What’s involved with refinishing a hardwood floor?
To answer your second question first, no, I would not recommend that you sand and refinish a hardwood floor yourself. The job involves using heavy sanders that require a deft touch so as to not gouge the floor. And the refinishing is a multi-step process that needs to be done right the first time.
The difficulties in sanding and refinishing depend on the condition of your floor but could include having to remove carpet glue and fill cracks between floorboards as part of the preparation process. Two different types of sanders are used; a belt floor sander for the main areas and an orbital sander to go around the floor perimeter. Once sanding is complete, the floor is stained and finished, usually with a polyurethane varnish. A semigloss finish adds more shine than satin without the high maintenance of a gloss finish.