DIY Screen & Recoat: Transform Your Hardwood Floors with This Comprehensive Guide

DIY Screen & Recoat: Transform Your Hardwood Floors with This Comprehensive Guide

Revitalizing the allure of your hardwood floors can be a rewarding DIY project, especially when tackling a screen and recoat. In this detailed guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process, outlining the essential tools, materials, and instructions needed for a successful hardwood floor makeover. Additionally, we’ll emphasize the importance of thoroughly cleaning your floors to ensure the new finish achieves its full potential, free from any residues that could compromise its appearance and longevity.

Step 1: Assess the Condition of Your Floors

Before commencing the DIY screen and recoat process, evaluate the condition of your floors. This method is most effective for floors with minor scratches and wear on the surface finish, where the underlying wood is still in good condition.

Step 2: Gather Your Tools and Materials


  • Floor buffer or orbital sander
  • 150- or 180-grit screens
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Tack cloth
  • Paintbrush or foam applicator
  • Pole extension for the applicator


  • Hardwood floor cleaner
  • Wood filler (if needed for minor imperfections)
  • Wood stain or finish of your choice
  • Clean rags
  • Painter’s tape
  • Plastic sheeting or drop cloths

Step 3: Prepare the Room

Clear the room of furniture and cover any fixtures you can’t move. Use painter’s tape to protect baseboards and any adjacent surfaces. Lay down plastic sheeting or drop cloths to catch any dust or debris.

Step 4: Clean the Floors

Before screening, ensure your floors are impeccably clean. Use a hardwood floor cleaner to remove any residues from previous cleaning or polishing products. This step is crucial to prevent unwanted interactions that could affect the new finish’s appearance or even lead to delamination over time.

Step 5: Screen the Floors

Attach a 220-grit screen to the floor buffer. Work systematically across the floor, screening in the direction of the wood grain. Be sure to go over the entire floor evenly, focusing on high-traffic areas.

Step 6: Vacuum and Clean

Vacuum the floor thoroughly to remove all screening dust. Follow up with a hardwood floor cleaner to ensure a clean and dust-free surface. Allow the floor to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 7: Apply Finish

Using a clean paint roller or foam applicator on a pole extension, apply the wood finish of your choice. Work in the direction of the wood grain and maintain a consistent application. Allow the first coat to dry thoroughly before applying additional coats, if needed.

Step 8: Finish and Enjoy

Once the final coat has dried, carefully inspect the floors for any touch-ups. Remove painter’s tape, clean up any stray marks, and let the finish cure according to the product’s instructions. Once fully dried, move your furniture back into place and relish in your beautifully refreshed hardwood floors.


Undertaking a DIY screen and recoat project can be a gratifying way to breathe new life into your hardwood floors. By following this step-by-step guide and ensuring your floors are impeccably cleaned before starting the process, you’ll achieve professional-looking results that stand the test of time. Happy refinishing!