Floor Refinishing without Sanding

Finished wood floor
  • 8-24 hours
  • Intermediate
  • $80-120
What You'll Need
Respirator mask
Foam applicator or lamb's wool
Electric buffer

Sanding can often be the most cumbersome and exhausting task associated with floor refinishing. While sanding can be an effective way to refinish a wood floor, most household handymen are liable to find it physically taxing and very time consuming, even if they incorporate the aid of an electric sander. So if you've been putting off refinishing floors in your home because of an understandable aversion to sanding, you'll be pleased to learn that sanding does not have to be a necessary part of floor refinishing. This article will walk you through the process of refinishing a wood floor without sanding.

Step 1 - Give the Floor a Thorough Cleaning

mopping a wood floor

Begin this step by moving all rugs and furniture out of the room, then run a vacuum cleaner over the floor. When vacuuming, make a point of being as thorough as possible. Any remaining dirt or dust is liable to present a problem later on. Once you've finished running the vacuum, prepare one gallon of warm water, add half a cup of ammonia, then give the floor a vigorous mopping. Using towels, make sure the floor is fully dry before proceeding to the next step. Just remember, a clean floor is an easily-refinished floor.

WARNING: Ammonia can be toxic to breathe in and stains clothes, so make sure the room has proper ventilation, then put on old clothes and a respirator mask before you start working.

Step 2 - Buff the Freshly Cleaned Floor

Now that your floor is nice and clean, it's time to move on to buffing. Using an electric floor buffer, begin the buffing process in the middle of the room and carefully make your way to its various edges. When performing this step, take care to buff in wide circular patterns. If you don't feel like doling out the cash to purchase an electric floor buffer, they can be rented at virtually any home center. Before proceeding to the next step, give the floor a quick looking-over to make sure that there's no remaining dust.

Step 3 - Protect Yourself

As this project will require you to work with polyurethane, you will need to take certain measures to protect yourself. Even though refinishing a wood floor may not evoke a sense of imminent danger, safety is still job one for any household handyman. Make sure you're wearing the breathing mask mentioned earlier and have opened as many windows as possible for proper ventilation before proceeding any further.

Step 4 - Apply Polyurethane

Finished wood floor

Having taken the necessary steps to protect yourself, you're ready to begin the polyurethane application. Begin by pouring a plate-sized portion of polyurethane beside the furthest wall from the door. Then, using a foam applicator or a lamb's wool, spread it out evenly across the room until eventually reaching the door. Once the polyurethane has been evenly spread, allow it to dry for twenty-four hours. Once that is done, the floor refinishing process is complete.

Although sanding leaves a great texture to your floor, you can get away without the extra hassle. Do make sure that you repair cracks and fill gaps before finishing. You may want to hand sand those repair areas for the best finished look.