How to Refresh Hardwood Floors


A shiny, fresh-looking hardwood floor gives a room an attractive, classic appearance. However, sometimes it just isn't practical or necessary to restore a hardwood floor by refinishing it. You might not have the time to laboriously sand down and re-finish the floor. Or perhaps it merely needs a little touching up rather than a full restoration. In these circumstances, just refresh the floor with a new coat of sealant.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor buffer with light sanding screen
  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Mop bucket
  • Polyurethane
  • Heavy paintbrush
  • Run the floor buffer (fitted with a sanding screen) over the floor surface once, to remove any light scratches and prepare the floor for a new layer of sealant. Don't expect this to remove the top layer of sealant and wood, as you aren't really sanding the floor.

  • Sweep and mop the floor to remove all dirt. Wait until the floor has dried from mopping, then sweep it again before proceeding. Remember that any debris that gets on the floor while you're applying the sealant will probably be trapped underneath it and essentially becomes glued to the floor.

  • Apply a new layer of polyurethane sealant to the floor with a paintbrush. Use short, even strokes to apply a thick coat of polyurethane.

  • Allow the polyurethane to dry as directed by the manufacturer (typically eight hours). Apply a second coat if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • To maintain a shiny, clean appearance, putting down a new coat of polyurethane on your hardwood floors is recommended every 12 to 18 months.
  • To deal with discoloration, rough spots and heavy scratches or gouges, it'll be necessary to refinish the floor instead of refreshing it.
  • Don't use a paint roller when applying polyurethane to your floors. The results are uneven and more prone to forming bubbles.

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