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Resealing Old Hardwood Floors

I have old 3/8 inch oak floors in our old house, and we're selling the house. I stripped the floors with SoyGel, washed with TSP, and sealed with a polymerized tung oil sealer from Sutherland Welles. I also applied a top coat from the same company that is basically the same as the sealer, but higher solids content. It basically just all soaked in and left a very dull finish.

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I don't want to sink any more money or work into the floors since the new owner will likely replace them within a few years. They can't really be sanded because they were previously to us buying the house, and the tongue and grooves are sanded very thin in places and are starting to split out here and there.

Otherwise, the floors are quite usable for a while, just pretty rustic. I want to know if there is a good, easy-to-use relatively inexpensive product that will shine up the floors? I'm not really worried about buildup, mainly just improving the appearance. Thanks!

By Jon from Denver, CO

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July 22, 20100 found this helpful

I would not do anything to the floors. Let the new owners decide what they want to do with the floors.

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July 21, 20100 found this helpful

We discovered hardwood floors under our carpet, this is the original hardwood from when the house was built in the 50s so there is no polyurethane on it and no clear coating of any kind. Is there something we can use to make the floor look cleaner, shinier?

Brenda from TX

Answers:

Resealing Old Hardwood Floors

O my! If I were blessed with 1940 hardwood floors I would be in absolute heaven. I love antique finishes of all sorts. I would first refinish the floors (sanding to a fine finish) then get an oil based stain with a polyurethane additive, these are sold in most of your Home Depots and Lowe's stores. Wish I could be there to help you refinish them. Good luck to you! (10/09/2006)

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By Laurie

Resealing Old Hardwood Floors

Before polyurethane finishes, the hardwood floors were varnished and waxed. Most likely it was varnished and the dullness is from years of dirt on the finish. Sometimes just damp (very little water) mopping it to get off the dirt and buffing it will bring back the shine of the old wax. If you look for some wood floor wax and get a floor buffer machine (usually rentable) you should be able to get it back to how it should look.

If you take a little water and vinegar and dampen a rag and scrub a little in an out of the way section, you can see if there is a finish and old wax underneath the dirt.

As a last resort, you can refinish the floor by sanding it and putting on a new polyurethane finish, but that takes a long time, is messy and not a good project for the winter.

Susan from ThriftyFun (11/11/2006)

By ThriftyFun

Resealing Old Hardwood Floors

If you need a cheap, quick fix as I did, try Mop and Glow. We removed carpet from old hardwood, also about 50-55 years old. I had no idea what kind of finish was on the floor and most products I found were pretty specific about not recommending use for certain types of finishes. I was not ready to sand and refinish my floors and read a post somewhere about the Mop and Glow. It worked great. A nice shine all over. It's been about 2 months since I used it and there have been no water spots or anything. It's beginning to look dull again, so I'll probably use it again before Turkey Day. (11/16/2008)

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By Gwen

Resealing Old Hardwood Floors

Our house is 60 years old and has old, lost it's finish, and is now unsealed wood floors.

I read on this site that plain mineral oil on a cloth would clean the floors and it worked. You wouldn't believe the dirt it picked up. But I also tried, recommended from this site, a brand called Holloways which is supposed to be for floors like mine. It didn't even bring up any dirt when I used the cleansing part. So much for my money down the drain.

I even tried Murphy Oil Soap which is supposed to be for finished wood, so I didn't have much hope, and it didn't work.

I do know you have to be careful not to put water on unfinished floors though.

Then I used Liquid Gold and had great results. My floors look rejuvenated and absorbed the product. It looked healthy, shiny and was not slippery. Previously I used a furniture polish on the floors and slipped a lot. Never use it.

We hope to have the money to refinish our floors; we've had estimates and because the floor is so old, the refinisher said that they'd have to be very careful because the wood was worn out in more places than the others. We're afraid to attempt it by ourselves.

I tried strong green tea soaked in a cloth and wrung out really well-recommended from this site. Nothing happened. I have used the mineral oil and Liquid Gold on my old furniture too and it's amazing how rejuvenated they look. We have to use it every so often because the wood soaks it up. Apparently you can use any kind of cooking oil, but roaches and bugs abound in Houston and that was out for me. I bought the mineral oil at the Dollar Store.

If you search on this site, you'll find other suggestions for your problems. They didn't work for me. I actually bought the Liquid Gold because someone recommended it for pine sap on my car. Haven't tried it yet on my car, but I will.

We bought many products, but had absolutely no luck. the mineral oil cleaned better and so did the Liquid Gold. In Houston, TX USA, I buy it at Kroger grocery store, but I'll bet you could find it in a Home Depot or Lowes-type hardware stores.

I'm going to try the Mop and Glow next. Good luck to you! (01/26/2010)

By metroplex

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