How to Remove High Gloss From a Wood Floor

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Things You'll Need

  • Floor screener

  • Screening disks in 60-, 80- and 120-grit roughness

  • Vacuum

  • Low-gloss polyurethane

  • Gloss applicator (looks like a push broom)

  • 240-grit sandpaper


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Wood floors are usually topped with a gloss layer to protect the wood and give it a shine. But sometimes it gets too much of a shine. If the gloss on your wood floor is so shiny that it looks fake—and maybe even is too slippery to be safe—refinish it with a low-gloss polyurethane, which provides the same protection but is less reflective. To apply the new gloss, the old gloss has to be screened off, which is a light version of sanding the floor (it takes off just the gloss, not the wood surface).


Step 1

Load up your floor screener with the roughest grade of paper (60-grit). Starting along one wall, run the screener across the floor, in the direction of the floorboards, grinding off the top layer of existing gloss. Do the whole floor. Vacuum up the dust.

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Step 2

Re-load the screener with 80-grit paper and repeat the process. Do it a third time with 120-grit paper, getting the surface smooth and dull. Vacuum up the dust.


Step 3

Pour a puddle of low-gloss polyurethane in the far corner of the floor. Make the puddle about the size of your gloss applicator. Set the applicator in the gloss and pull it back across the floor, with the direction of the floorboards. Pour more gloss and continue spreading it row by row until you've done the whole floor. Let it dry for eight hours.


Step 4

Sand the gloss by hand using 240-grit sandpaper. Sand it very lightly, buffing it in quick, small strokes. Sand it just enough to take off the shine of the gloss so the next coat will stick. Vacuum up the dust.

Step 5

Apply a second coat of gloss in the same way you did the first. Let it dry, buff it with 240-grit sandpaper, and vacuum up the dust. Apply a third coat and let it dry for a two days (don't sand it).


Wear a dust mask while using a floor screener.


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