Are you looking for how to make your hardwood or wood floors shine and look new again with appropriate finish materials? Do you want to know how to naturally polish wood floors and buff hardwood floors yourself?
If your wood floors have grown dull and worn, you may be wondering how much it would cost to refurbish them. Will you need to engage an expert to restore the gloss of your flooring, or is there something you can do on your own without spending too much money?
While you can hire an expert to do the job without stressing yourself, you should be able to revive your wood floors in just a few easy steps that will be discussed in this article.
Here, you will learn how and what to finish, polish, and buff wood floors naturally by yourself and make your hardwood floors shine and look new again.
If it is just a scratch, here is a detailed article on Easy Fix For A Wooden Floor Scratch you can read.
Why Is Refinishing Necessary?
While polishing, washing, and buffing give a new look, they may not be able to remove tiny dents, nicks, tenacious stains, and other defects. Refinishing entails sanding the top thin layer and adding new paint or stain as well as a sealer.
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How can I make my hardwood floors shine?
What if you are for hardwood, you have hardwood flooring currently in your home or you’re planning to see to it for the house you are furnishing? The unique patterns and strength of hardwood flooring combined with the warmth and comfort of organic design capture the essence of nature.
Natural wood floors come in a wide variety of looks, from classic oak to bold stains and distressing. Hardwood floors are not just beautiful, but they are also strong and versatile.
If you don’t want a dull-looking floor and you want to have your hardwood floors shine here and then. You obviously will be taking some steps to achieve that which include:
#1. Determine the kind of finish that was used for your floor.
To make your wood floors shine and look new again, you have to determine the type of finish used on the hardwood floor. The type of finish on your wood affects the materials and processes that you will take to get your floor shining. Did you seal your solid or engineered hardwood with polyurethane, polyacrylic urethane, or paste wax?
You need to know all these things because using a product for the wrong floor can be seriously damaging to the floor. If you aren’t sure of the finish used on your floor, you can test your floor to check if it was a penetrating finish or surface finish that was used on it.
Do this by scraping out a tiny bit of the inconspicuous location on the wood with your knife blade.
#2. Conduct Regular Cleaning
It’s true, regular cleaning is a must to maintain hardwood floors. You can never and shouldn’t pass this process. This is a great step to rejuvenating the life on your wood floor. Clearing and cleaning your wood floors of dust and dirt keeps them free of destructive particles, dull-looking appearance, and wearing out quickly.
- In order to do this, you have to begin with dusting, sweeping, and mopping the floor to clean off dirt.
- If your floor is surface-finished and the hardwood floor still looks dingy or dull after dusting, deep clean it with any pH-neutral, wax-free, and petroleum-free cleaner, such as Bona PowerPlus Hardwood Floor Deep Cleaner, or make a homemade solution using 14 cups of dish soap and 1 gallon of warm water.
- What about when your floor has a penetrating finish, the best way to deep clean it is to strip away the grimy old wax coat and reapply a fresh wax coat.
- Rub a clean cloth saturated in mineral spirits over 2-foot sections of the floor at a time, letting the mineral spirits dwell for 5 minutes on each section before wiping away with a fresh cloth dampened slightly with water.
- Then, dry thoroughly with a fresh, dry cloth.
- Finally, add a solvent-based hardwood floor wax, such as Trewax Paste Wax to a soft cloth. Use the amount as directed by the manufacturer. Then use the cloth or an electric polisher (buy one or rent one at a hardware store) to buff the wax in circular motions, polishing in 2-foot sections at a time.
#3. Polish The Floor
Since your floor is free of dirt and dust now, you should begin with you polishing the floor to a shine. You simply do this with a flat-surface mop, working the solution back and forth in the direction of the wood grain, smoothing out any air bubbles.
Remember to work in small areas (about 3 to 5 feet wide in either direction) to best control the amount of polish you’ve applied and avoid splashing polish on drywall and baseboard areas in order not to stain them.
By polishing the hardwood floors, you make the wood floors shine and look new again.
#4. Restore Your Furniture
Holding off for at least a day, before restoring the furniture in the room and before allowing full traffic into the room is highly recommended because those can render your hard efforts futile as they can cause scratching and other unpleasant sights like scratches, dirt, water stains on the well-cleaned floor.
#5. Maintain Regular Cleaning
Then finally, you have to keep a regular cleaning routine to maintain the polishing looks. This shouldn’t be complicated because it is all about taking some possible measures to avoid dirt and cleaning them off without using diluted vinegar or ammonia.
These measures could include placing rugs at entry doors to prevent dirt from getting in, and placing rugs under your kitchen sinks to catch stray drops of water.
These precautions will go a way to preserve your wood floor’s shine. You may still want to repeat the polishing process a few times per year, as needed, but don’t exceed four applications per year.
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What to finish wood floors with
It is quite confusing and can be disastrous if you don’t know the wood floor finish to use. In the beginning, you will need this knowledge because your routine level of traffic in the house has a significant bearing on the choice you would be making as some finishes are resistant to certain occurrences.
