I didn’t heed the expert advice and refinished my hardwood floors myself.. DIY Hardwood Floor Refinishing

Q: So I didn’t heed the expert advice and I refinished my hardwood floors myself..

I did two small bedrooms and a large living room. I used a rented drum sander and sanded using 36 grit paper for the first pass, 60 grit paper for the second pass, and 80 grit paper for the third pass. I then used a vibrating sander with 100 grit paper over all the floors. After sanding I stained the floors with a medium dark stain and they looked beautiful. And then I put on semi-gloss polyurethane. The poly showed every flaw in the floor (and there were a lot of them, including sanding grooves).

After all the work (it took about five days of non-stop work) I’m not happy with the results. Is there anything I can do now to disguise those flaws. Will putting on a couple of coats of satin poly help?

A: A lower sheen finish can help hide flaws. And, may I take this occasion as a long time professional who is well aware of how difficult this type of work is to say: I told you so.:)

Follow-up Reply: Thank you for the response. In my defence, I’ll note that I didn’t see your website until after I took on the project, but I’ll definitely agree that this is a job best left to the professionals.

Added diy hardwood floor refinishing cautions: Hopefully the satin will help. I will warn you also that satin polyurethanes do have a tendency to streak and show mop stops sometimes. this problem is related to how the flattener (silica) get dispersed throughout the finish during application. Best way to apply these finishes is with a T bar. You pour a puddle along the furthest wall from your exit point and “snowplough” the finish from one end of the room to the other, all the while moving the wet line across the room. This way you aren’t stopping to reload a mop in the middle of the room. You also don’t want it to set up too quickly either, so no air movement for a few hours after applying. I would also be careful with applying to many coats in a row. This can lock in solvents in the underlying coats, leading to a tender finish that will take some time to fully cure. I generally apply 3 coats (thin).

Similar Q: My husband recently re-varnished our hardwood floors. He sanded down the floor and put two coats of semi-gloss Minwax on. From a couple angles the floors look very streaky and almost cloudy. hy would this happen? How can we fix it? Is there anyway to fix it without re-varnishing the floor?

A: Streaking is generally an issue of uneven distribution of the flattener in the finish which determines the level of shine. You will have to buff and coat the floor again. Best finish I’ve used is Primero. It has never streaked on me. Look up Poloplaz and get what you need. It rolls on really well.

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