Restored wooden floor boards can look stunning but can require hard work to restore them to their former glory. Here is a step by step guide to restoring floor boards in your home.
The first step in the process is making sure that your floor boards are in a good enough condition to be restored. To find out, lift old carpet or floor coverings to reveal the floor boards. Then, carefully examine the floor boards. Are they in relatively good condition, with no noticeable deep gouges, cuts or decay?
Floor boards which have deep gouges will need to be replaced. Also, loose floorboards will need to be repaired. In our home, the floor boards were too badly damaged in some rooms to justify the expense of replacing them. In these rooms, I opted for carpet.
If your floor boards are secure and in good condition, you may decide to progress to the next step – refinishing them. To do this, most people hire a wood sander. A wood sander is an industrial strength machine which is glided over the floor boards in the same fashion as a vacuum cleaner. However, a wood sander is much more powerful and should be used with extreme care.
Be sure to follow all safety precautions, using industrial goggles, a ventilation mask and making sure you have adequate ventilation. It is a messy job! Furthermore, be very gentle with the sander because leaving it in one place for too long can sand the floors too much. Even worse, it can bore a hole in your floor! Wood saws are also important in this step as well. Which is why you should consider cordless circular saws for woodworking because of their safety features.
After the floor has received a light sand, sweep away all excess dust, so that the floor boards are clean and dry. The next step is to apply a wood stain. Find one that is specifically for floors and test the color on a piece of wood first. Make sure that the wood is similar type of wood to your floorboards, because woods absorb stain in a differently.
Make sure that the stain or wax is stirred adequately. Then, using a soft paintbrush, apply the stain in long strokes along the length of the floor board. Use the stain sparingly; you can always add more to deepen the color. Be sure to wipe away excess, which can cause an uneven color. This process may require some planning to make sure that you don’t walk on a wet floor!
After applying the first coat of stain, allow it to dry according to the instructions. This usually takes around twelve hours. When you are sure that the first coat is adequately dry, consider if you would like to apply a second coat. Remember that a second coat will deepen the color.
If you opt for a second coat, apply it in the same fashion as the first coat, using gentle long strokes. Wipe away excess.
After your floor is stained and completely dry, you may want to buff it by using a soft cloth. With some care and attention, old wood floors can look as good as new.