How to Recoat Hardwood Floors
Many homeowners are learning that recoating a wood floor is a practical and common sense approach to improving the look of a surface known to give them headaches. Typically, the floors have been refinished within the last 15 – 20 years and are simply showing some fatigue and in need of cosmetic improvement, not a full sanding. They are saving money with recoating.
The key is not to wait too long. In the photo to the right, the homeowner has waited until the wood has darkened from repeated exposures to water. As a general rule, if the floor has gotten lighter from wear, you should be good for a recoat. If it has gotten darker, you may need to look at a total sanding and finishing. So pay attention to the appearance of the wood to avoid being forced to sand it to get the look you want.
I don’t recommend “screening” a floor prior to recoating as this often leads to problems. I rely on safe, non toxic cleaners and bonding agents to get the best results. I make two applications of waterborne polyurethane to the prepared surface. Fast-drying and durable, waterborne polyurethanes are head and shoulders better than any products on the market. Recoating will not remove deep gouges and indentations but they will usually blend in better. If there is excessive discoloration from water damage and UV fading around area rugs, these may be visible after the new coatings have been applied.
Why Recoating Could Work for You
The ability to refurbish and improve the appearance and durability of an older floor without sanding it and doing this around a busy lifestyle and active family is the strength of recoating. The process I use is completely dustless, the chemicals and finishes I use don’t create a hazardous environment and homeowners usually have good use of the rooms when the recoating is taking place. I will phase the work so that homeowners aren’t forced out of their homes or have to endure major inconveniences.
These two photos show an old pine floor in a bungalow. Sanding wasn’t an option as there wasn’t enough wood left due to previous refinishing. Once recoating was completed, the rich colors return and the wood has enough finish on it to outlive the current owners. Without any sanding these floors have recaptured their beauty and are protected for years to come. This is an excellent example of the utility and value of recoating. Don’t overlook this option next time you look at your tired, worn floors.
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