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Hardwood Flooring Refinishing Tips

Liquid Hardwood Flooring Refinishing Tips

Using the new liquid refinishing systems is really simple. The biggest mistake you can make is trying to expect too much from the products. In other words, don't expect the floors to look perfect if they have deep scratches, bare wood spots, or places where the finish has worn completely through. If you have these conditions the floor will look much better when completed, but not perfect!

Clean the Floor First

If you want great results, you need to clean the floor before you start. This means you absolutely should vacuum the floor to remove all loose dirt, grit and dust. If there is other dirt, jelly, orange juice, soda pop, etc. still on the floor, that needs to be cleaned. Use a slightly damp mop and a light solution of soap and water to remove these things from the wood. Rinse with clear water and dry the floor immediately with old towels. Do NOT use lots of water! Once the floor is dry you can start the liquid makeover.

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CLICK this image and listen to the first call on the podcast. I talked to Jill about how to repair wood kitchen flooring, and possibly installing an inlay border as an option. Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

Step One

If you purchase the Varathane Renewal system, the first product you will use is simply a deglosser. This is a liquid product that removes the gloss or shine from your current finish. This step simply creates more surface area for bonding purposes. Keep in mind that no matter what finish you apply, it is simply a glue. Glues stick better to surfaces that are not slick and smooth. Why? These surfaces have less surface area. When you mechanically sand a surface the sandpaper scratches the material and creates lots of tiny grooves. Each groove increases the amount of surface area on the material being sanded. These grooves also are great places for the new material to grab onto.

Step Two

The Varathane Renewal system has a special chemical that is used to insure that the finish coat locks permanently to the final coat. The liquid is applied after the de-glosser is dried. Both step one and step two have drying times of 30 minutes or less. They are extremely easy to apply. If you can mop a floor, you can apply these products. Simply make sure you get every part of the floor covered.

Step Three - Finished!

The final step is the actual finish. You need to activate the finish with a small bottle of catalyst. You just squirt it into the gallon can and stir it up. Don't hesitate using the finish, as once mixed with the catalyst, it is similar to epoxy. The catalyst begins a non-reversible chemical reaction. If you don't use the finish, it will get hard in the can.

When you apply the finish, don't be too worried about streak lines or brush strokes. These imperfections in the wet finish will disappear as the finish dries. The key is to apply a uniform coat that is bubble free. You apply it with a lamb's wool applicator attached to a pole. Do not use a roller! It will leave bubbles! Use the applicator much like you would wipe a kitchen counter. Use wide sweeping back and forth strokes and don't keep going over the same place multiple times. Always apply it in the same direction as the wood strips are laid. If you have driven up a mountain road that cuts back and forth across the mountain you know what I mean. Just start at one end of the room and go from one wall to the opposite wall with one continuous non-stop stroke. Turn around and go back the other direction.

The liquid finish is simply poured in small amounts on the floor ahead of where you are working. Think of the applicator as a snow plow. You just push the finish ahead of you and make sure the applicator is angled so the excess flows onto the floor where you have yet to coat. Don't let the excess flow on to the part of the floor you just coated moments before. It is really simple and you will get the hang of it in no time.

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