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Old 06-11-2015, 03:48 PM   #1
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Make wood floors shine & match.


I'm moving into my first home and it looks like they shined the wood floors in the common area but not in two of the bedrooms. It's possible this was done with a paint brush but I'm not sure. Any suggestions on how to make the bedrooms match? I've attached a photo of the common area and you can see one of the bedrooms at the end of the hall that doesn't shine. Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2015, 03:55 PM   #2
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Looks like some of the floors were refinished but not the bedroom.You might try waxing and buffing the dull floor.
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:36 PM   #3
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Waxing will shine it up a bit, if the old finish isn't too bad. But, I think you'll be sorry if you go that way cuz it's going to be a constant routine and I doubt just waxing is gonna give you the high shine of the other floors. Furthermore if you wax, it'll have to be removed next time the floor needs to be refinished.

We can't tell from the pics, but I think you need a couple coats of clear to make it nice. There's many choices including water-borne and poly to choose from.

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Old 06-11-2015, 04:40 PM   #4
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Jaz is correct on all points.You just kind of get used to answering posts on the forum where nobody wants to put anymore time or money on fixing their houses than they have to.After a while you start answering them all that way.
I'll have to keep an eye on that issue.
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:18 PM   #5
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Waxing will shine it up a bit, if the old finish isn't too bad. But, I think you'll be sorry if you go that way cuz it's going to be a constant routine and I doubt just waxing is gonna give you the high shine of the other floors. Furthermore if you wax, it'll have to be removed next time the floor needs to be refinished.

We can't tell from the pics, but I think you need a couple coats of clear to make it nice. There's many choices including water-borne and poly to choose from.

Jaz
Thanks so much! Do you prefer water-borne or poly? These are the photos taken from the listing, we close and get the keys tomorrow so I can provide a closer up picture if that would be helpful in the next couple days.
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:45 PM   #6
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Room at the end of the hallway.
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:55 PM   #7
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Water-borne.

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Old 06-11-2015, 11:13 PM   #8
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I would hire a janitor with a floor machine to give that floor a good cleaning before you put anything on top of it. Tell him to use a black pad because the finish on the floor is probably alkyd based polyurethane, and relatively hard compared to an acrylic floor finish. (He'll probably do that without being told.)



(The above picture shows a floor machine fitted with a brush instead of a pad. Brushes also work well at cleaning floors, but pads are more commonly used because they're cheaper and work equally well.)

Yes, applying a clear coat over what you have now will make the floor look shiny because the smooth surface will reflect light in a "specular" way instead of a diffuse way. But, all you'll be doing is burying the dirty surface of that floor under your clear coat.



If the floor looks dull to you, the reason is because it's surface has been scratched up by people walking on the floor with shoes on. Hard dirt particles become embedded in the leather and rubber soles of people's shoes, and that makes the shoes abrasive. Wearing shoes on a floor with any sort of finish on it causes that finish to become scratched up, and that's why it looks dull instead of shiny. Also, dirt from people's shoes becomes embedded in the finish on the floor. Applying a clear coat over that dirt simply buries it under a smooth shiny surface.

Alternatively, rent a floor machine from Home Depot and clean the floor yourself. Apply diluted Mr. Clean to the floor and wet scrub it with a black pad and then use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner with a squeegee nozzle to pick up the dirty cleaner. Then spray water on the floor and scrub again. Squeegee up again. Allow time to dry. NOW put your clear coat on the floor.

But, be warned, it takes a little bit of practice to use a floor machine. Contrary to popular belief, you don't just push it around on the floor. You lift the handle to shift the center of gravity of the motor and transmission onto a part of the pad that's moving one way, which causes the machine to move the opposite way. The more you lift the handle, the faster the floor machine moves. To make the machine move the other way, push down on the handle instead of pulling up on it. It takes a bit of practice to operate a floor machine without plowing it full speed into a wall. I notice you have sliding doors in that room, and an out of control floor machine could easily bash then off the floor guides that are holding them in place.
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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 06-11-2015 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:27 PM   #9
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I just looked at the photos of your living room and hallway, and those floors look TOO shiny to me. The finish on them is brand new, and the skeptic in me is thinking that what I'm seeing isn't polyurethane, but a much softer (but shinier) acrylic floor finish.

The problem is, on a floor you need a HARD finish to stand up to the wear and tear of foot traffic. The harder the floor finish is, the better it will stand up to wear and the longer it will stay looking new.

I would wait to see how well those shiny floors of yours stay shiny before doing anything.

Did the previous owners have the floors professionally refinished, or did they do this work themselves?
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Old 06-12-2015, 12:16 AM   #10
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Also, if that shine on your floors is from an acrylic floor finish, any janitorial service company in your yellow pages phone book can strip it off for you in an hour or two. If it is an acrylic finish, I'd just wait until it gets dull and ugly before stripping it off. In my apartment block, tenants that take their shoes off indoors still have a glossy acrylic finish on their floors after near 7 years or so. One Japanese girl I have in my building always takes her shoes off indoors, and her floors are as shiny as the day I rented her the apartment a good 5 years ago. She keeps her apartment very clean, and that helps in preventing dirt from collecting on the floor and being ground into the acrylic floor finish underfoot.

PS:
When people refer to floor "wax" nowadays, they really mean floor "finish".
Real floor wax is Carnauba wax which is made from the nut of the Carnauba palm trees of Brazil. Carnauba wax was used on hardwood floors until the mid-1950's when, in 1956, Otto Bayer of the Bayer Company (famous for it's Aspirin) patented the first alkyd based polyurethane, which quickly became the clear coat of choice for hardwood floors because it was much harder than Carnauba Wax, and therefore stayed good looking very much longer. By contrast, Carnauba Wax was soft enough to be polished by a small electric polisher (the ones you see at garage sales for $5). Polyurethane was much harder and wouldn't respond to polishing with such a toy. Today, Carnauba Wax is still used in a lot of car polishes, but not on floors because it's so soft that it needs regular polishing to keep it looking good.
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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 06-12-2015 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:18 PM   #11
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Nestor: I have read a lot of your posts on this forum and you seem to be very knowledgable but also give advice on a lot of assumptions.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mako1 View Post
Nestor: I have read a lot of your posts on this forum and you seem to be very knowledgable but also give advice on a lot of assumptions.
I turn to face Mecca, put my kneeling mat down on the ground before me and humble myself before God praying to HIM that the shine on Planetspdx's floor is from too many coats of alkyd based polyurethane (or something equally hard).

I hope I'm wrong in my speculation that the previous owners put something inappropriate down on that floor just to make it shine like a mirror to impress prospective home buyers.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:50 PM   #13
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That's what I thought!Have a good weekend.
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Old 06-12-2015, 05:46 PM   #14
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You too.

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts.
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Old 06-20-2015, 02:04 AM   #15
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Frequent cleaning and annual waxing will help maintain your wood floor and make it shine beautifully. If thorough cleaning and waxing does not restore the natural beauty of the wood, a buffing machine will definitely make it shine..
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