What Should I Do to Clean Up Polyureathane Coated Wood Floor.


What Should I Do to Clean Up Poly ureathane Coated Wood Floor.
Floor is coated w/ polyureathane with moderate wear in door and entrance. I don't want to refinish floor. Can I clean and wax it? If so, which cleaner and wax should I use. Any other suggestions for improving finish w/o resurfacing?
Thanks,
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Mike, I don't know the answer to your question but I was in the same situation recetly and decided to refinish the whole floor -- precisiely what you said you did NOT want to do.
It seem to me that cleaning and waxing it would make that area look differenct. Wouldn't it be beter to clean and then put new poly down?
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NEM - I agree the way to do it is to refinish, but I need to live in one room while renovating the rest of the house. After the house is renovated I'll go back and do the floor. Another problem is there's a major sag near one wall so I nned to take out the ceiling below the sag.
Mike

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Find some "padding" Poly (wipe-on) that is in the same gloss (flat/antique, satin/semi-gloss, gloss). Clean the worn area using water and mild soap (liquid dish soap), dry then clean with mineral spirits. If unsure of the gloss level buy a couple of small cans of poly (satin and gloss) and test it on a spot. Can always be sanded down or just coated over.
Use a fine grade sandpaper (300 grit) to even out the wear area and feather the edges out to where the floor finish is not worn - use a light touch. This will dull the area - (don't worry, the poly will bring back the shine). If you have any deep scratches you may have to spot those first to build them up before applying the finish coats. Just use a small artists brush to paint the poly over the scratches. Let it dry, sand the scratch areas even (300 grit) and redo if necessary following the instructions.
Before applying any poly, clean the area using the mineral spirits and let it dry by wiping it all off. Now, follow the instructions on the Poly can (use lint free cloth, etc....) and wipe on a thin coat of poly - slowly but evenly following the grain of the wood. You will soon get the feel for doing this by feathering the edges as you near the unworn areas. Start lifting the pad as you get near the edge you're refinishing.
It takes about three hours (+/-) to become dry to the touch depending on temp and humidity but wait at least double that before applying more thin layers. Don't worry about how it looks right now - additional coats will fix that but try to apply it evenly. The cloth pad should not "drag" (feel resistance) but rather float as you apply the poly. If you feel it drag, apply more poly and avoid the temptation to go back over what you just applied (even if you missed a spot) if it's been longer than about15 seconds. Wait until it dries again (3 hrs) before going back over an area.
Use some 400 to 600 grit wet/dry paper to knock down any nibs and to provide some tooth for the next application. Use a light coating of mineral spirits and the wet/dry paper to "lightly" sand over the area. This will dull the previous coat of poly. Clean with mineral spirits and let dry. Wipe on another coat of poly and repeat the above process until it blends in with the rest of the area.
The final coat should not require any sanding and as long as you used the same gloss level, it should look pretty close to the rest of the floor. Poly dries in 24 hrs but takes about a week to cure - so tread lightly on the area and don't cover it with a throw rug or anything else until after it has cured.
As a final note, I believe it is the Varathane brand that states in the instructions that their wipe-on poly can be used for spot treating floors.
I'm sure others will have some sage advice for you also.
Bob S.

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Thanks for the useful instructions.
Mike

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