to polyurethane drying time. It is very important you let the varnish dry completely before applying successive coat.

  1. Make sure your prefinished hardwood floor does not need additional sanding.
  2. Check the floor and if necessary, re-sand any spots and vacuum it again.
  3. If you want to, apply wood stain or clear sealer. Select between water-based or oil-based sealer.
  4. Using lambswool applicator, apply polyurethane varnish evenly following board’s grain direction.
  5. Let the floor dry before applying the next varnish coat. Polyurethane varnish drying time is very important in this step.

Tools You Will NeedMaterials You Will Need
Shop vacSandpaper
Nail SetPaint tray
Pry barWood filler
Putty knifeWindow fan
Claw hammerPlastic sheets
Handheld electrical sanderPolyurethane varnish
Oscillating or drum sanderLamb’s wool applicator
 Wood Stain or Sealer