Refinishing Jatoba Hardwood Flooring: A DIY Guide

Jatoba hardwood is popular for its exotic appearance and extreme durability. However, the number of years your hardwood floor continues to look like new, depends on the quality of the floor and how well you keep it maintained. Usually, Jatoba hardwood requires a refinishing every 10 years, like most other hardwood floors.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to refinishing your Jatoba hardwood flooring.

  1. Preparation

First off, you must prepare the room where you want to refinish your Jatoba hardwood floor.

Remove everything from the room – furniture, draperies, rugs, decor items, personal belongings, etc. to another room. Take some plastic sheets and masking tape to cover the doors and electrical outlets of the room.

Refinishing your floors will involve sanding, so be prepared for a lot of dust. Use dust containment systems to minimize debris. Also, cover your furniture, electronics and other items in the adjacent rooms to keep them dust-free.

Check for any protruding nails or staples on the floor as they can damage the sandpaper you’ll use during the sanding process. Set these nails or staples down with a hammer or nail setter. Open the windows to keep the room well ventilated. Before proceeding to the next step, make sure to sweep and mop the floor clean.

  1. Sand the Floor

This step requires you to remove the old finish of your Jatoba hardwood floor. For this, you’ll need a sander. You can opt for an upright electric sander meant for hardwood floors instead of an old-fashioned palm sander. Sanders remove the old finish and smoothens the floor surface, preparing it for refinishing. However, before you start sanding the floor with the rented upright electric sander, ask for a demonstration to know the right way of doing it on your hardwood floor.

There are two types of sanders – Orbital and Drum sanders. Orbital sanders are more user-friendly. When you’re sanding with any of these electric sanders, ensure to keep it in motion or you may end up sanding too deeply, causing grooves on the floor surface that are irreparable.

Attach a high-grit sandpaper sheet to the sander and start sanding following the wood grain. Starting from the middle of the room, gradually work your way up the floor. You can overlap each pass by a few inches. Every part of your floor surface should be sanded thoroughly. Be careful that you don’t leave out the corners or other parts.

Additional Tips

  • Sanding will result in a lot of dust. Wear protective gear like dust mask, safety glasses, and ear plugs.
  • Before you start sanding, do a patch test of how the sander works in areas where you had your furniture placed.
  • After you’ve finished sanding the floor, use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly remove all the dust from the room. It’s very important to remove dust or else it can get stuck with the new finish coating.
  1. Stain the Floor (Optional)

If you want to apply a stain to your Jatoba hardwood floor, apply it with a brush or a clean microfibre rug. Allow the first coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. Make sure that all your stain coats are dried well before applying the finish. However, if you haven’t applied stain before, it’s better to speak to a professional first. If you don’t want to use stains, you can skip this step and move on to finishing directly.

  1. Apply Finishing

Buy polyurethane finish available in commercial containers and apply it on your prepared Jatoba hardwood floor in the same way you apply the stain. You can either use a brush, a rug or a roller applicator. Start applying the finish from the corners of the floor and work your way towards the door. Check that you apply it on every part of your floor. Make sure that before you start, that you read the instructions on the container carefully.

Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the next coating. Depending on the brand of the finish, the drying duration can vary from 3-8 hours. Apply a second coat and allow it to dry again. If you feel it necessary, apply a third coat. Once you complete the application of all the coats, let your floor dry overnight.

Be careful not to move or place your furniture on the refinished floor the next morning. Wait for at least 2 days before decorating your room as before. If you’re not into DIY tasks, contact flooring professionals to take care of your Jatoba hardwood floor.

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