Repair & Care
Screen and Coat Worn or Dull Hardwood Floors
How Does It Work?
The screen and recoat (also called buff & coat) procedure for hardwood floors is a cost effective method of fixing or revitalizing worn or dull floors. Instead of paying for a complete refinishing, flooring can be brought back to life, but don't expect deep scratches and dings to be removed. The same holds true for removing paint that may have been splattered over the years. Frequent screen and coat applications can protect and postpone or eliminate the need for a complete refinishing at a later date.
Screening involves abrading the old finish on the existing floor making it compatible for applying another layer of new finish. If you've ever handled any trim painting work, the procedure is similar. A professional finisher will bring in a buffing machine and attach a special sanding screen to the bottom (seen above). Minor surface scratches and marring from moving furniture can be removed.
Preparations. What Was Used To Clean Before
This buff and recoat procedure will not work effectively with floors that may have been maintained with oily cleaners unless a complete cleansing is done prior to the process. Often what may be required is a thorough going over with odorless mineral spirits and a fine steel wool pad that is also attached to the floor buffing machine. Loosening the buildup is one thing, removing all of the impurities that can affect a new finish bond is another. Removal should be done meticulously with clean rags. For floors where questionable cleaning agents have been used previously, several applications will provide more peace of mind.
Can We Screen Waxed Floors and Recoat?
If you're contemplating an easier finish to maintain opposed to wax this will not work. Any new finish will react with older waxes and likely to blister or peel in short time. Only a reapplication of wax and buffing will work with these types of finishes. More at the page link below on waxed finishes.
Can Newer Aluminum Oxide Floors Be Recoated?
Original aluminum oxide floors cannot be successfully screened and coated by traditional methods. However, since these floors became popular, prefinished flooring manufacturers changed the method in which the finishes were applied. Instead of the aluminum oxide finish layers being on the surface of the finished product, they began to sandwich them under finishes that are compatible with screening. If in doubt of the original product specifications a call to the manufacturer would be advisable.
How Long Does It Take?
Newer water and oil based finishes will take the same amount of time to apply, with the oil based taking longer to dry and cure. Time involved for a 400 square foot, square room with furniture removed and ready to go will take approximately three hours.
For more challenging and lesser known finishes it's best to consult with a professional floor finisher that has the experience needed to better assess your situation.
Video: Added August 5, 2013
Duration: 3:25 minutes