If you're tied of waking up and looking at an old and cracked wooden floor in your bedroom, then you should go ahead and refinish it. As long as you have the right items on hand and make room to work, it's not a difficult task. So, set aside a couple of days where you can have the bedroom empty, and then assemble the items you need to refinish the floors. Below is a list of what you will need.
Dust Mask, Vacuum, Mineral Spirits, and Dust Mop
A dust mask is necessary if you're planning on sanding the wood. If you're using a chemical peel, you might want to use a painters mask. Mineral spirits will be used to wipe the floor clean with a rag after it has been stripped. The dust mop will go over the floor as the final step after the stripper or sanding is done.
Floor Sander or Chemical Wood Stripper
The major step involved in refinishing floors is going to entail getting rid of the old floor coating. That means you need to remove the old poly, and then the underlying stain on the wood. There are two ways to do this. The first way, and probably the quickest, is to rent a professional floor sander (the type you stand up and maneuver using a handle, not the little ones you need to kneel down to use). This will evenly remove the top layer of the floor, including the poly and the stain. Some floor sanders will come with an attached vacuum, which is really helpful because you avoid the laborious clean up of dust later.
The second method is to use a chemical stripper. These essentially "burn" off the poly and stain. They are messy, though. You will need to wear gloves and protective eye wear, as well as a mask. There are some chemical strippers that are safer for indoor use, but you still should have the room ventilated. The messy part is the clean up. You let the chemical sit on the floor, and then after a time, you use a paint scraper and scrape off the gunk. Then you have to wash the floor with something like mineral spirits to get it spotless for the next step.
Floor Stain, Rags, and Wipe-On Poly
After the floor has been stripped or sanded bare and has dried from being cleaned with mineral spirits, you can now apply stain and poly. You can choose a stain that includes poly, but if you want a really shiny surface, you should probably add multiple coats of poly independent of the stain. The stain will be wiped on, making sure not to let it pool. Then, after the stain has dried, you can apply the first coat of poly. How many coats you want will depend on how shiny a surface you desire. If you're doing this yourself, then look for wipe-on poly, which is the easiest type to apply for the home user. You can also work with a company like Costen Floors Inc to have the work done professionally.