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Re-finishing & Screening Your Wooden Floor: A Complete DIY Guide

Posted on June 14, 2023

Floor Renovations Blog

Screening Your Wooden Floor: A Complete DIY Guide

Refinishing your wooden floor can give your home a facelift, and while it might seem intimidating, it can be broken down into manageable steps. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through one popular method of refinishing—screening—and how to do it effectively.

Introduction to screening

Screening, or buffing, is scuffing up the finish on the floor to prepare it for a fresh coat. It’s less aggressive than full refinishing, making it a perfect solution for floors that are lightly scratched or look dull but are otherwise in good condition. Herringbone Floor Sanding: Mr Sander® using the powerful Effect 2200 belt sander on a 200x750 mm herringbone floor. Experience clean and efficient results with the HEPA-filtered dust extraction system.  

Advantages of Screening

Screening your hardwood floors can help remove minor surface scratches and restore the shine of the finish. It’s quicker, less messy, and less expensive than full refinishing, and you can typically complete the process in a single day.

Tools and materials required for screening

You will need several tools and materials to screen your wooden floor successfully:
  1. Buffer/Screening Machine: You can rent these machines at your local hardware store.
  2. Screens: 100-grit or 120-grit screens are typically used for this process.
  3. Vacuum cleaner or dust collection system
  4. Tack Cloth
  5. Polyurethane finish or other floor finish
  6. Paint Roller and Tray
  7. Protective gear: dust masks, goggles, and ear protection
With the right tools and materials, you can move on to the screening process. wood Floor Refinishing Refinishing Parquet Flooring

Step 1: Preparing the Room

Remove all furniture, rugs, and items from the room. Cover any vents and electrical outlets with plastic sheeting and painter’s tape to prevent dust from entering. Also, ensure all nails are set below the floor’s surface to avoid damaging the screen.

Step 2: Getting Acquainted With the Buffer

Before starting, take some time to understand how to operate the buffer. Practice moving it back and forth without letting it sit in one spot to avoid damaging the floor. Remember, the buffer should be kept in motion while the motor is running.

Step 3: Installing the Screen

Attach the screen to the base of the buffer following the machine’s instructions. Ensure it’s securely fastened before you start.

Step 4: Screening the Floor

Start the buffer and move it back and forth along the grain of the wood, never against it. Overlap your paths to ensure an even scuffing. Remember to keep the buffer in motion.

Step 5: Paying Attention to Corners

Use a sanding screen by hand or a small detail sander to scuff up the corners and edges where the buffer can’t reach.

Step 6: Vacuum and Tack

Once you’ve screened the entire floor, vacuum up all the dust. Follow this with a damp (not wet) tack cloth to pick up any remaining dust particles.

Step 7: Applying the Finish

Once the floor is clean, you’re ready to apply the finish. Use a high-quality, long-lasting polyurethane finish for the best results. Apply the finish along the wood grain using a paint roller, starting at the farthest point from the door, to avoid painting yourself into a corner.

Step 8: Letting the Finish Cure

After applying the finish, give it enough time to dry and cure. It’s usually best to let it cure overnight but follow the manufacturer’s instructions. After the recommended curing time, your floor will look like new again!


Screening is an excellent way to give your wooden floor a fresh look without the time, effort, and expense of a full refinish. With the right tools, materials, and steps, you can rejuvenate your floors and enhance the look of your home. Give your floors the love they deserve, and watch them shine!

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