To buff hardwood floors by machine, buy or rent a stand-up floor-buffing machine. Remove any residual wax from previous treatments on the floor. Thoroughly clean the floor with appropriate hardwood cleaning solution, and allow it to dry. Check the machine's polish pads, and replace them if they are not in good condition. Apply buffing wax to the floor. Turn the machine on, and sweep from left to right in a smooth movement until all of the floor has been buffed.
Hardwood floors can also be buffed manually. Thoroughly sweep the floor or use a dry mop. Then select a cleaning compound for the hardwood floor. Whether buffing by machine or manually, do not use a wax-based cleaning compound or buffing solution if the hardwood floor has a polyurethane coating. Gently apply the cleaning compound to the floor, and use a terry cloth to work the solution into the surface of the floor.
After the cleaning compound has been applied to the entire floor, use a soft buffing pad over the surface of the floor. Work the buffing pad in a circular motion, using a moderate amount of pressure until all residue from the cleaning compound is gone. The repeated circular motion of the buffing pad restores the shine to the hardwood floor.