How to Give Hardwood Floors a Natural Finish
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Mark in Oregon on the line who needs some help with a hardwood-flooring project. Tell us what you’re working on.
MARK: Got an old wood floor – hardwood floor – that is looking, oh, kind of rough but I don’t really want to put a showroom shine on it. But yet I still want to keep it protected and I kind of want to keep it clean. So I was wondering if there’s a product that you would suggest to more or less not refinish it but yet keep it maintained, I guess.
TOM: Well, so, what you’re saying is that you don’t want to go all-in and have it – and totally sand it down. You just want to sort of brush it up a little bit? Is that correct?
MARK: Yeah, because it’s well-used. It’s in a dining room but yet I think I kind of like that antique or almost museum look to it.
TOM: Is any of it worn down to the bone? Do you see the raw wood anywhere or is it just scuffed up a bit?
MARK: It’s pretty much scuffed and worn down, I would say, yeah. But it’s not bad looking; it’s just – I just don’t want to really put a shine on it and make it look like it’s a brand-new hardwood floor.
TOM: You’re going to need to pull all the furniture out of the room and then you have to do a light sanding of the floor. If it’s not really worn out to the point where it’s got cracks or crevices or digs or areas where the stain is missing or anything like that, it’s just sort of roughed up a bit, you can do a light sanding. And the easiest way to do that is with a floor sander and a sanding screen on it.
You go out and rent one of these floor sanders, like you see used at a commercial building or the mall or someplace like that. And then they’ll give you, at the store, a couple of sanding screens that go underneath it. And then you very carefully and slowly – you do like a light sanding of the whole thing.
And then you’ll have to hand-sand along the baseboard and the corners and so on. Then damp-mop it, just to make sure you get up all of the dust. Vacuum and damp-mop it. And then what you can do is apply two or three coats of satin polyurethane. You could even get flat polyurethane if you want absolutely no sheen to it. But satin usually has just enough sheen to protect it but not be too obvious.
And you apply the polyurethane with a lambswool applicator – not with a brush. You pretty much mop it on with the lambswool applicator and stay out of the room for a couple of days and you’ll be good to go.
MARK: Well, it sounds great to me. I’ll give it a try.