How to Resurface Your Hardwood Floors – Sandless Method of Wood Floor Restoration

If your hardwood floors have lost their shine, started to get surface scuffs and scratches, or just need some cleaning and sprucing up then sandless resurfacing may be just what you need. This process works for all types of hardwood floors including; solid unfinished (floors that were finished on site), solid pre finished (floors that were purchased already finished in a factory), and engineered wood floors. Depending on the type of wood flooring you have this process can vary a bit.

I will cover the required steps for each type of flooring.

* Bona brand “Prep” or Basic Coatings brand “Tycote” (these are etching solutions that help ensure a new coating will bond to your floors – note: only needed for pre finished solid or pre finished engineered floors)

* A wood floor finish that is compatible with the etch product; if you are getting the Bona product I’d recommend Bona Traffic HD finish or Bona Woodline finish, or if you get the Basic Coatings Tycote, I’d recommend their Street Shoe Finish.

* Floor Buffer – You can rent a floor buffer at nearly any tool rental store and at some home improvement stores. If you’ve never ran a standard buffer you may consider getting a square buffer as these vibrate rather than oscillate.

* Vacuum – I recommend one with a soft bristle or soft felt brush.

* MicroFiber Dust Mop

* Applicator – I recommend an 18″ t-bar style application made by Duratool. Lambswool applications, and smaller nap paint rollers can also work for this.

* Brush – I prefer the foam style 3-4″ wide brushes .

* Buffer Pad – White Pads (1-2) also available at tool rental store (additional red or maroon pad if you have pre finished engineered or pre finished solid floors)

* Sanding Screen 150 or 220 grit – These are also found at tool rental stores or online. An alternative to these are Norton brand sand dollars buffer pads.


The first thing you’ll want to do is prep the space you are doing. You’ll want to remove all furniture and any other items that are on the floors you are doing. It’s also a good idea to use some painters tape to tape off the baseboards, and to tape off adjoining surfaces/floors that you want to protect. You may also want to hang up some plastic film in doorways to help contain the dust created. You’ll also want to clean the floors and make sure that there are no pieces of debris as these things could get caught under the buffer and scratch the floors.


After prepping the space now it’s time to buff the floors. Take the white buffer pad and put in on the bottom of the buffers drive head. Then put the sanding screen under the white pad (the screen is what you want to be touching the floor). Now start the buffer and moving in a back and forth motion buff over the floors trying to go with the grain of the wood. Try to cover every inch of the floors very well.

After buffing the floors now you want to take a used piece of the sanding screen and lightly hand sand in areas of the floor that the buffer wouldn’t reach such as corners, under cabinets, under radiators etc. This is just to also etch the surface of these areas too.

The next step will vary a bit based on the type of flooring you have.

If you have pre finished flooring, the next thing you want to do is to buff the floors again. This time you want to use just the red or maroon buffer pad. Now what you’re going to do is a wet or damp buffing. You want to mist some of the Bona Prep of Basic Coatings Tycote onto the floor using a spray bottle. This step is to etch the surface of the floors and to ensure that a new coating will bond to the coating that is on the factory finished floor product. You’ll want to do this very well to ensure you get every inch of the floors and that every inch has an etched or dull sort of look to it. You’ll even want to take a piece of the buffer pad and get into the corners and other tight spots that the buffer wouldn’t reach.

(note: you can use this step on wood floors that were site finished too, especially if you have any doubts about a new coating sticking to the existing finish you have or if you have used any wax based cleaners or refreshing products that are wax based as they can prevent new coatings from sticking to the floors)


After you complete the buffing part of the project, now you want to clean the floors very well. You’ll want to vacuum the floors really well and then dust mop them really well.


Once you have cleaned the floors, now you’re ready to apply the coating(s). Follow the manufactures directions for the amount of square feet of coverage per gallon. Apply the finish with the grain using whatever type of application you picked up. Be sure to work in sections.

Let Dry

After you have applied the coating now you’ll just want to wait the manufacturers recommended dry time before walking on the floors. You can find this on the finish container. Then you’ll want to wait the manufacturers recommended time for curing before putting furniture back into place.

Repeat if Desired

If you’d like you can also buff the floor again and apply a 2nd, or 3rd coating for added protection. I recommend buffing after each coating with a 220 grit sanding screen and following all other instructions aside from using the etching products as they will not be needed once one coating is applied.