What is the fastest, cheapest way to make hardwood floors with tons of stains and damage look nice?

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Q:What is the fastest, cheapest way to make hardwood floors with tons of stains and damage look nice? My husband and I are renting our house and want the floors to look nice, but don’t want to put too much money and time into refinishing floors in a house that doesn’t belong to us. Our landlord said we can do them however we want. We were told by a friend who has a lot of experience refinishing floors that the stains are so extensive he wouldn’t be able to sand them out and that our best bet might be to paint them. Would we have to sand first or could we just prime? What kind of paint should we use that would stand up to traffic and 3 kids? Would it be easier to just sand and stain? What is a cheap hardwood flooring fix? Please help!

A: If you are going to paint them, as with most coatings I would recommend abrading the coating that is on the floor first. I’ve never painted a wooden floor. I would probably use a good primer first such as Zinsser 1-2-3 then apply a floor enamel. In staining, you would likely have to go very dark, such as ebony to hide black pet stain marks. Floor staining and finishing is not really a DIY project.

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