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When there is damage to your hardwood floor, whether the finish has been scraped away or worn down in high traffic areas, refinishing can return it to its original beauty. Although it sounds like a major home repair, refinishing your floor can be easily done yourself in a couple of days, without the cost and nuisance of contracting.

The first step in the process is preparing the area to be refinished. Remove everything setting on the floor, furniture, rugs, ect. Also, remove the shoe molding, setting it aside to put back on when you are finished. This will permit edge sanding without damage to the baseboards. Check the floor for any places that are not flat surfaces such as protruding nails. These will have to be pulled or sank into the floor and loose boards must be nailed down.

Use a drum sander with coarse sandpaper to remove the original finish. When you start the machine, tip it back so the drum clears the floor and then lower it slowly to prevent it from scarring the wood. Sand with the grain, overlapping areas you have already sanded on each pass.

Once the old finish has been stripped away, switch to a finer grade of sandpaper for the sander and pass over the room once again. Switch to a floor edger to remove the finish near walls or on stairs and use a hand sander in corners and other hard to reach or delicate areas. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean the floor of any dirt or sawdust. Once the floor is smooth and free of debris put on one layer of penetrating sealer, wait 24 hours and apply a second coat. Wait 3 days before applying a liquid or paste (never water) wax for hardwood floors using a soft cloth. Buff it with an electric polisher and repeat, finishing the job by replacing the shoe molding and returning furnishing to their former positions.