How to Paste Wax Hardwood Floors

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Keep your hardwood floors shiny by applying and buffing paste wax.
Keep your hardwood floors shiny by applying and buffing paste wax. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

If you've invested in new hardwood floors or just want to keep your older floors in the best shape possible, applying wax may be a suitable option. Before applying new paste wax, try buffing the floors to see if their sheen reappears, as overwaxing is possible and is not recommended.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Dust pan
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Towels
  • Hard paste wax
  • 6- to 8-inch-square piece of cheesecloth, double layer
  • Putty knife
  • Low-speed buffer

Sweep the floor with a broom and dustpan or the nozzle attachment of a vacuum. Damp mop the floor to pick up any grime. Do not saturate the hardwood with water; immediately dry any excess water from the floor.

Remove a 2-inch chunk of paste wax from the can, using a putty knife or other utensil. Place the wax onto the center of the cheesecloth.

Wrap the corners of the cheesecloth around the wax ball to encase the wax in the cheesecloth.

Place the cheesecloth ball on one corner of the hardwood floor, and rub it across the surface to apply a thin coat of wax. Work in sections until the entire floor is covered, replacing the wax with new as necessary.

Buff the floor once the wax is dry -- it should be dry by the time you finish waxing the entire floor. Place a soft bristle attachment to the buffer according to manufacturer's directions, and slowly buff the entire floor until it shines.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rebuff the floor as necessary to bring back the shine. Hard paste wax buffs to a repeated shine better than liquid paste wax. This means you can wait longer in between having to strip the floor and rewax it.
  • Always defer to the paste wax manufacturer's guidelines.
  • Do not apply paste wax to a finished hardwood floor. This will create difficulties in future refinishing projects.

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