Hardwood is a popular flooring option. It looks great for a good stretch of years but gradual wear and tear damages it. Hence, it is critical to refinish your hardwood flooring from time to time to rejuvenate it.
The good news is that there are quite a few ways in which you can refinish your hardwood flooring. Many people prefer not to sand hardwood floors before refinishing because it is easier, takes less time, and is less costly. However, there are some situations when you must sand your hardwood floor to bring back the original shine.
How to Refinish Hardwood Floors without Sanding
There are 3 different methods that you can use to refinish hardwood floors without sanding. Let’s check them out!
Critical Safety Tip: Before trying any of the methods listed below, it is best to test your chosen method/product in an inconspicuous spot.
Method 1: Using Commercial Grade Abrasion Kits
A commercial-grade abrasion kit is a popular way to refinish hardwood floors without sanding. There are a lot of refinishing abrasion kits available on the market, but this one has great reviews and is an affordable option.
Here’s what you need to do to make it work.
- You’ll need at least a couple of days to make it work. Hence, plan out the task accordingly.
- Put masking tape around the skirting to protect it from chemicals. Make sure you clean the floor with a vacuum cleaner or a mop before starting the refinishing process.
- Pour the no-sanding solution in the kit into a clean paint tray or any other shallow tray. You can also use an open shoe box wrapped in a plastic bag.
- Scrub the area to be refinished in back and forth motion following the wood grain.
- Clean the surface with damp rags or a sponge map.
- Add 1 ounce of liquid soap to a gallon of water and mix it well.
- Rinse the entire area with this solution.
- Wipe the surface with a clean, dry cloth and let it dry for 30 minutes.
- Attach a synthetic applicator pad to your mop. Pour some clear floor finish into a paint tray.
- Apply a coat of clear finish in a single pass on the front edge of the floor, working across the grain.
- Now apply clear floor finish working with the grain in a 4-foot section. Ensure you keep a wet edge and don’t skip portions.
- Once you have finished working on a 4-foot section, start another 4-foot section similarly. Repeat the process until the room is covered.
- Apply a second coat in the same way you applied the 1st coat.
- Let the room dry for a minimum of 8 hours for light usage and 48-72 hours before returning to normal use.
Just a Pro Tip: Work in pairs to avoid the finish drying out. It can lead to a two-toned hardwood floor.
Method 2: Using Polyurethane to Refinish Hardwood
This method is only suitable for floors that have minor surface-level scratches. A buffing machine is required in this method but 120-grit sandpaper can also do the needful.
A120-grit sandpaper can be used for sanding the surface lightly instead of a buffing machine. A couple of gentle passes are enough. Manual sanding isn’t the right option for large areas. You can rent a buffing machine. A 120-grit mesh is recommended for buffing machines. Work at a slightly quicker pace than the normal walking speed if you use a buffing machine. Going too slow or too quick will not have good results.
The next step is to vacuum your hardwood flooring. Make sure that the floor is completely clean before you start refinishing it. Start from one corner of the room and continue in straight passes ensuring that you don’t skip spots in between.
Before selecting refinishing oil, it is important to know whether your floor has been previously lacquered or oiled. Oiled or lacquered floors require different refinishers. Using the wrong product can lead to discoloration of your hardwood flooring. You can check this out on your flooring invoice or contact the contractor.
A wide variety of polyurethane wood finishes are available on the market. You can select the one that matches with your floor type. Prepare the finish as per the instructions on the packing, and get your tools ready.
Start from one corner of the room and use a hand brush to polish the areas around the skirting and hard-to-reach spots in the room. You won’t be polishing the skirting so take good care when you work around it.
Use a roller brush to coat the flooring. Follow the instructions given on the packing for wait time, second coat, and other precautions.
Method 3: Use a Revitalizer to Refinish Hardwood Floors
Revitalizer is the easiest way to refinish hardwood flooring. You don’t need abrasion chemicals or buffing machines to prepare the floor. Clean the floor as you would normally do, and then apply revitalizer following the instructions given on the bottle.
Many hardwood revitalizers are available in the market that you can use. However, one should check the compatibility with their floor type before buying one.
Tips for Refinishing Hardwood Floors without Sanding
Floor Type: Don’t start a refinish project without knowing your floor type. Check the flooring invoice or ask the contractor about it.
Test before going all out: Make sure you test the method in an inconspicuous place to see the results.
Do Your Research: Don’t just rely on one guide or one method. Consult various sources and then make the call.
Plan out the Task: Refinishing requires a lot of time. It is critical to complete the process in one go if you want good results. Delaying the process or being lazy once you have started it can compromise the results. Hence it is better to start the process when you have ample time and engage an extra pair of hands to speed up the work.
When sanding hardwood becomes necessary?
A sanding-free method won’t work if the scratches and dents have penetrated the finish and the wood. Moreover, sanding is required for a wax-finished floor or previous coating that prevents a new finish from bonding.
Similarly, sanding is best for high-traffic areas such as lobbies, TV lounges, home entrances, and stairs. These are the most damaged areas in the home and will not be corrected without sanding.
If hardwood floors are water damaged or have deep pet stains, a new finish will not help your case. You will need to sand the floor and then apply the finish.
When should I call a professional for refinishing?
Refinishing the hardwood floor is a simple but time taking process. A DIY refinishing project will save you a handsome amount of money. You can save a lot even if you rent out the machinery.
However, sometimes you don’t have enough time, or the job scope is beyond your capacity. Moreover, it is best to call a professional for water-damaged floors.
You will undoubtedly pay more for the job, but you won’t have to worry about anything.
How to Darken Hardwood Floors without Sanding?
Another way to bring your dying hardwood floors back to life is to darken them without sanding. Applying a dark finish is also great because it hides minor scratches and discoloration spots, and your floor looks new. The darkening hardwood floors process is pretty similar to refinishing it.
Here’s a rundown of steps that you need to perform to darken hardwood floors without sanding.
- Clean the area with a vacuum cleaner. You would need a spick and span room for better results.
- Do not strip old stains on your floor, as doing it will make it porous.
- Apply a pre-stain wood conditioner to smooth the surface before the dark stain. Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner is an excellent water-based conditioner for hardwood floors.
- Select your favorite wood stain and make sure it is compatible with the floor type.
- Use stain pens for nooks and corners.
- Use brushes and go slow with the process. Hurrying up the process impacts the finish quality and leaves stains behind.
Can I refinish a 100-year-old wood floor?
Yes. You can refinish a 100-year-old or very old hardwood floor. The only pre-requisite to check before finishing an old wooden floor is to ensure that it is not damaged. You can replace the damaged boards but take care not to damage the adjacent boards.
The refinishing process will be the same, but a very old or damaged floor will require sanding. Hence, sanding is important while refinishing an old hardwood floor.