hardwood floor - refinish or wax

Old 11-13-02, 05:54 AM
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hardwood floor - refinish or wax

Four years ago I was advised to wax my hardwood floors. However, I am now wondering if they were pre-finished. Can I remove wax and apply a permenate finish. Or am I stuck with waxing?
Old 11-13-02, 03:48 PM
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Refinishing wood floors that have been waxed

If wax has been placed on the floor at any time prior, refinishing must occur to have wax removed, and start with a bare , freshly sanded wood floor. Urethane will NOT adhere to waxed floors, or floors that have been contaminated by cleaning products and other foreign materials such as over spray of furniture polish.

What type of finish do you have?
Here are some simple steps to help you determine if the finish is a wax finish, shellac or varnish finish or a surface finish. If the floor was installed, or last serviced, before the mid '60s, you should assume the finish used was varnish or shellac. To determine this, scratch the surface with a coin or other sharp object in a corner or other inconspicuous space. If the finish flakes, it is probably shellac or varnish. Shellac and varnish are rarely used anymore and require full sanding to remove before application of a surface finish or wax finish.

Next, check the floor for wax finish. In an inconspicuous area, corner or behind a door, apply two(2) drops of water. If, within ten minutes, white spots appear under the drops of water, the floor has a wax finish. To remove the white spots, gently rub the spots with #000 steel wool dampened with wax.

If the finish does not flake from scratching with a coin and white spots do not appear from the drops of water, the floor has a surface finish and should be maintained accordingly.

Purchasing A Home With Hard Wood Floors. WoodFloorsOnline.com. Retrieved 13 November 2002. http://www.woodfloorsonline.com/cons...chasehome.html

Waxing of hardwood floors that have floor finishes other than an original wax finish is not recommended. Waxing may limit some refinishing and re-coating options down the road. If not properly stripped, the wax can cause adhesion problems when re-coating the surface.

If in doubt, consult with a refinishing professional. If you plan on a DIY refinishing project, go to www.finishingwoodfloors.com for the Bible on finishing.

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