How To Refinish Hardwood Floors

Posted on: 18 August 2017

Wood floors are beautiful and can be long-lasting if cared for properly. Hardwood floors can be refinished if they are worn or scratched. Refinishing your hardwoods is a pretty big job, so if you aren't sure about handling this job yourself, you may want to leave it to a professional home remodeling company instead. See below for instructions on how to refinish hardwoods if you think you can tackle the job.

Here's What You'll Need:

  • Orbital sander & sandpaper
  • Painter's tape
  • Roll of paper
  • Shop vacuum
  • Broom
  • Stain
  • Long-handled roller
  • Rags
  • Respirator
  • Protective eye wear


  1. To start, remove everything from the room where you will be working. This will be a messy job, as dust particles will be flying all over your house. You may want to use plastic across doorways and cover up any vents in the room. Also be sure to remove any baseboards from around the room.
  2. Next, you can begin sanding down your hardwoods. Using an orbital sander is the best way to do this. You can rent one of these from your local tool rental shop. Be sure to listen to the instructions on how to use this piece of equipment.
  3. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper to remove polyurethane and stain, and to buff out scratches. Work from one end of the room over to the other. In order to get corners of the room, or close to the wall you can use a smaller palm sander.
  4. When you're finished with the entire room, you'll go over the floor again using fine grit sandpaper to even out and buff out the floor.
  5. You'll have plenty of sanding dust around the room, so you'll need to use the shop vacuum to vacuum up the dust. Get up as much dust as you can up from your floors, allow it to settle, then vacuum again. 
  6. When you have all of the dust removed, you can move on to staining your hardwoods.
  7. Put tape and either plastic or paper around the room to protect your walls, then begin cutting in the stain (along the grain) along the walls with a foam brush. Have another person wiping the stain in order to rub it into your wood and removing any excess.
  8. Next, use the long-handled roller to roll the stain onto your floors (again, another person should have a rag or cloth to wipe up any excess stain). Work your way from one side of the room to the other, being sure to leave yourself a way out of the room. Continue moving along until you have finished the entire floor.
  9. Allow the stain to set for about 24 hours. If you wish for a deeper stain, reapply the stain again in the same manner as above.
  10. If you are satisfied with the look of your stain, you can apply a coating of polyurethane to give your floors a nice shine and to protect your stain and hardwoods. Follow the manufacturer's directions on the polyurethane for application instructions and drying time.

Hardwood floors are beautiful and can last quite a long time if cared for properly. If your hardwoods are not in good shape, have them removed and replaced by a professional remodeling company.