Burn not your house to fright the mouse away. So goes a proverbial idiom. The same principle applies to hardwood floors. If your hardwood floor is only partly worn out, it would be ridiculous to refinish it entirely. Not only will a complete and comprehensive refurbishing take a long time; it will also cost you a hefty sum and a huge amount of labor (either yours or the hired professional's). In almost all cases, hardwood floors will require occasional refurbishing only in areas exposed to frequent and heavy traffic. This article will teach you how to refurbish worn spots on finished hardwood floors.
- Clean the worn area. With a damp rag, wipe the area to remove any surface dust and grime. Let the wet spot dry up first before proceeding.
- Sand the work area. You can do this with a handheld sander. Or, you can work up some sweat by doing it manually. Make sure you use medium-grit sandpaper, which should be effective in scratching the surface and exposing the fresh wood grain. Make sanding easier by wrapping the sandpaper around a 2-inch by 4-inch wooden block. With the sandpaper facing down on the floor, grasp the block using both hands, place some pressure on the block, and start sanding.
- Clear away wood dust. Sweep the wood dust or vacuum it up. Then, wipe off the excess wood dust with a damp rag. Let the damp spot dry up completely before proceeding.
- Open the windows and doors. Make sure that the work area is properly ventilated at this point. The next steps will require usage of substances that give off fumes and vapors that could be harmful when inhaled.
- Apply polyurethane finish or varnish. Make sure that the solution is properly mixed (shake the can or bottle, if needed). Read the instructions on the label. If possible, use exactly the same varnish or polyurethane finish as that previously applied on the remaining part of the floor. This is the best way to make your refurbished spot match perfectly or seamlessly blend with the finish of the rest of the floor. Apply the varnish or polyurethane finish by either using a paintbrush or by spraying it onto the floor area that needs refurbishing. Don’t apply a very thick layer for the first coat.
- Let the varnish dry up completely. This can take a few hours.
- Assess the finished area. If you are lucky, one coat of varnish or polyurethane finish might get the job done. In most cases, you’ll need a second or third coating of finish.
- Sand the finished area. Clear the dust. Apply a second coating of varnish or finish. Let it dry for a few hours. Then, assess the finished area again to see if the finish matches well with the surrounding floor area. If not, repeat the procedure (sanding, clearing dust, varnish application) one more time or as many times until the finish looks even with the rest of the floor.
- Let the last coat sit for a day. Upon reaching the final application of varnish, let the finish set for about 24 hours before using the area again.
Refurbishing worn out spots on hardwood floors doesn’t require a complete refinish of the entire floor area. With a little effort and a few hours, you can easily refurbish that worn spot using common hardware materials and equipment.