How To Refinish Your Hardwood Floors: Final Sanding with the Buffer

We continue with our ongoing series. We hope that you find this useful. As always, if you have any questions, we're always happy to help and answer them. 

Well, this is it, we’re almost there! I’m sure you can see the finish line is close for this project, and I can too. If you’ve made it this far your floors should be looking really terrific. We have one more final step left to do, which is crucial; a final light buffing pass. We do this to blend all of the places that were edged, random orbited, and belt sanded together into one beautiful even sanding scratch pattern. This way no color differences or picture framing problems can occur. For this you will need your buffer, a driver plate, a thick white or red backing pad, and a 120 grit sanding screen. Attach it to the buffer and place the buffer on the floor as shown in the picture below.

orbital buffer sander

Before you begin actually buffing the floor, I’d like to take the time to warn you that the buffer is VERY tricky to get the hang of. Make sure you start in the middle of the room, away from any windows and walls because it is very difficult to balance the machine well if you are a first time user; this was by far the hardest piece of equipment for me to get used to when I was learning my way into the business. My best advice would be to immediately adjust your handle level if the buffer is trying to get away from you or bucking too hard. Once you start the buffer begin to move back and forth very quickly almost kind of skimming the surface with it, it is also good practice to go with the grain of the wood when buffing a floor although on a natural hardwood floor without staining it does not matter. You have taken the time to properly Randomly Orbit out edger marks and the Belt Sander lines in the floor so the main priority here is to just properly go over the entire floor with the buffer making sure everything blends evenly into one even sanding scratch pattern.