No matter how you put it, there's simply no way around the fact that refinishing a hardwood floor is a big project. But with the right knowledge, you can get the job done yourself with a minimum of expense. If you would like to learn more about how to complete this home improvement task on your own, here are two valuable tips to ensure successful results.
Do your sanding with a random orbital sander.
The first step in any refinishing project is to sand off any old finish, leaving only a surface of bare wood. If you happen to already be a professional contractor, you may elect to utilize a drum sander to do this. Without a doubt, a drum sander is the quickest way to get the job done. But those without years of experience using one of these intimidating machines are just as likely to cause irreparable damage to their floor.
You can get the same results much more safely--if a little more slowly--through the use of a random orbital sander. This is a type of handheld sander that accomplishes its sanding quite efficiently, thanks to the fact that it is designed to move in both a circular and an elliptical pattern at the same time. This dual motion also means that you don't need to worry yourself about following the grain of the wood as you sand. Just keep your sander level to the floor and everything should work out fine.
Lay down a sealer coat before staining.
Many people choose not to apply a sealer coat so that they can get to the end of their project as quickly as possible. Yet if your goal is to stain your floor, you would do well to invest a little extra time to seal it first. Otherwise the wood of your floor may not accept the sealer as evenly as you would like. This is especially true of floors made of soft woods.
Adding a primary layer of sealer will reduce the likelihood of spotting and blotching, ensuring that the stain affects the entirety of your floor in an even manner. Sealer does this by filling up each of the tiny pores on the surface of the wood. This creates a smoother surface with which the stain can bind. Just make sure that the sealer and the stain you intend to use are from the same manufacturer. This will ensure the two are able to work together harmoniously.