Fix for a scratched wood floor
My house has continuous Brazilian cherry wood floors with no thresholds. They’re finished with three coats of polyurethane, but new scratches appear on a daily basis. Refinishing one floor would require refinishing them all (along with removing all the furniture). Are there any effective spot remedies that you know of, such as Bona X?
Charleen Gosselin, via email, None
Charles Peterson, owner of Connecticut Premier Hardwood Floors in Gales Ferry, Connecticut, replies: Oil-based polyurethane can take a long time to cure. If the original flooring installer rushed the coats—that is, recoated before the previous coat cured fully—the lower coats will remain soft for a very long time (up to eight months), and they can fail prematurely. A floor-restoration product like Bona X (www.bonakemi.com; 800-574-4674) might be a short-term fix for you, but the long-term solution is to recoat your floor with a commercial two-part water-based finish such as Bona Traffic. It doesn’t matter whether the base coat is oil-or water-based: If it is cured fully, you can coat over it with either water-or oil-based finish. The new finish will go right over the old finish, provided that the old finish is well-adhered and clean. But the new finish probably won’t hide deep scratches completely. To do that, you would have to sand the floors to the depth of the scratches and then refinish (for how to do this, see my article New Life for an Old Floor).
Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to empty your house to refinish the floors. Rather than moving out all your furniture, your floors could be finished room by room using blue masking tape in doorways or on the butt ends of floorboards at room divisions to mask off one room at a time. Good luck.