DIY Guide on How to Restore Hardwood Floors

One of the best ways to update the look of our homes is to restore the hardwood flooring.  Everyone thinks this is such a daunting task, but with the right equipment, it is actually quite easy!

Most of us don’t even know the best way to even get starting on restoring hardwood floors. The best part about hardwood floors is that there is no need to spend tons of money on the maintenance of your elegant flooring. 

You don’t need to replace it, just restore it!  If you want to restore floors, you can do it for a very meager amount and you don’t need any experts for it!

Most times, you can rent the necessary equipment from a rental store. Just think how much satisfaction you will have when you complete this task yourself!

Equipment Needed:

  • Floor wax or polyurethane finish
  • Wood stain
  • Drum sander
  • Edger
  • Sandpaper in coarse, medium and fine grits
  • Buffer
  • Putty knife and scraper
  • Brushes, foam or lamb’s wool applicator
  • Rags
  • Wide brooms
  • Shop vacuum
  • Ear protection, dust masks, safety goggles

Check out the Floor:

  • Remove everything from the room and sweep the floor
  • Check the floor for carpet staples or exposed nails. 
  • Walk across the floor to check for squeaks, cracks or any other repairs that need to be completely before you start sanding.


  • Wear ear plugs, safety goggles and a mask
  • To prevent dust from leaving the room, place rags or towels under doors and over vents
  • Hang plastic or damp sheets over doorways to catch any residue that may be circulating in the air
  • Remove only as much of the surface as is necessary and sand in the direction of the grain.
  • Load the drum sander with a coarse grit sandpaper to remove the finish.
  • Place the machine along the right hand wall with about 2/3 of the length of the floor in front of you.
  • With the drum raised off the floor, start the motor then walk slowly forward at an even pace and ease the drum to the floor.
  • As you near the wall at the end of the pass, gradually raise the drum off the floor.
  • Never let the drum touch the floor when it is not moving. Practice this first with the machine switched off.
  • Cover the same path you made on the forward cut by pulling the machine backward and easing the drum to the floor as you begin the backward pass.
  • When you reach your original starting point, raise the drum from the floor.
  • Move the machine approximately 3-4 inches to the left and repeat the forward and backward passes, continuing moving to the left after completing each set of passes.
  • When 2/3 of the room has been sanded, turn the machine in the opposite direction and sand the remaining 1/3 in the same manner.
  • Make sure that these sanding passes overlap the first passes by 2-3 feet, so the two areas are blended together.
  • After completing the first cut with the drum sander, use the edger to sand along the baseboards, up to corners, in closets, and any other areas the drum sander did not reach.
  • Next, repeat the drum sanding using a medium grit sandpaper.
  • Fill any nail holes, blemishes or cracks, then do the final sanding cut with a fine grit sandpaper.
  • Use the buffer with a fine grit sandpaper to improve the blending of the edged and drum sanded areas.
  • When drum sanding and edging are completed, hand scrape and then hand sand corners around perimeter edges, doors, and other cased openings.
  • Finally, sweep and vacuum the floor and wipe up all of the dust.


Finishing should be done immediately after sanding is completed.

  • Ensure the area is well ventilated.
  • Apply the seal or stain according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Allow the stain or sealer to completely dry
  • Apply the finish with a brush, foam or amb’s wool applicator, using smooth, even strokes.
  • To protect the finish, apply a coat of good wax and buff to a satin sheen.

For more tips, please visit the Home Improvement Section of our website!


Professional Restoration

Refinishing Costs

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One Response to “DIY Guide on How to Restore Hardwood Floors”
  1. JP Johnson says:

    Coarse grit? Fine grit? How coarse? How fine?