Q:

What are some good ways to restore a wood floor?

A:

Quick Answer

To restore a wood floor, vacuum and wash it thoroughly, let it dry, buff it with fine sand paper, vacuum it again, and then apply a solvent to smooth it. Apply a polyurethane wood finish with the grain using a paint brush for the corners and a foam pad applicator for the middle. For older floors, use a penetrating oil finish instead of polyurethane to protect the wood.

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Full Answer

Before sanding, vacuum the floor, and mop it using a light vinegar solution. When dry, use a pole sander or a rotary floor buffer to remove the old finish. Vacuum the floor again, and then use a clean rag to apply a solvent to tack and smooth the wood. Apply a new coat of the same polyurethane finish used previously. If the finish dries without peeling, it is an appropriate finish for your floor. If there are adhesion problems or peeling, look for another finish.

For floors older than 100 years, avoid plastic polyurethane, and use penetrating oil instead. The surface of old-growth trees look more natural when finished with oil, and oil protects older wood better. Use a rag to apply the oil to an older floor, after making necessary repairs, filling in cracks with latex and sanding to strip old finishes.

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