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How To Rejuvenate Dull Hardwood Floors without Refinishing Them.
You may think you need to refinish your hardwood flooring, but in many cases; there are simple, inexpensive, and do not require for you to completely refinish your flooring. But first, we should go over some basic info about hardwood flooring.
Screen And Coat
What does it mean to screen and coat a hardwood floor? This term is often used by professionals and it simply means to use some sort of lightly abrasive material to very lightly scuff the top layer of polyurethane in order to prepare it to have an additional layer of top coating put on. This method restores the top coat- and therefore the shine of a dull hardwood floor.
When professionals use this method- they frequently use specialized buffering tools that are gentle enough to abrade the floor's surface without going all the way down to the wood.
How to Screen and Coat a Hardwood Floor
You will need
- Buffing screen or mesh (you can get this at your local big box home improvement store)
- Soft cloth or soft mop- microfiber if possible
- Mineral Spirits
- Liquid Hardwood Floor Refinisher
Screening and Coat:
- Clean the Floor very thoroughly, taking special care to remove any dirt and debris
- Once you have cleaned the floor, using a soft mop, cover the floor in a moderate coating of mineral spirits. This will remove stubborn dirt and all of the dust
- Starting at the corner of your floor, go over the entire floor surface with the mesh. Remember the goal is only to texture the floor enough for the costing of polyeurethane to adhere to it, so be gentle!
- Following the directions on the liquid floor finish you decide, use a squeegee to even out the coating as much as possible, being careful not to "over work" the finish. The surface may look a little bumpy or uneven- this is natural and should even itself out once the coat has dried
- allow to dry for 24 hours, then clean the floor again, using a mixture of 1 gallon of warm water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 20 drops of lemon oil *optional*, and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Make sure to mix vigorously before cleaning so that the mixture does not separate!
But what about minor blemishes, or spot treating hardwood flooring?
The screen and coat method is great for floors that are right in the middle stage between needing to be completely refinished, and needing to have only spot treatments. Lets look at ways to handle those little blemishes and imperfections which can dull your hardwood floor
For small surface scratches, you can use a piece of wire wool and a wax stick for most of these repairs.Clean the scratched area, rinse and allow to dry. Rub the scratch with a piece of wire wool, moving in the same direction as the grain. Once the scratch has been buffed away, use the wire wool to gently blend the area around the scratch. Rub a wax stick over the scratch to fill and blend it, and allow the wax to harden for 10 minutes. Buff with a soft cloth.
You may have heard that a good way to handle surface scratches or imperfections on hardwood floors is to rub the problem area with a piece of walnut. The rumors are true! Using a shelled walnut is a great way to cover up small dings and scratches on any wood surface. (check out this video on Removing Scratches in Wood with a Shelled Walnut to see how its done!
Chemical Free Hardwood Floor Cleaner:
Another great way to ad shine to your hardwood floor is to use this easy home recipe for a chemical-free hardwood floor cleaner. This recipe helps to restore oils to the floor which can help to create shine.
What You'll Need
- 1/4 cups olive oil
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 12 drops lemon essential oil
- 5 cups hot water
Combine ingredients, grab a rag or soft cloth, and polish away! Vinegar and Olive oil will do wonders for your hardwood floors, and the lemon essential oil will leave them smelling as fantastic as they look.
There are many ways to rejuvenate dull hardwood floors!
Many of which do not involve having the entire floor refinished. However- inevitably, hardwood floors will need to be refinished, so keep that in mind if you find that none of the above methods seem to work on your hardwood floors. Until then, these helpful tips can save you a dime or two, and leave your hardwood flooring looking great!