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Hardwood floors offer a classic look that goes well with a variety of styles and homes. Hardwood flooring is warm, durable, and easy to clean. Over time, water damage, pets, and children can damage and warp the floor. Refinishing the flooring will make the wood look brand-new once again. Follow these steps for do-it-yourself floor refinishing.

Clean the Floor
Move out all of the furniture and thoroughly sweep or dust mop. Make a mixture of one part vinegar to 10 parts water and mop the entire floor. Using a mop fitted with a microfiber towel can help clean the floor without putting too much liquid on the wood. Make sure to seal all windows and doors to prevent dust from entering once the floor is cleaned.

Sanding or Scuff-Sand
Check the floor to see if sanding is needed. If there is no water damage and only minor scratches, sanding won’t be necessary. If this is the case, use a buffer to scuff-sand the floor. Vacuum off the pad every five minutes and continue to buff until the entire floor is done. If sanding is required, a sander will need to be used. The flooring must be sanded until all of the previous finish is removed and vacuumed to remove any dust particles.

Prepare the Edges
The buffer or sander won’t be able to reach the edges of the perimeter. Prepare these by hand by using 180-grit sandpaper. Sand with the grain until the floor looks dull. Afterward, sweep, vacuum, and wipe the floor with a microfiber cloth once more to remove any of the remaining dust.

Stain the Edges
Wear booties, protective gloves, and a respirator before beginning. The refinishing product may have small particles. It is a good idea to strain it to ensure a smooth finish. Begin applying the finish around the baseboards, going approximately three inches out from the boards. Work quickly so that these edges don’t dry before the remainder of the floor is finished.

Roll the Middle of the Floor
Apply finish in straight lines going with the grain of the wood using a long-handled roller. Only work with as much as can be rolled in 10 minutes. Overlap the passes until the room is done. Wait three hours, and then apply one additional coat. After one week, put the furniture back onto the floor.

Don’t let scratched and scuffed hardwood ruin the look of a home. With a little bit of work and patience, hardwood flooring can be made to look brand-new and last for years.