Remove Furniture: Clear the room of all furniture and rugs.
Check for Nails and Staples: Ensure all nails are countersunk and staples or tacks are removed to avoid damaging sanding equipment.
Clean the Floor: Sweep and vacuum the floor thoroughly to remove all dust and debris.
Step 2: Sanding
Coarse Sanding: Start with a coarse-grit sandpaper (around 36-grit) to remove the old finish and level the floor.
Edge Sanding: Use an edge sander to reach the areas where the drum sander can’t, like corners and along baseboards.
Medium Sanding: Move to a medium-grit sandpaper (around 50-60 grit) to further smooth the wood.
Fine Sanding: Finish with a fine-grit sandpaper (around 80-100 grit) to achieve a smooth finish.
Detail Sanding: Hand sand or use a detail sander for corners and hard-to-reach areas.
Step 3: Repair and Patch
Fill Gaps: Use wood filler to fill any gaps or holes in the floor.
Let Dry: Allow the filler to dry completely, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 4: Buffing
Buff the Floor: Use a buffer to smooth out any sanding marks and prepare the wood for staining.
Step 5: Cleaning
Vacuum: Thoroughly vacuum the floor to remove all sanding dust.
Tack Cloth: Go over the floor with a tack cloth to pick up any remaining fine particles.
Step 6: Staining (Optional)
Apply Stain: If desired, apply a wood stain using a rag or brush, working in sections and going with the grain.
Wipe Off Excess: Wipe off any excess stain with a clean rag and allow it to dry as per the stain manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 7: Sealing
Apply Sealer: Apply a thin coat of sealer to protect the wood and to prepare it for the final finish.
Dry: Allow the sealer to dry thoroughly.
Step 8: Finishing
Apply Finish: Apply the first coat of your chosen finish (polyurethane, varnish, etc.).
Sanding Between Coats: Once dry, lightly sand the floor with a fine-grit sandpaper or screen.
Clean: Vacuum and tack cloth the floor again to remove dust.
Apply Additional Coats: Apply a second (and third if desired) coat of finish, sanding and cleaning between each coat.
Step 9: Final Touches
Curing: Allow the final coat to cure. The floor should be dry to touch within hours, but avoid heavy furniture and regular traffic for several days to a week.
Reinstall Baseboards: If baseboards were removed, reinstall them after the final coat is dry.
Step 10: Maintenance
Regular Cleaning: Keep the floors clean and free from debris.
Protective Pads: Use felt pads under furniture legs to prevent scratches.
Rugs and Mats: Place rugs or mats at entryways to catch dirt.
Different Finishes Offered
Water-Based Polyurethane: This finish is clear and will resist turning yellow over time. It dries quickly, has a low odor, and is easy to clean up with soap and water. It's also less toxic than oil-based finishes.
Oil-Based Polyurethane: Known for its durability, this finish imparts a warm glow to the wood. It takes longer to dry and has a stronger odor compared to water-based polyurethane. It's also more resistant to scratches and general wear.
Moisture-Cure Urethane: Extremely durable and more moisture-resistant than other finishes, moisture-cure urethane is often used in commercial settings. However, it has a very strong odor and should be applied by professionals.
Oil (Danish or Tung Oil): These penetrating oils soak into the wood to provide a natural-looking finish that enhances the wood's grain. They are easy to apply and maintain but are less resistant to spills and may require more frequent reapplication.