ugly wood floors in rental.. cheap solution?

Hi all;
first time posting here!
I live in rental home that we have no intention of every trying to purchase, but we'll probably be here at least another year or two.
We have two rooms with wood floors, a bedroom and a living area. The floors are dark, dull, and scratched.
Is the darkness from years of finish buildup? Must it be sanded to make it lighter again? Can it be "stripped" w/o sanding?
I really don't want to go through the process of stripping/sanding/refinishing. It's not my place and we won't be here forever. My mom has always kept the wood floors in her house stunningly beautiful, but she rents a sander and all that. Too much work for me.
Is there a cheap/easy way to give them some shine and make them easier to clean, and preferably lighten them up a bit? That's all I'm after. They aren't in horrible shape (i.e. gouged, splintery), but like i said, there's some scratches and definite "darkness" in higher traffic areas. I'd like to do something to make them look better since I have to live here, but without a huge investment of time or money. I want to be able to do it in the course of a weekend with minimal cost.
TIA for any suggestions.
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If refinishing is too much, consider area rugs and runners to cover the high traffic areas.
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Most wood darken with age. Some finishes darken with age. Could be that the wood was stained also.

Mom will be disappointed that she raised lazy offspring.

Two coats of polyurethane

White paint?
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cover floor with vinyl roll flooring that looks like wood, cheap effective and doesnt cause landlord trouble.
or just carpet and be done with it
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First, tell us what you're working with. What kind of finish does it have? Does it really have one? If the floors have layers of old wax on them and have never been properly stripped I would try a wax stripper and see what comes off and what's underneath. You may get lucky. You say they're darker in heavy traffic areas. To me that says they either have no protective coating and the dirt is ground into the wood itself or you have that dirty wax buildup.If the dirt's in the wax, stripping it is cheap and should take about 6 hours. Some people in rentals just keep putting new wax over bad. I know of one with old wax so thick it really never dried. Like walking on cork! If you have bare wood exposed, then the dark areas are years of dirt ground in. You have to sand down to good wood and put a protective coat down. I've done it and it's a LOT of work. Gerry
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Find a janitorial supply house in your area and buy some commercial grade liquid wax approved for use on wood floors. If you get them really clean and otherwise follow label directions you will get 60-120 days of shine before you need to recoat.
Cost 10-15 $.
Happing waxing.
Colbyt
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