Top Tips for Polishing Timber Floors

There’s nothing like gorgeously polished timber floors. However, contrary to what you might have assumed, you can’t just have your floor polished right off the bat to give it the facelift that you were gunning for. If you go on right ahead and polish a floor that has gone through the ravages of time, tired and worn, with deep scratches carved into it, don’t expect it to look as good as new.

The point is, you have to assess if your floor’s present state needs to be sanded and refinished before you decide to make any attempt at reviving it. If you’re a newbie to all this, sanding your floor would mean completely removing its existing finish and replacing it with a fresh one to give it a new lease on life.

On the other hand, if its still in good condition but just needs to have its surface evened out because of minor scratches, then you need not go through all the trouble of having it sanded, stained and refinished. Just have it polished and before you know it, your floors are looking like they’re brand new.

Perfectly polished timber floors are not that easy to come by even if your floors don’t require sanding simply because the chemicals and polishes that would be applied to your floor may react differently depending on the type of timber it’s made of.

If you’re one who’s pinching pennies, you’re probably thinking about doing the project yourself. True, you might save some cash if you decide to address your floor issues without the help of a professional. However, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to pull off the desired effect that you were hoping for.

In any case, if you’re wanting to know more about how you can achieve exquisitely polished timber floors by yourself, you’ll have to determine the type of floor finish you need to use.  

The use of polyurethane floor finishes is the most popular choice. However, you have to take extra caution because their fumes are extremely toxic. Remember to wear your protective gear while you’re at it: eyewear, gloves, and a special respiratory device that’s intended for use with dangerously toxic chemicals. Not only that, you’ll need to ensure that the area you’re working at is well ventilated.

You can also choose to use oil-based resins if you want to work with a floor finish that’s less hazardous to your health. It’s important to note that these types are not able to stand much wear compared to polyurethanes.

Next, you’ll have to decide if you want a glossy, semi-glossy or matte finish. One thing to consider is high-traffic floors. A glossy finish makes light scratches and other imperfections noticeable.

After you’ve decided on which type of finish you intend to use, you can begin to apply an ample amount of methylated spirits on your floor’s surface with a large cloth before using a brush to apply a coat of polish around the floor’s edges. Do the same over the entire floor area with a roller. Once you’re done, let it sit and dry for at least 8 hours.

Once it dries up, you’d want to smoothen out the roughness left by the first coat. You can do this by sanding the floor ever so lightly using a 120-grit sandpaper on an orbital sander. After you do this, you may apply the second coat and leave it to dry overnight.

If you find it necessary to apply a third coat, feel free to do so. See that you won’t let anyone walk on the freshly coated floors within the next 24 hours. Conservatively speaking, the whole process takes three days to be completed.

As mentioned, if you want to go for immaculately polished floors, it’s best if you let a professional do it for you.