How to Apply Polyurethane to Wood Floors


Wood flooring is a great asset to any home. It is durable, easy to clean and easy to decorate around. Wood flooring does wear though, and will need to be refinished at one point or another. Refinishing a wood floor is a fairly easy process and can raise the value of your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Respirator
  • Paint tray
  • Paint brush
  • Polyurethane
  • Applicator brush
  • Vacuum
  • Sander
  • Sand paper
  • Prepare the flooring. This involves clearing the room of furniture, sealing off the doorways with drop clothes to limit saw dust from reach the rest of the house, repairing any floor boards that are damaged and sanding the floors. The floor will also need to be vacuumed to remove any dust before you begin to apply the polyurethane.

  • Ensure that you have ventilation for the room. Polyurethane has toxic fumes that can be harmful. You will want to open a window with a fan and use a respirator.

  • Use a paint brush to brush polyurethane onto the perimeter of the room. Pour the polyurethane into a paint tray and begin brushing a layer following the walls to make a 4 inch border. This ensures that you don't get polyurethane on the baseboards or walls.

  • Apply polyurethane to the rest of the room with a applicator sponge. Start from the farthest wall on the room and move backward towards the door so you won't step in the polyurethane once you have applied it. Allow the polyurethane to dry completely.

  • Sand the floor again with a hand sander and vacuum. Small bubbles often appear when polyurethane is drying and this will remove the bubbles before you reapply another coat.

  • Repeat Steps 4 and 5 to apply a second coat of polyurethane.

  • Apply a third coat by repeating Steps 4 and 5 again. This is the final coat. Allow it to dry completely before you move furniture back into the room and resume normal use.

Tips & Warnings

  • To avoid brush streaks in the coats of polyurethane, brush back on the each stroke with the applicator to remove any brush marks.

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