Refinishing Pine Flooring

Refinishing pine flooring really falls into the realm of professionals, but can be done by a talented handyman. The process involves stripping the floors of the old finish, sanding the flooring planks, and sealing the pine flooring. If you want to change the color of the pine the stain gets applied before sealing the planking.

Pine is a very soft flooring. It is not a hardwood, rather it is a softwood, which means that you have to take extra care to keep from damaging the floors. This will mean that you have to take extra care when sanding the floors down to ensure that you get them even.

You will need to rent a few machines to get started in refinishing your floors. This is where the cost can quickly add up. An orbital sander and floor buffer, as well as a drum sander, are three of the tools that you will need. These can most commonly be rented at your local rent-all store. You will also need to purchase sandpaper of various grits, stain, steel wool, machine discs and pads, polyurethane, etc. All of these costs can quickly add up to where it may be just as economical to have someone come in and do the refinishing for you and you will not have the added stress of trying to do it yourself.

Whether you decide to do it yourself or have a professional do it, you will want to make sure that the room is prepped. This means that you will want to remove all of the furniture, carpeting, and anything else that will keep you from being able to focus on the floors. Remove the floor registers and seal them with plastic and tape. You may want to tape closed the other vents as well. Taping doorways with plastic and painters tape can help keep some of the dust inside the room, so that you will not have as much dust in the rest of your home.

Sanding the floors until all of the old finish is gone is the next step. Make sure that you get instructions on how to use the machines if you are doing the refinishing yourself. After you have removed all of the old finish and have the floors level within 1/8 of an inch, you are ready to vacuum up all of the dust and prep the floors for staining or further finishing.

Whether you choose to stain the floors or simply cover the natural wood with polyurethane, you want to do it as soon as possible after sanding. Sanding opens the pores of the wood, which makes them more susceptible to damage if they do not have a finish coat. Make sure that you are prepared to finish up the floors within a day or so of sanding them.

The way you seal the floors after they have been refinished makes a difference not only to their longevity but also to your air quality and health. Some sealers are low VOC (volatile organic compounds) so don’t impact your air quality as much. Others are highly volatile and can harm the environment and your health. Choose with care. I personally love Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane formulated for floors.

Refinishing pine flooring or other wood flooring is a long, hard process, whether you do it or you hire a professional. By researching the process thoroughly by asking questions, reading books, or searching online, you will be able to make your floors as beautiful as the day they were installed.

4 thoughts on “Refinishing Pine Flooring”

  1. I am moving into a new home and have southern pine floors that need to be refinished. I am getting different recommendations from local floor experts. 1. With pine floors you should only use tung oil and poly coating is counter productive. 2. Poly coating is fine and tung oil is not necessary.
    What do you suggest?

  2. AJ,
    That would be a preference on what you would like to do. The poly coating will provide a sealer and protection to the wood that will dry quicker and only need a coat or two. The tung oil will help protect the wood, but will need several coats and takes longer to dry in between each, and it does not add as much durability.
    I recommend the water-based Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane to seal the floor.

  3. I also have dogs. Will their tracks beat up the poly quickly for a poor look, or will the poly protect the floor? Will the rub show less imperfections from this type of activity?


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