Undoubtedly, the best time to refinish the floors is before you even move in. But if you’re past that point, it’s also a good project to tackle in fair weather, when you can open the windows to help ventilate the room. Simply move furniture and fixtures into a garage, screened porch, or covered patio until the finish has set. You can even try to make your renovation project match up with your vacation plans. A few days away, and your floors will once again be ready to walk on when you return.
Floor sanding and refinishing is unforgiving work. Make a mistake and it will show. However, a refinished floor can bring beauty to a room like no other project. To hire a pro to sand, seal, stain, and apply several finish coats of an oil-based poly will cost $4 per square foot, or more. Doing it yourself can save at least half of that. Think you’re up for it? Here are some helpful tips:
1. Choose DIY-friendly sanding equipment
Unless you plan to sand many floors in your lifetime, random orbital sanders are the best choice for do-it-yourself floor refinishers. They take longer to remove old finishes than drum sanders, but they do not require a lot of experience to use and are less likely to damage your floor. With a random orbital sander, you can move with or against the wood grain. Just be sure to keep the sander level at all times. Even an orbital sander can “run away” from you and cause sander markings that are difficult to remove.
2. Watch your back
Avoid back injury when transporting sanders from the rental store to your house (or up stairs) by always having a helper. Use ramps to move the machine whenever possible. Similarly, get help moving heavy furniture out of the room. (It has to be completely emptied before you begin.)
For the rest of the tips on DIY floor refinishing, visit: