How to surface polish your flooring

Buffing floors removes minor scuffs and scratches, making them look like new. Surface polishing floors can literally extend their lives. Adding polish will protect them from minor scuffs and scratches while reducing the risk of long-term damage. And you’ll delay the day you have to pay to refinish the floor. Let’s learn how to surface polish your flooring.

Know Your Floor

Does your floor have a water-proof barrier like urethane? Then surface polishing it with a compatible polish will restore the seal. Does the floor have a penetrating finish like tung oil? Then you’ll want to wax it, not polish it. Don’t use the wrong product, because this could make it slick and even damage the wood. If you don’t know what type of finish it has, scrape a small, unobtrusive location. If the finish is smudged but nothing comes up, you have a penetrating finish; wax this floor. If you pull up clear material, you can consider surface polishing it. Test the polish on that spot to make sure it doesn’t discolor the floor.

Clean the Floor

Before you polish the floor, clean it. Remove the furniture so you can sweep up all the debris. This also allows you to apply the polish in smooth, constant motions. You might need to mop the floor with commercial wood floor cleaner, but you can make your own with a mix of warm water and a quarter of a cup of dish soap. This will lift up grime and modest stains in the wood. Next, clean the wood floor with a damp mop to remove any remaining cleaner. That needs to be gone before you apply floor polish. Let the floor dry out completely before you start surface polishing.

Polish the Wood Floors

Get a clean flat-surface mop so you can spread the polish evenly. Pour a small amount of wood polish in a corner of the room. Pour it in an S-shape on the floor so that it doesn’t pool in one location and seep into the wood. Don’t just pour it on the floor, because surface polish splashing onto baseboards or drywall can stain them.

Then work the solution back and forth, moving in the direction of the wood grain. Smooth out any air bubbles, because this mars the finish. Work in small areas, starting one when done with the next, so that you get an even layer of polish on the floors. This will also help you control how much finish you use.

Let the Polish Dry

Just as the floor needed to dry before you applied the polish, the polish needs to dry before you let anything come into contact with it. Give it at least a few hours before anyone walks on the surface. If you find that the polish isn’t thick enough, you can apply another coat – then let that dry. After the polish dries, you can put the furniture back. Don’t drag the furniture on the floor, because that will damage the polish.

Protect Your Floor

You can protect the floor by putting rugs by the entryways. The rugs will capture dirt that is otherwise tracked into the room. Put a rug near any sinks or water fountains to keep water from the floor surface. Vacuum or sweep the floors once a week. Do not use cleaners with vinegar or ammonia, because this will damage the polish. Then you’ll be surface polishing the wood again to restore that shine.

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