Step 2: Prep the Perimeter

man hand-sanding the perimeter of a wooden floor to prep before refinishing
Photo: Reena Bammi
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Using 180-grit sandpaper, hand-sand the perimeter of the room and any nooks that the buffer can't reach. Rub with the grain 4 to 6 inches out from the baseboard, working over each board until the finish dulls and a powder forms. Don't use a sanding block—it might miss uneven spots in the floor.

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    Tools List

    • terry cloth mop
      flat mop with terrycloth cover and microfiber cover
    • buffer
      floor buffer fitted with maroon buffing pad
    • shop vacuum
      vacuum fitted with clean filter
    • respirator
      respirator fitted with organic vapor canisters
    • watering can
      plastic watering can with sprinkler head removed
    • drywall bucket
      small plastic container
    • 3-inch wide paint brush
      3-inch wide paint brush
    • extension pole
      roller frame and extension pole

    Shopping List

    water-based polyurethane

    hardwood flooring cleaner

    180-grit sandpaper

    disposable booties

    cone filter