Refinish An Old Kitchen's Wooden Floor Before You Sell Your Home

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One of the best ways to make an old kitchen look fresh is to fix up the wooden floor. An old, scratched up wooden floor is inexpensive to fix. It takes a bit of hard work, but it will dramatically improve the look of your kitchen. So, below is a list of exactly what you need to do to turn an old, tired looking floor into a bright new one that will impress potential buyers.

Screening or Sanding

The first decision will be to decide if you need to completely sand the floor, or if you only need to screen it. 


Screening is a process of removing the topcoat of polyurethane. This is perfect if your wooden floor is in good shape, and only needs a fresh coat of poly. If, for instance, the poly is faded and scratched, but the wood underneath is in good shape, then your floor is a candidate for screening. A screen is a special type of abrasive mesh disc used on buffing machines. The disc removes the old poly without cutting into the wood. This leaves the old stain, but removes the worn down poly. At this point new poly can be applied. 


On the other hand, if the poly is worn away and the underlying stain has become discolored, or if there are large wear patterns, cracks and splinters, or uneven spots, then you need to do a comprehensive sanding. A floor sander will sand down the floor to the bare wood so that you can start from scratch with fresh, clean wood.

Fill In Any Holes In The Wood

After the first pass with the sander, take the opportunity to patch any cracks or holes in the wood. Use wood putty. You will use a small metal or plastic putty knife to apply the putty. Consult the putty container for the amount of time required for the putty to dry. After it has dried, you will need to sand it down to make sure it is flush with the surface of the floorboards. If you had rented a large sander for the wood floor and returned it, don't worry. You can use a small piece of sandpaper on a sanding block for the putty. It is finishing work, and doesn't require a large machine to handle it.

Apply Stain

Make sure the floor is clear of any dust. Use a dry mop and dust the floor. Take the stain and apply it to the floor using either a sponge brush, or a cloth. Make sure to wear gloves and keep the room ventilated. Also make sure the stain is applied evenly and there are no sections where it has gone on too thick. The thick spots will, if left to dry, need to be sanded down and reapplied. When the stain is completely applied, let it dry for the period of time listed on the container.

Apply Fresh Poly

Poly should be applied with a sponge brush. Like the process of applying stain, you want to make sure that it is applied evenly and doesn't pool in sections. You will let this first coat dry and then you will lightly sand it in preparation for a second coat. The reason you sand it is so the second coat will adhere to the first. Sanding the poly also allows you to remove any bubbles or high points. Use a very fine sandpaper or even steel wool. The second coat will ensure a more protective layer for your floor. You can repeat this and add a third, or even fourth if you deem it necessary.

Contact a business like Cooper Floors for more help.