Unfinished hardwood floor

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Hi Bill
Duraseal is still around, great stuff! They make an excellent penetrating oil also, which is the brand I used on my last house, initially for the first two coats, then switched to Waterlox for the last coat and subsequent touch ups.
TTUL Gary
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Clean a wooden floor with Murphy's Oil soap, following the manufacturer's directions. If an area won't clean well, you could try a rag dampened with mineral spirits (be careful how to dispose the rag). I would rinse the floor well, being careful not to allow the floor to remain wet for too long. Water can damage wood if the wood is damp for too long. If the rinse water is soapy, rinse again. There is a product called BriWax that comes in various colors--it will cover light scratches, clean, and wax in one step, but I would still clean the floor first using an oil soap. As an alternative to the BriWax, you could use the proper color of shoe polish to hide the scratches, then follow up with Johnson's Paste Wax (or Butcher's Wax), and buff with an old clean terry cotton towel. An electric auto-polisher fitted with a terry bonnet may get the luster you want.
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Hi, I would say you need to refinish your floor. There's a possibility you could stain your floor, so as to disquise or blend the marks with color. You would have to test a closet or area that's not too visible, but, certainly the outcome would have a rustic appearance. Never, I mean never, use Murphys' on any floor. You will either discolor or damage the finish if you still have one. We do not use any solvents, turpentine, or vinegar(acid), any longer to clean hardwood floors. If you do, you had better rinse it and wipe it up immediately. Water too, is not hardwood floor friendly. The best hardwood cleaner available is made by Bona Kemi. It is inexpensive and will not damage your floor. Remember that hardwood floors add direct value to your home, unlike carpet or many other floorcoverings. Also, flooring is one of the largest investments for your home. Be Good, Wally
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We have a similar floor in our house, about 40 years old and in need of refinishing, but that's not very likely. Ours is very dull and scratched, but when I want it to brighten it up I use Wood Preen (made by Kiwi Brands Inc out of Pennsylvania), which is a wood cleaner/protector/wax. I think the product has been around for a very long time, but it is still available (if you can't find it, let me know!). It has color in it, so it might blend the light and dark areas of the floor and give them some luster. It takes some elbow grease, though. Basically you apply it with a mop or soft cloth to small areas at a time, rub it in, then buff with a clean cloth or a floor buffer. Both my Mom and my Mom-in-law had floor buffers in their basements from the 1950s; they look like a small upright vacuum only they have removable round brushes and "polishing pads" on the bottom. That has worked fairly well for getting some shine to the floors following the Wood Preen application. If you can't find a buffer, you can just use a cloth and elbow grease....). I found Murphy's, etc. to make them dull but clean. Someone else suggested bowling alley wax but I would think that would make them slippery. I also recently tried "Brite" floor cleaner and that cleaned them well and seemed to give them a nice shine (it is what I use on my linoleum, too). But it did make them slippery and the luster didn't last very long. Be careful that you don't get drops or spray when you squirt it, because it shows up when you are done if it is not on there evenly. Hope it works. If you find another good solution, let me know! -Holly
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One more bit of information about the Wood Preen. It comes in light, medium and dark colors, I think. It also contains naptha (like mineral spirits) as well as a wax so it might get rid of buildup from previous applications. Our parents didn't sand and refinish their floors. They cleaned and waxed them. -Holly

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a few coats of a darker coloured varnish like a mahogany will even it out and hide some discolourations and make it shine but when the day comes to refinish then it's more work to get off...unless you're selling, that's what my floor was like when I bought this place. Under the dark varnish was very light parquet with stains.
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Thank you so much for the great advice you provided, Gary. I've printed every message you posted to this thread. An oiled floor would go much better with the style and character of our house than a surface finished floor. Many of my guests like the "rustic" look of this floor, discolorations and all, and have been telling me to leave it alone but I will go ahead and follow your advice. I like the feel and appearance of oiled floors and am sure they fair better in dry weather conditions. Thanks again.
Also, many thanks to Holly, William Brown and Phisherman.
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Your Welcome!
TTUL Gary

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Your welcome, this was a helpful thread for me, too. We're thinking about tung oil for our aging hardwood, too. -Holly

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