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Hardwood Flooring Buffing – The Basics

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So, are you wondering whether you should do it yourself hardwood flooring? Basically, what you’re doing is placing sandpaper on your floors, with a rotary buffing machine to remove any excess scratch or damaged areas, and then using a professional dry-clean or steam-clean machine to polish your floors. The end result is a shiny, even finish on your floors. If you’d like to alter the entire look of your floors, or are concerned about spoiling the original look, then this might not be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re comfortable with doing it yourself and you feel like the job won’t take long, then here are some do it yourself tips to follow.

Hardwood Flooring buffing|Hardwood Flooring buffing

Hardwood Flooring Buffing – The Basics

So, are you wondering whether you should do it yourself hardwood flooring? Basically, what you’re doing is placing sandpaper on your floors, with a rotary buffing machine to remove any excess scratch or damaged areas, and then using a professional dry-clean or steam-clean machine to polish your floors. The end result is a shiny, even finish on your floors. If you’d like to alter the entire look of your floors, or are concerned about spoiling the original look, then this might not be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re comfortable with doing it yourself and you feel like the job won’t take long, then here are some do it yourself tips to follow.

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If you think you can just dump on your floors any old finish, even the “best” finish available, then you’d be wrong. If you have a wood floor, you have to take it slow and methodical in the application of the floors wax or finish. Start with a very fine sanding on the wood floor, working your way up. If your wood floor is lacquered, you’ll also need to do a good amount of top layer sanding before the lacquer is even applied. Using a dust mask, don’t breathe in the dust – it’s very hazardous to your health, as well as to your surfaces.

Also, if you have any cracks, you need to fill them or cover them to stop dust from permeating through. For example, if you have a large, heavy wooden door that you want to seal, you could buy a pre-fabricated door that you simply glue to your hardwood floors. If the damage is small, use an adhesive and some filler. That’s one of the things you’ll find at your local hardwood floors stores.

The key to getting a smooth surface with hardwood floor buffing is sanding slowly, evenly, and thoroughly. If you rush the process, you may end up with an uncured (and uneven) floor. For example, if you sand a whole board at once, it will lift off the entire top layer of the wood, leaving the underneath as “raw” or unfinished wood. You’d then have to start over and sand the whole thing again, ending up with an uneven floor that may be impossible to repair.

When you’re doing your hardwood flooring refinishing job, use only a very coarse and very smooth sanding pad, not a polisher. Polishes can make your surfaces shiny, but they also make them uneven. You may be surprised at how much extra noise the polisher makes when you use it, especially if you have a small room to refinish. If you want a quieter room, opt for a slightly more coarse sanding pad.

Before you begin to refinish hardwood floors, remove any loose debris with a dry, clean, cloth. This might include pet hair, dirt, dust, and shoe tags. Some types of wood require dry cleaning, others may need just regular cleaning. The type of hardwood flooring buffing you’ll do first will depend on the kind of material and the way it was installed.

Start buffing by using a regular sander, then switch to a fine-grit sanding pad. Take your time, and go over each piece of wood in even strokes. If there are deep scratches, use a metal scraper under the wooden floor to smooth them out before you move on to the next area. Do not scrape too deeply, or else you will run the risk of making more scratches in the area.

Now that you’ve smoothed out all the nooks and crannies, it’s time to move on to the real work. Sanding is done with a drum sander and depending on the type of wood will be different. For example, if you’re refinishing pine floors, you’ll use a different drum sander than if you’re working on cherry or oak. You’ll also have to pay special attention to the edges. Nails and grooves will make the sanding more uneven, so be sure you know exactly what you’re doing.

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