Tap to Read ➤

How to Buff Hardwood Floors

Are you looking for steps on how to buff hardwood floors? If yes, then we're here to help you finish the job with as little expense and time as possible...
Sheetal Mandora Dec 10, 2018
Hardwood floors look divine in any home. Whether they are in the living room, on the stairs, in the kitchen, or bedroom, these floors can really enhance the ambiance and appearance of any room.
However, it takes a lot to care and maintain hardwood floors and keep them looking like new. Also, many times you will notice that the original gloss from the floors begin to diminish as time passes by or perhaps there are scratches and/or dents in the floors.
So what can you do about it? It would be a good idea to hire professionals who can buff those hardwood floors and bring back the finish you love. However, a better idea would be to take on the task by yourself and not have to change or remove any wood layers.
To screen and recoat hardwood floors also means to buff and coat them again. As wooden floors are delicate (as in their texture and appearance) and can't be fiddled with too often, you can't sand them after 3 or 4 times. So if you are looking for steps to buff hardwood floors, here are some specific instructions.

Buff and Coat Hardwood Floors

Clear the room where you want to buff and coat the floors. You will need ample of space and the furniture will only come in your way. Before starting, test it on a small area. So if anything goes wrong, the entire flooring won't be messed up.
  • Gather the necessary items - plain, fine steel wool pads, white spirit (mineral spirit), small bowl, 220 grit sandpaper, polyurethane, hand gloves, face mask, goggle, lambswool applicator, linseed oil, clean rags, and sanding hand block. Once you have all these items, move on to the next step for buffing hardwood floors.
  • Wear hand gloves, face mask and goggles.
  • Pour mineral spirit into a small bowl. Dip a steel wool pad in the spirit. This is done only if your hardwood floors already have polyurethane sealant on top.
  • The polyurethane sealant will dissolve and you can easily buff out scratches or dinges from the floors as you rub the hardwood floors with the steel wool pads.
  • Gently rub with the steel wool pads on the floor. Follow a particular pattern while you rub. This pattern can be determined by the direction of the wood grain. If the wood grain is going from right to left, then you will rub in the same direction; don't change directions or you might end up making more scratches.
  • Next we will use the 220 grit sandpaper to sand the scratches and dinges from the floor. The steel wool pads don't necessarily buff the floors completely so we require the sandpaper. Again, rub the sandpaper in the same direction as the wood grain.
  • Use the sanding hand block if you like to buff the floor. This is completely optional, depending on how bad the scratches are on the floor.
  • As you use the sandpaper, there will be sawdust and debris on the floor. Take the clean rags and wipe them off the floor. Don't apply pressure as you are wiping the floor. Gently remove the debris and clear the area.
  • Next we will take fresh rags and soak them with linseed oil. Wipe the floor thoroughly with the linseed oil soaked rags to clean them. As you wipe the floor, follow the wood grain direction here as well.
  • Let the floor dry completely before you do anything else. You can wait overnight or about 6 to 8 hours before you go to the final step.
  • Finally, you need to reapply the polyurethane sealant after the floors are buffed. Use the lambswool applicator and pour the sealant on one side of the room, far from the door. Use the lambswool applicator to spread a thin layer of polyurethane sealant in the direction of the wood grain.
The sealant should dry in about 7 to 8 hours. So ask everyone to stay out of the room and leave the floors to dry completely. If necessary, apply second and third coats of the polyurethane sealant. This is needed only if the hardwood floors have too many scratches. But first, you will have to sand the floors and then apply the polyurethane sealant.
Use these tips and steps to buff your hardwood floors. Make sure you have protective gear on at all times and the room where you are working has good ventilation. Wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty or can even throw away after the task is complete.