Refinishing a hardwood floor generally requires the use of a heavy sander grinding away at the old finish in order to prepare the wood for the new finish. The process kicks up a cloud of dust, and each run with the sander shortens the lifespan of your floor. With the introduction of new refinishing methods the era of the sander is over, and your hardwood floors have an increased lifespan as a result.
A liquid sander is the key to doing a refinishing project without an abrasive mechanical sander. It's created with a chemical formula that eats away at the existing finish on your floor. The result of the application of the liquid sander is a wood surface that's slightly rough but provides the perfect texture for the new finish to adhere to.
The liquid sander that's included in liquid wood floor refinishing kits only requires a single pass on your hardwood floors. After applying the liquid sander, you'll need to wait the amount of time prescribed by the manufacturer, then wipe over the floor surface and wait for it to dry before applying your finish.
The only drawback of using the liquid sander rather than the abrasive mechanical sander is that the liquid sander cannot create a level surface. You'll have to check the floor's surface and level it by hand, sanding down any small bumps in the wood, and filling in crevices with colored wood filler.
Apply the finish in a single sweep through the room. You should only use a light amount of liquid on the application pad to avoid any pooling of the finish during the application. Make sure you've got enough finish on hand to complete the entire floor. Once you've begun, stopping will leave a visible line in the floor's finish when it dries.
Your choice of finish is between oil-based and water-based. The oil-based lasts longer but tends to yellow with time. The water-based finish is easier to work with and doesn't carry the strong smell of the oil-based finishes. If you go with oil-based, be prepared to spend the first night after application elsewhere due to the smell.
You'll need to apply three thin coats of finish to your floor using a foam applicator or a natural bristle brush. Wait one hour between coats for each layer to dry if using water-based finish, and 12 hours if using oil-based.
With the final coat applied, you'll need to wait about three weeks for the floor to cure completely. Until then nothing should be placed onto it.
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