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How You Can Prepare Your Wood Floors For A New Finish

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The time is ripe to redo the finish on your wood floors now that the weather is warm again and you can open your house windows without freezing. Wood finish has chemicals in it that can be harmful to people and pets when they breathe it in. You want to make sure you have good ventilation when applying floor finish so the vapors dissipate in the air and reduce the chance you and your pets will be affected by the chemicals in the air. Here is how you can refinish the wood floors in your home.

You Will Need:

  • Drum Sander w/collection bag
  • Edge Sander w/collection bag
  • Putty Knife
  • Wood Filler
  • Long-Handled Paint Roller
  • Mop
  • Mop Bucket
  • Gentle Cleanser
  • Floor Finish
  • Respirator
  • Plastic Sheets


The first step is to clear everything out of the room so you don't have any obstructions. Next, you should hang plastic sheets in the doorways to keep sand-dust from floating into other areas of the house. Put on your respirator or mask before you start sanding to protect your lungs.


You should always sand along the grain of the wood to prevent scratching up a hardwood floor. Take a drum sander, with a collection bag attached to it (this will limit the amount of sand dust that gets into the air while you are working), and slowly move along the floor until the old finish has been removed. You should use an edge sander (also with a collection bag attached to it) to get along the edges of the wall. Be careful when using a sander; you do not want to sand in one spot too long or you could create ruts in the floor.

Fill, Mop and Finish

Inspect the floor for chips and cracks. You can fill in any crevices with wood putty. Apply the wood putty by putting some putty onto the edge of the putty knife and pressing the putty down into the crevice. Hand-sand the surface of the putty after it dries to make it even with the floors. Take a mop and mop the surface of the floor with a gentle household cleaner to remove any dust that the sanders collection bags didn't pick up. Now is the time to apply the finish – make sure to open all the windows. You can use a long-handled paint roller to apply the finish to the floor. You'll want to wait until the first coat completely dries before applying another coat of finish. Follow the directions on the can of your floor finish to determine how many coats of finish you want to put on you floors.

For more information on hardwood flooring and its upkeep, contact Mansion Hill Custom Floors.