Never wax a hardwood floor. This applies even if it has lost its luster. Once you have applied wax to your hardwood floor, it will have to be sanded all the way down to the wood. That is a time consuming and expensive process that should be avoided if at all possible. If your floors have lost their luster and no one has tried to apply a coat of wax, restoring your hardwood floors luster is as easy as cleaning, screening, and refinishing. Follow these simple steps and you will have that beautiful floor back in no time.
Add Wood Finish
The first step is easy. Vacuum your floor thoroughly, making sure you do the job completely. Move all of the furniture into another room and vacuum every square inch paying particular attention to the cracks and corners. Once you hardwood floor is completely vacuumed, you are ready to clean it with a cleaner designed just for that purpose. You can find these at most large hardware stores that sell lumber or a flooring store.
Clean The Hardwood Floor
When you clean your hardwood floor, the object is to get the grease and grime up. The floor has to be completely grease free in order to accept the refinisher. Follow the directions on the wood floor cleaner label for the best results. During this step, it is very important to avoid spilling any kind of liquid onto the floor.
Screen The Hardwood Floor
The next step is called screening. In order for your hardwood floor to accept and hold a finisher, you will need to rough it up a little bit. You do this with either steel wool of a fine sand paper. You have to be extremely careful not to take it down to the bare wood. Remember, you are not sanding the floor, you only want to scratch the surface so that it will hold the finisher. If you screen your hardwood floor correctly, you will not have to do this again for a long time, otherwise, you might have to do it once a year, depending on how much use your floor gets.
Vacuum Thoroughly Again
Vacuum your floor again, making sure to get all of the grit that you have created when screening the floor. This is also a very important step in the finishing process. If you miss even a small spot, the refinisher will not take hold over the loose grit and there will be a bland spot that will be susceptible to dirt, grease, or water that could ruin that spot.
Now it is time to apply several layers of water or oil based finish. Take care and read the directions on the label for any special instruction related to that brand of finish. Allow to dry thoroughly before walking on your new floor.
No Wax Floors
Floors that have already been waxed will not accept a refinisher and will need to be either re-waxed, or sanded down to wood, restained, and then urethane and buffing will bring out the shine. Wax on a hardwood floor will repel refinisher.
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