Maybe there’s rot, all-over splintering, too many patches, huge gaps, or urine stains. You’ll get a floor that’s not bad and certainly better and more protected than before. Remember that hardwoods may have been used in public rooms, softwood upstairs, and “deal” (usually, butt-jointed wide boards of soft pine or fir) in back halls and attics. Moisture is the enemy of hardwood flooring, but keeping your floor clean is a priority. It is considered “greener” because it doesn’t involve newly felled old-growth trees; it may be less expensive; it has character to match the truly old house, due to markings made by previous joinery, nails, and wear. Wood floors. You'll find two types of polyurethane at home centers: The oil-based polyurethanes (or “oil-modified urethanes”) are easier to apply because they dry slowly, giving you more time to spread and smooth the finish. And although roughing up the existing finish creates plenty of dust, it’s still much less messy than sanding down to bare wood. The recoating itself usually takes less than an hour. Still, water-based products are harder to apply because they dry fast. Tape off the baseboards along the perimeter of the floor. Sound old wood can be moved to prominent areas, and the patches done in dark corners or under rugs and furniture. Maybe there was never a finish floor in the first place. If that doesn't work, apply some wood stain to the scratch using a cotton swab. When it’s time to clean and shine your old hardwood floor, you can use home remedies like vinegar, lemon juice, baking Soda, olive oil, and lemongrass. But as long as the damage is shallow—in the coating and not in the wood itself—you can renew the hardwood floor by adding a new coat of polyurethane right over the old finish. Clean the Floor with a Hardwood Floor Cleaner Photo by Reena Bammi. . Refinishing hardwood floors is the right solution. If you can flatten a ridge by standing on it, fasten it down with a finishing nail or two. Roughen the existing finish along walls and in corners where the buffer won’t reach. You’ve painted the ceiling and papered the walls. And remember to avoid that area with the buffer. Stains that have penetrated through the finish as well as the wood can only be removed by sanding. Most likely this will be an oil-based varnish or oil-based polyurethane. But as long as the damage is shallow—in the coating and not in the wood itself—you can renew the hardwood floor by adding a new coat of polyurethane right over the old finish. The woodwork gleams, the lighting fixtures shine . We recommend our users to update the browser. If your home has original fir flooring or woodwork, here's what you need to know about refinishing it. Here's a look at ways to determine whether you need a simple repair, a full refinishing job, or to simply start fresh with a new hardwood floor installation. Too much, of course, results in a patchwork effect—and it will test the skill of the carpenter trying to match new wood to old. If a floor is scratch-sanded or screened (not entirely stripped of its old finish), then you must use a compatible finish for reapplication. As with any wood floor refinishing project, 90 percent … They have a yellowish hue and slowly darken with time, which may be good or bad for staining hardwood floors depending on the look you want as you're refinishing hardwood floors. A wet coat of mineral spirits produces approximately the same look as a coat of polyurethane. Gleaming tongue-and-groove hardwood floors might seem like the standard for old houses, but that wasn’t always the case, as a trip through wood flooring history illustrates. Other floor finishes are either less durable or much more difficult to work with. Because the scratch is rough and porous, it will absorb a lot of stain. Interior designer Robert Currie specified restoration, not replacement, for an old wood floor in this elegant Shingle Style house in New England.