Many options are advertised for keeping your wood floors clean and looking their best but are actually the cause of many long-term care issues. We consistently restore floors that have a thick wax residue and contaminants from these “cleaning” products. These culprits are responsible for the excessive dulling and damage to the wood floor’s appearance. Here we share a great way to inexpensively and quickly care for your wood floors that will not result in any waxy buildup.
Cleaning Your Floors
Of course, cleaning your floors is the first step to completing your own clean recoat. It is essential that you properly clean your floors before anything else. Firstly, to do this, you will need to rent a low-speed buffer. This alone can cost a few hundred dollars. Yet, it is imperative to clean your floors properly.
Secondly, you will need a pH-neutral cleaning solution; overly acidic or basic cleaners can damage your floors. You can buy the Sam’s Club Member’s Mark brand of pH-neutral cleaning solution for around $6/gallon (which will cover approximately 400 sq ft per gallon). Using a low-speed buffer and a pH-neutral cleaning solution is your best chance of adequately sanitizing and cleansing your floors before the recoat process. This process must both clean your floors and remove grime and build-up. Another way to do this, but likely less efficient, is to purchase a janitorial mop and bucket with a wringer; you can find these at many hardware stores such as Lowe’s. When using a mop– DO NOT oversaturate your floors. Cupping and warping may occur when using too much water on your hardwood, which compromises the wood itself.
Additionally, when approaching the bucket and mop method, ensure to use a cleaning mop and not a finishing mop. A cleaning mop reabsorbs dirt from the floor into its fibers and is typically made of cotton, whereas finishing mops release solutions into the floor. Once you have correctly and thoroughly clean your floors, you must allow them to completely dry. There can be no moisture left on the wood!
Color Correcting Bare Wood Areas
Your floors may have some bare wood spots or areas that need color matched to the rest of the wood. In this case, you will need to stain these spots before recoating your floors. Sherwin Williams can provide you with any wood staining needs– we recommend checking out the Minwax line of water-based stains if you require color correction. If your floors are still fully coated in your previous finish, you can move on to the next section.
Recoating Your Floors
You can start the finishing process when you have assured your floors are completely clean and dry. You will want to use a water-based polyurethane coating. These finishes can be applied to both oil and water-based finishes already on your floors. Two brands/finishes you may want to look into are the Varathane water-based finish and the Polycrylic water-based finish by MinWax.
Depending on the square footage of your product, you may need several containers. We recommend using a sponge method to distribute your coating evenly. When applying your coats, move from wall to wall with the grain; do not move horizontally, as this can leave noticeable perpendicular stroke marks on your floor. Just as in cleaning, you must let this finish fully dry before replacing any furniture.
What if I mess up?
When you DIY any home project, making an error is a real possibility. You may have the resources and tools you need to accomplish your dream renovation, but you lack the experience and expertise to pull it off. In the end, if you make mistakes, it may cost you more to fix them than it would have been to get professional help in the first place.
Our Final Thoughts
Of course, there will always be success stories in terms of DIYs. You can certainly pull this off if you have the resources, time, patience, and knowledge! Yet, use caution and carefully consider the risks and rewards of recoating your floors by yourself. An error may end up greatly costing you! Ultimately, after purchasing and renting all the needed equipment, doing proper research, and taking precious time out of your schedule, DIY-ing your floors may not be the most practical solution for your home.
So, if you’re feeling intimidated by this thought and are looking for professional help, we are here to be of service! With over 20 years of experience, you can trust us to make your floors look stunning again.
A Little About Clean ReCoat
At Clean ReCoat, we provide complete hardwood floor care. Need to show a 100 year old floor some love? Good, we love saving old floors. Are your floors youngsters but a little banged and bruised from the dogs nails? We’ve seen a million times. With over 25 years of experience in and around the custom wood floor business we know our stuff and we’ll share it with you if it’ll help you solve a problem you have.