During the period of refinishing, you will also need to know the finishing you first used since the absence of compatibility with old finishes is a call to sand down to bare wood before refinishing.
There are three main current types of floor finish for wood floors. These include:
This is the highest used type of wood flooring. It’s tough enough to handle constant traffic and is resistant to almost everything. Polyurethane finishes are of two types: oil-based (solvent-borne) and water-based (waterborne).
You can tell a polyurethane finish by its similar look to plastic film and you can’t scrape up any gummy residue. It is important to note that there are other surface finishes like shellac, lacquer, and varnish that resemble polyurethane.
If you can not scrape up gummy residue in polyurethane, remember that in wax finishes, you can scrape up a gummy, waxy residue, especially in corners.
You can get your floor with wax as the only finish, or you get the wax applied over polyurethane or a penetrating sealer. A waxed floor gets a hazy look when wet. Before you put down any finish on a wax-only floor, the wax has to be removed.
#3. Penetrating oils and sealers
Mentioning the importance of compatibility before refinishing is a headway to discussing penetrating oils and sealers versus polyurethane finishes. These finishes are not compatible with a topcoat of polyurethane and have to be treated with the original finish or stripped completely during refinishing.
These primarily solvent-borne finishes include old-fashioned sealants like linseed oil, soaking deeply into the wood pores. Many of these floors are then waxed after that. By using penetrating oils and sealers you make wood floors look new again.
What to clean the wood floor with
Beginning with what you shouldn’t clean your wood floor with is a good start to maintaining the longevity and shining appearance of your wood floor. There are so many cleaning ingredients for wood floors in the market, but it’s essential to avoid cleaners that aren’t pH-neutral or aren’t specifically designed for your flooring.
As always pointed out, you can’t effectively clean your floor without recognizing the type of hardwood and the floor finishes used on it.
Getting your hardwood floors clean and to an exotic look does not require special cleaning ingredients and methods because hardwoods are a natural material and can be maintained with natural materials.
However, we have some natural cleaners like distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda that aren’t safe for hardwood floors. The same goes for too much moisture. You should never steam clean your hardwood floors or use too much water with any wood floor cleaner. Skip oils, waxes, furniture sprays, or anything with ammonia.
So what do you need to clean your floors:
- Plain old soap and water
- Microfiber flat-head or string mop
- Liquid wax or paste wax (dependent on your wood floor finish)
How to polish wood floors naturally
If you’ve spent a lot of money on hardwood floors, get them clean with a shining look without attaining that. Then it is perhaps the time to reconsider store-bought cleaners for homemade ones that will help you polish your wood floors naturally.
There are some other ways to polish your wood floors naturally but let’s look at Olive oil and Lemon juice solutions. In using the Olive oil and Lemon juice solution, you should take the following steps:
- Get rid of germs first with lemons by putting a half cup of lemon juice in your pail of damp-mopping water to sanitize your wood floor.
- Mix 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/3 cup white vinegar and five cups of hot water. Add a few teaspoons of lemon juice (or lemon essential oil) to get a fresh citrus scent.
- To condition and shine when done cleaning. Dip a mop or rag in the solution and use it to polish your floors just like you would if you were using a store-bought solution.
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How to buff hardwood floors yourself
One way to make wood floors look new again and shine is to buff the hardwood floors yourself.
Refinishing is a great way of revitalizing your floors but if you’re at the basic level, buffing and sanding are ways of addressing wear and tear on different aspects of your floor.
In sanding, you would remove all of the finish and stain from your floors as well as smooth out the wood underneath those layers of stain and sealer while in buffing, you only need to work on small areas of your floor with shallow nick or small scratches.
These two ways aren’t interchangeable but if you want to buff your hardwood floors yourself:
- If you’ve previously polished the floor, remove the wax polish before getting started.
- Then clean your floor to remove dirt and specks of dust that got stuck in the polish
- Rub brass wool over the damaged part until the scratch or ding has been leveled out and you can’t see it anymore.
- The next is to re-polish the area by applying hardwood floor wax with a terry cloth towel.
- Finish off by rubbing the area with a buffing pad to make it as shiny as the rest of your floor.
To buff your entire floor, rent a buffing machine from any local home improvement store nearby and follow the needed steps above.
Maintain your floors now that they appear brand new by putting rugs at entry doors to prevent dirt from being tracked inside. If your kitchen has wood flooring, add a rug to collect any stray drips of water.
Maintain a consistent cleaning schedule, vacuuming weekly and thoroughly cleaning the floors once a month. On wood floors, avoid using homemade cleaning solutions including diluted vinegar or ammonia; they will only dull a surface-finished floor.
Instead, try wood floor cleaner, which contains castile soap.
These precautions will help to keep the luster of your wood floor. You may need to repeat the polishing process a few times a year, as needed.
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