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Is spot refinishing possible?

July 6, 2010

We received a question about spot refinishing the other day and enjoyed the topic so much that we decided to share the information with you, our loyal readers. Enjoy!

Q:
1) Is it possible to refinish only a portion of my hardwood floors, or will I have to do the whole room?
2) Is spot refinishing a DIY project, or should I get a professional?
3) Is there any risk that the newly finished floors will look worse than the original floor looks now?
4) Is there any type of finish you’d recommend?

A:
1.) It is definitely possible to refinish only a portion of a room. However, there is a good chance that the floor stain won’t match the color of the original floors, especially if you weren’t responsible for installing or finishing them.
2.) While spot refinishing can be a DIY project, we recommend you go to professional for the same reason you’d go to a professional to re-shingle your roof. You can probably do it, but that doesn’t mean you will be able to do it well.
3.) This is THE BIG risk of refinishing partial floors. The good news is that if you try to spot refinish and it doesn’t look good, you can just refinish the rest of the boards and it will look fine.
4.) There isn’t any one finish that works “the best” – each type has its own pros and cons. Oil-based urethanes are the easiest to work with since they are slow-drying, but they can amber significantly. Water-based urethanes won’t amber quite so much, but they are fast-drying and therefore often leave brush marks if you’re not careful. Solvent-based finishes are somewhat dangerous; if you’re using a solvent-based finish, get a professional to do the work.

Essentially, there’s no harm in trying to do spot refinishing yourself. The worst thing that can happen is you’ll ruin that part of the floor and have to do the whole room anyway. Consult a professional if you have any questions, and good luck!

Acacia Bronze Finished Floor

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