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How to Remove a White Haze on a Refinished Floor

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Larry in Illinois on the line who needs help with a cleaning question. Tell us what you’re working on.

    LARRY: Yes. Working on some floors that I refinished but I even washed the floor down after I sanded them originally with mineral spirits. And then I stained them and put two coats of stain on them – I believe it was at least two coats – and then put clear poly on the top of it like that. Three coats of it and sanded in between. Now I’m getting kind of a white haze coming up like that. And I don’t know if it’s from the original wood or what; I was just curious. Can I just sand that area down and will it blend into the rest of the floor, without having to redo the whole floor?

    TOM: Well, you might be able to but I want to make sure it’s really super-dry before I tell you to do that. How many days has it been sitting around now?

    LARRY: Oh, it’s been about four years. Three or four years.

    TOM: Oh, well, I guess it’s dry.

    LARRY: Yeah.

    LESLIE: It’s cured.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LARRY: Yeah.

    TOM: Here’s the way to do this. Instead of sanding it, what you can do is buff it with a sanding screen. You could head out to a rental-supply house and pick up a floor buffer and a sanding screen.

    LARRY: OK.

    TOM: So, the sanding screen kind of looks like window-screen material but it’s a very fine abrasive.

    LARRY: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve used that before.

    TOM: OK. So you know what I’m talking about. So that just takes off the upper surface of the floor itself; it doesn’t really dig in and damage the wood.

    LARRY: OK.

    TOM: It won’t cause you to have to restain or touch up anything. And I would try using that machine and then buffing out the whole surface with that. And then you can use a damp mop and very carefully lift up and vacuum up all of the dust.

    And if you want – when that’s done, since you have all the furniture out of the room – you could maybe put one fresh coat of urethane on it. And that should restore the surface.

    LARRY: Now, can I use 220 DA sander? That’s what I’ve used in between the coats like that if they recommend.

    TOM: Yeah. You could do that, as well. It’s just I think that the floor buffer is not an expensive piece of equipment to rent and a very easy way to do a large area. Get down there with a floor sander, even if it’s a half-sheet sander, that’s important to have to get into the nooks and the crannies in the corners. But the floor buffer with a sanding screen is just a really easy tool to use once you get it picked up and back to the house.

    LARRY: OK. Thank you.

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