Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Instructions for Refinishing a Pine Floor

Refinished Pine Floor
Retrieved from Creative Commons Google Images

Refinishing wood floors is a project for a determined craft person, but is well worth the effort in beauty and money savings. Pine is a soft wood, unlike oak flooring. Oak is much harder because of the closeness of the wood grain. When finishing or refinishing pine floors keep in mind that it is a soft material and requires a soft touch.

  1. Before you start refinishing your wood floor make sure you have your tools and supplies collected and placed together conveniently. Clear the entire floor or room area of furniture and any wall decorations or hangings. Close all doors to other rooms to protect from the dust. The dust will go everywhere during the sanding process.
  2. Before you sand check the floor for nails or screws that protrude above the surface. Soft wood contracts and expands causing nails and screws to come up or loosen. Secure any loose planks with nails or screws and fill with quick drying wood putty.
  3. When planning to sand your floors try to project three to four days of good weather. With your belt sander, begin with at least a #80 grit sandpaper if you are refinishing. If the wood is new, start with a #100 grit sandpaper.
  4. Start sanding at one end of the room with your machines in front of you and move backwards slowly to the other end of the room. You will need to get a feel for the machine. The reason for going from one end of the room to the other is that when you do short segments your sanding streaks will show when the stain of finish is applied. When you get to the end of the room you should have about six (6) feet of floor between the machine and the wall. Turn the sander around and sand this small area. Continue working in this manner until the floor has been completely sanded. On a refinishing job check your belt sandpaper for varnish buildup on the roll.
  5. When the room has been completely sanded change the sanding belt to a #150 grit. Sand the room again in the same manner as before. As you will see by this time this machine does not get close to the walls and corners. You need to use a hand operated disc sander. Use the same type grit sanding disc as the belt machine. When you change grit type on the belt sander, do the same on the disc hand sander.
  7. Finish sanding the floor for the third time with a #220 grit sandpaper until the floor is smooth. Vacuum the floor with the floor with a good shop vac to pick up dust from the cracks. Get the floor as clean as possible before you start the finishing process!
  8. If You want to choose your wood stain color and test it on another piece of flooring to be sure about your color. Brush the stain on the floor with a brush and wipe with a cloth after 10 minutes of drying. This keeps the stain even and smooth. Do the complete room in this manner. Allow the floor to dry for 24 hours with no traffic in the room.
  9. Apply the first clear coat of finish with a fine bristle brush or a sheepskin applicator. After the first clear coat allow to dry for at least 24 hours. You will notice that when the finish is dry it will feel very rough. With a hand orbital sander and find grit (#220) sand the floor lightly but do not take off the stain. This will take off the roughness. DO NOT OVER SAND! Wipe with clean cloth!
  10. Add another clear coat in the same manner as described above. More coats of finish means a brighter shine. Always sand between coats of finish to remove the roughness of the previous coat. After the third coat of finish the sanding should be faster and the floor should be very smooth. Apply as many coats as you desire using the same steps as above.
  11. Allow the final WOOD SEALANT coat to dry at least 48 hours before allowing traffic on the floor.


  1. What great information about how to refinish a hardwood floor. I personally leave that kind of task for my wife who is absolutely in love with our flooring. The curiosity hit me because she would always tell the kids not to go on a certain part of the floor. You mentioned to make sure that there is no foot traffic for a full 24 hours so that definitely makes sense to me now as to why she keeps saying that. http://cooperfloors.com

    1. Talking softwood Mr. Hardwood Spam.

  2. So I just had a contractor come in to redo my Pine Floors. he sanded them down and applied mini wax Ebony stain however it did not take in certain places. The areas where the stain did not take were the areas the my furniture had been in for the past 5 years. Do you think it is because he didn't sand it down deep enough to get to the porous wood? The areas where we wore down the top coat took the stain just fine.

  3. I have pine floors in my cabin but its far from a rental yard. Do you think i could substitute my rough chin at progressive lengths of whisker growth for the different grits you recommend? In your professional opinion, would 220 grit be the day after shaving, or later that same day? I guess i could measure it...