How to Refinish a Hardwood Floor

Hardwood Floor Refinishing NJ adds value, warmth, and beauty to any home. But, over time, they can become dull or damaged.


Refinishing your hardwood floor is a simple way to revitalize the look and increase durability. The process involves sanding and staining the wood floors.

Before refinishing, remove all furniture and cover up vents and doorways with plastic tarps to keep dust isolated to the room being worked on.

Hardwood floors are beautiful, but they can also be a lot of work to maintain. With high levels of traffic, scratches, dings and stains can happen fast, making your once beautiful hardwoods look dull and worn. Often the best way to restore your wood is to have it refinished. Refinishing is the process of removing the old finish and reapplying it. This is a complex project and not one for the uninitiated. It’s a time-consuming, messy and dusty job and requires an investment in both equipment and professional training.

A sanding machine, a broom and an assortment of other equipment are required for this task. It’s recommended that you hire a qualified contractor who has the right experience to handle this job for you. They will also have the right knowledge of the various machines, products and techniques to ensure that your floors are sanded evenly and properly. This is a critical step in the refinishing process and can leave your floors looking dull if not done correctly.

When you sand your floor, it’s important to follow the grain of the wood, and if you have an uneven surface a leveling compound may be used to even it out. A vacuum attachment is included with many power sanders and is recommended as it will reduce the amount of dust generated. It is also wise to wear protective equipment, including ear protection and goggles to protect yourself from the dust.

Once the sanding is complete, your floor will be ready for staining. A wide range of stain colors are available and the choice is entirely up to you. It is a good idea to select the color of your stain before refinishing, as it’s difficult (if not impossible) to change the color of your hardwood once the flooring has been refinished.

Depending on the type of hardwood and the degree of damage, your floors might need to be resurfaced before being refinished. Resurfacing is much more involved than refinishing and involves replacing the top layer of wood with a new layer. It’s more expensive and takes longer, but can add value to your home and will make your hardwood last for decades.


Staining can be a very time-consuming process, but the results can be absolutely stunning. The stain can breathe new life into the wood and make it the focal point of the room. It can also protect the wood from scuffs and moisture damage, while adding a beautiful color to the grain. If you do your research and consult with the right flooring professionals, this is a great way to change the look of your home without breaking the bank.

Before you start the staining process, it is a good idea to test your color on an inconspicuous area of the floor. This will give you a good idea of what the final result is going to be. You will want to choose a stain that is compatible with your hardwood and the species of the wood. It is also important to consider the lighting in the room, as this will affect how dark or light the stain will be once it is finished.

Once the floor has been sanded, it should be thoroughly vacuumed and cleaned to remove any remaining dust and debris. It is a good idea to use a cleaning product that is compatible with the type of stain you are using. This will ensure that the stain will adhere to the wood and not peel off later on. It is also a good idea to use a water popping tool before you begin staining. This will raise the grain of the wood and help it better absorb the stain.

The best way to stain a hardwood floor is to work in manageable sections and allow each section to dry completely before moving on to the next one. This will ensure that the colors don’t run or blend together. It is also a good idea to apply the stain in the direction of the wood grain, as this will prevent cross-grain swipe marks.

It is important to note that the staining process can produce very strong fumes, so it’s a good idea to ventilate the space as much as possible. You should also be sure to wear protective equipment, including gloves and goggles, while working on the floor.


The final step in the refinishing process is sealing the hardwood floor. Sealing will help keep it clean and protect it from scratches and other damage. The type of sealant used depends on the floor. Many people prefer the look of oil-based polyurethane, which has a traditional appearance and provides a high level of protection. However, this finish is more volatile and has a strong odor that can take days or weeks to dissipate.

Water-based polyurethane, on the other hand, is a more environmentally friendly option that offers the same level of durability and beauty as the oil-based product. It also dries faster, which makes it a better choice for those who need to get their floors back in use sooner.

Once the floors are dry, it is a good idea to apply a coat of wax to help keep the floor looking nice and provide some extra protection. This should be done every five to seven years or as needed.

Before applying the first coat of wax, it is important to vacuum the floor again and wipe down any lingering dust or grit. Then, lightly sand the floor with a fine grade of sandpaper – #220 – to ensure that the wax will adhere properly. Once the sanding is complete, it is recommended that you again vacuum the floor and use a tack cloth to remove any remaining grit or dust.

Then, once the floor is dry, it is a good idea to buff the wax in the direction of the wood grain to restore its shine. It is also a good idea to reapply a fresh coat of wax once or twice per year.

Refinishing and resealing hardwood floors is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process that requires attention to detail. Choosing a professional contractor who specializes in this work will help you avoid any costly mistakes that can ruin the beauty and durability of your floor. They will know the best products to use and the proper techniques for achieving the perfect results you want. It is also a good idea to consider hiring a professional if you are not comfortable with the process or don’t have a lot of time on your hands.


A simple coat of stain is the quickest fix and can help bring new life to wood floors, but it’s not as durable as a polyurethane finish. A polyurethane sealant dries to form a clear protective layer on top of the hardwood, which helps it resist spills and moisture. It’s a bit more expensive than a basic stain, but it lasts longer and is better for high-traffic areas where the floors see a lot of wear.

The process of refinishing or resealing your hardwood floors can be tricky, so it’s a good idea to hire a professional. Many professionals have experience working with hardwood floors and know how to get the job done correctly. It’s also important to choose a contractor that is licensed and insured in your area. This will ensure that you’re protected if the contractor makes any mistakes that could damage your floors or home.

Before starting the painting process, it’s a good idea to tape off any molding and baseboards to prevent any paint from getting on them. Also, it’s a good idea to remove any furniture from the room you’re having painted. Finally, it’s a good idea to cover the floor with plastic to keep any dust from blowing into other areas of your home.

Once you’ve finished sanding your hardwood floors, you’ll need to prep them for painting. Begin by lightly roughing up the surface with 150-grit sandpaper. Then, wipe the floors clean and dry them completely before you begin painting. Before you start painting, it’s a good idea to tint your primer so it matches the color of your choice. Finally, Varano recommends using a water-based paint rather than an oil-based product since it’s easier to clean and doesn’t have as strong of an odor.

Once the paint dries, you can start moving your furniture back into the rooms. It’s a good idea to wait at least 24 hours before walking on the floors, and 48 hours is even better. While it may be tempting to walk on your wet floors sooner, it can cause the paint to flake off and leave behind scratches or dents.