From Drab to Fab: Simple Steps to Refinish Your Old Wooden Floors

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to transform your old wooden floors from drab to fab! If you’re tired of looking at dull, worn-out floors, this article is for you. We’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of refinishing your wooden floors to bring back their natural beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner, our easy-to-follow instructions will help you achieve professional results. Get ready to give your floors a stunning makeover!

Assessing the Condition of Your Floors

Before diving into the refinishing process, it’s essential to assess the condition of your wooden floors. This step will help you determine the extent of the work required and the materials you’ll need. Inspect the floors for any signs of damage, such as deep scratches, stains, or unevenness. Take note of these issues as they will need to be addressed before refinishing.

Gathering the Necessary Tools and Materials

To successfully refinish your wooden floors, you’ll need a few tools and materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  1. Safety goggles and gloves: Protect yourself while working with chemicals and tools.
  2. Sanding machine or sandpaper: Choose the appropriate grit based on the condition of your floors.
  3. Vacuum cleaner or broom: Clear away any dust and debris before starting the refinishing process.
  4. Wood filler: Use this to fill in deep scratches or gaps in the wood.
  5. Stain: Select a stain color that complements your desired aesthetic.
  6. Polyurethane sealer: Apply this protective layer to enhance the durability and longevity of your floors.
  7. Paintbrushes and rollers: Use these to apply the stain and sealer evenly.
  8. Painter’s tape: Protect adjacent walls and surfaces from accidental staining.

Preparing the Floors for Refinishing

Now that you have your tools and materials ready, it’s time to prepare your floors for refinishing. Follow these steps:

  1. Clear the room: Remove all furniture, rugs, and any other items from the room to create a clean workspace.
  2. Clean the floors: Thoroughly sweep or vacuum the floors to remove any dust or debris.
  3. Repair any damage: Use wood filler to fill in deep scratches or gaps in the wood. Allow it to dry completely before sanding.
  4. Sanding the floors: If you’re using a sanding machine, start with a coarse grit sandpaper and gradually work your way up to a finer grit. Ensure you sand in the direction of the grain to avoid damaging the wood.
    • Pro tip: If you’re using sandpaper by hand, wrap it around a sanding block to maintain an even and consistent pressure.

Applying the Stain

With the preparation complete, it’s time to apply the stain and breathe new life into your wooden floors. Follow these steps:

  1. Test the stain: Before applying the stain to your entire floor, it’s crucial to test it on a small, inconspicuous area. This will help you determine if the color is to your liking.
  2. Apply the stain: Using a paintbrush or roller, apply an even coat of stain to the floor. Work in small sections, following the direction of the wood grain.
    • Pro tip: Wipe off any excess stain immediately to avoid uneven coloring.

Sealing and Finishing

To protect your newly stained floors and achieve a professional finish, follow these final steps:

  1. Allow the stain to dry: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the drying time of the stain. Ensure the room is well-ventilated during this process.
  2. Apply the first coat of polyurethane sealer: Using a clean brush or roller, apply a thin and even coat of sealer to the entire floor. Allow it to dry completely before applying the next coat.
  3. Sand lightly between coats: Once the first coat has dried, lightly sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth finish. Remove any dust before applying subsequent coats.
  4. Apply additional coats: Repeat the process of applying thin coats of sealer and sanding lightly between each coat. Aim for at least two to three coats for optimal protection.
  5. Allow the final coat to dry: Once you’ve applied all the necessary coats, allow the final coat to dry completely before moving furniture back into the room.


Congratulations on successfully refinishing your old wooden floors! By following our step-by-step guide, you’ve transformed your drab floors into fabulous focal points in your home. Remember, proper maintenance is key to preserving the beauty of your newly refinished floors. Regularly clean them with a gentle wood floor cleaner and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive tools. With proper care, your floors will continue to impress for years to come. Enjoy your revitalized space!