How To Address Common Hardwood Floor Blemishes Without Resorting To A Total Refinish

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Is your hardwood floor looking a bit worse for wear? Maybe there are white water marks on some places or perhaps the finish has worn off in a few areas, leading to a dull look and splintery wood. Refinishing the entire floor is certainly an option, but it can be quite time consuming and expensive. If your floor damage is not too terrible, you can considerably improve your floor's look with these methods to address common blemishes. The results won't be as perfect as with a full refinish, but they'll be close!

Water Stains

Those white water stains are not nearly as hard to remove as you might imagine. Start by making a paste with baking soda and water. Add just enough water to moisten the baking soda; you don't want the mixture to be too runny. Use a soft cloth to massage this mixture over the white stain, using circular motions. Keep rubbing for a minute or two, and then wipe the baking soda away with a clean, damp cloth. If there's still a stain there, apply some more baking soda and repeat the rubbing process. Make sure you dry the floor off when you're done to prevent a new stain from forming.

Rough, Scratchy Spots

Rough spots where the finish has worn off can be more than unsightly. They're also dangerous since they can leave splinters in your feet as you walk over them. To address these areas, start by using fine-grit sandpaper to sand down the rough area and the area directly around it. When the area is very smooth, wipe the dust away with a damp cloth.

Let the area dry completely, and then give it a light spray of polyurethane sealer. If your floor has a matte finish, you'll want to use a polyurethane spray with a matte finish. If the floor is glossy, use a polyurethane spray with a glossy finish. Make sure you spray the sanded area and a border of about a half inch around it. Let the spray dry completely -- for at least a day -- before walking over it

Dark Stains

If there are areas of the floor that are stained darker than the rest, you can lighten these stains with some simple petroleum jelly. Just spread the petroleum jelly in a thin layer over the dark area. Let it sit overnight, and then wipe it away. The stain may not disappear entirely, but it should be much lighter.

If these tips don't work, it may be best to contact a floor refinishing service, such as Idaho Hardwood Flooring.

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