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How Do You Restore Hardwood Floors Without Sanding?

Person in overalls with an electric floor sander, sanding hard wood floors.

Sanding is the go-to method when you want to make your floors look good, sanding is always one of the steps involved. However, when you sand you run the risk of getting fine particles all over the place causing you more clean-up hassle.

You also run the risk of ruining your floors. If you sand against the grain, even accidentally, you will damage the wood causing you an expensive repair bill. There are safer ways to refinish your hardwood floors.

To find those methods, just continue to read our article. It has that information and instructions for you to follow.

How to Shine Wood Floors Without Refinishing

Varnish being rolled onto sanded hardwood floors.

There are several steps involved when you opt to do this method of making your floors look great again. These steps do not include any sanding:

Step 1 – Determine the Finish

The type of finish will tell you what direction you need to go in. If you test the current finish and find that it smudges instead of scrapes off, then you cannot polish the floor.

A finish that smudges is usually a penetrating coating, and you can only wax the floor to make it look nice again.

Step 2 – Once you have found that you can polish the floor, you need to remove all the furniture and other household items that sit on the floor. Then you have to take the time to clean the floor.

Cleaning involves either sweeping or vacuuming, whichever is easiest and gets all the loose dirt. Then you should use a hardwood floor cleanser to make sure you do not damage the wood. Or a little warm water with some liquid soap in it.

Make sure to rinse with a damp towel and dry the floor before you polish.

Step 3 – Pick the best corner that will not leave you trapped in the room when you are nearing the end of this step. Apply the polish and use a rectangle flat mop to spread the polish over your floor.

Make sure you go with the grain and get rid of any air bubbles. The coats you apply should be thin so that they dry faster, and you are free to use a second coat if you want.

Step 4 – Let the polish dry. This can take up to 24 hours depending on the brand of polish you use. If you are careful people can walk through the room during this stage, but the furniture should wait several hours before being put back into its spots.

One Cleaning Tip

Regular cleaning is not going to be enough to help your hardwood floors last a long time. If your room is used quite often, you will have to eventually refinish it. That will protect your floor and at the same time help it look good.

The Screen Method

Hand holding up a piece of screen.

Instead of using sandpaper, which can get quite messy as well as being hard to clean up after you are done, you can use a medium to fine grit mesh or screen to help bring your floors back to life. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1 – Make sure to remove all floor items and furniture from the room and give the floor a very thorough cleaning. Scrape off hard-to-remove items like dried gum, etc.

Step 2 – Turn your buffer over and put a medium to fine grit screen or mesh on it. Secure that mesh in place.

Step 3 – Pick a spot to start that will not leave you inside the room when you are done. You want to be able to end up at the door for an easy escape. Make sure to go with the grain and move the buffer in a straight line.

You can turn the mesh over or replace it as needed.

Step 4 – When you are done, remove the screen and fold it in half. Then manually rub it over the wood floor in the corners and next to the walls.

Step 5 – Vacuum the floor again, this time to remove any particles that the screen created. After using the vacuum, use a cloth damped with some mineral oil and pick up any dust the vacuum missed.

Step 6 – Once the dust has been removed, add your varnish or clear coat to the floor. You can use a paintbrush or roller to do this. Again, start in a spot that will allow you to finish by the door. Let the floor dry before using it or replacing the furniture, etc.

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