How to Refinish Old Hardwood Floors on a Budget

Refinishing old hardwood floors is a great way to restore their beauty and prolong their lifespan. However, the cost of sanding and refinishing can be expensive. Fortunately, there are several ways to refinish old hardwood floors on a budget. In this article, we'll cover the steps to refinish old hardwood floors without sanding and how to do it without breaking the bank.

How to Refinish Old Hardwood Floors on a Budget

1. Thoroughly Clean the Floor

Before refinishing your old hardwood floors, you need to clean them thoroughly. Sweep the floor with a soft bristle broom to remove dirt and debris [3]. Use a vacuum to remove hard-to-reach dirt in corners and between floorboards. Afterwards, mop the floor using a microfiber cloth and concentrated cleaner for hardwood floors [3]. You can also use a mild detergent and water or a specialized hardwood floor cleaner [4].

2. Remove Carpet and Adhesive

If your old hardwood floors have carpet or adhesive, you need to remove them before refinishing. If it's yellow, use a plastic scraper or chisel to break it apart. If the adhesive on the floor is dark brown or tan, scrub the floor with cleaning rags and an adhesive remover, such as mineral spirits. If there's any residue left from the adhesive, then use a general-purpose adhesive cleaner to remove it [5].

3. Apply NaturalSeal

Apply one coat of Bona NaturalSeal to the floor using a paintbrush to cut in around the edges of the room. Don't do the whole room, only do about 4' at a time. You don't want the edging to dry before you get a chance to roll that section of the floor, or else the edging will show. You need to always be painting "wet on wet" [7].

4. Use a Revitalizer

Applying a revitalizer gloss is the simplest and cheapest way to refinish hardwood floors. This approach works best on floors that only have surface-level scratches and other minor wear and tear issues. Use either an oil-based urethane or water-based urethane. This step does not require sanding down to raw wood and removing part of the floor's wear layer [8].

5. Screen and Recoat

Screening and recoating involve scuffing the finish of your hardwoods with a floor buffer and then applying a new topcoat. This process does not require sanding down to raw wood and removing part of the floor's wear layer. This method involves a sanding screen, but it's not the messy and time-consuming process that comes with full sanding and refinishing. This process can be done on a budget and can extend the life of your hardwood floors [9].

6. Use Rejuvenate Professional Wood Restorer

Another budget-friendly option for refinishing old hardwood floors is to use Rejuvenate Professional Wood Restorer. This product is designed to restore shine and lustre to your hardwood floors without sanding or refinishing. Simply apply the restorer to your floor and let it dry for an hour before walking on it [6].

7. DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

If you're confident in completing sanding, carpet removal, and refinishing the wood, you will undoubtedly save on labour costs. However, if you're unsure or don't have the tools and expertise, it's best to hire a professional. The average wooden floor restoration cost is £25 per m2 for sanding and refinishing. That said, carpet removal, sanding, treatment, and labour can usually be bundled into one cost-effective quote [2].


Refinishing old hardwood floors on a budget is possible with the right approach and tools. Start by thoroughly cleaning the floor, removing carpet and adhesive, and choosing a budget-friendly refinishing option like NaturalSeal, a revitalizer, or Rejuvenate Professional Wood Restorer. If you're confident in your abilities, you can complete the project yourself, but it's best to hire a professional if you're unsure or don't have the tools and expertise.

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