How to Wax Wood Floors: A Step-by-Step Guide

by craftyclub

Wooden floors are popular because of their rustic appearance, but if they haven’t been coated with a protective finish, they will need routine waxing to maintain their appearance. Your home’s classic elegance won’t be enhanced by its hardwood floors if they are scratched, dinted, or otherwise unattractive to the eye. 

How to Wax Wood Floors: A Step-by-Step Guide

Waxing hardwood floors is a tried and tested procedure that has been shown to restore their shine and broaden their lifetime. Waxing hardwood floors is also a relatively affordable method. Keep reading if you want to learn how to apply a high-quality wax finish that will give you the impression that you are gliding through the air like a cloud.

Exactly why is it necessary to apply Wax on wood floors?

Waxing is a method of floor finishing that became famous in the 1940s and involves applying a thin layer of clear or colored Wax made of a mixture of solvents and artificial and/or organic waxes floor and then buffing it to a glow to give the floor a lustrous appearance. Waxing gained popularity during this period. When the solvents in the Wax break down, the Wax hardens and transforms into a preventative seal that has many benefits to offer:

  • The wax seal’s ability to prevent liquids from being absorbed into the floor increases the floor’s resistance to stains.
  • Waxing makes the appearance of superficial flaws such as scuffs, bumps, and discolorations less noticeable.
  • Wax protects subsequent finishes by acting as a barrier against dirt, dust, and liquids, which could otherwise wear away a more durable finish, such as oil. This is accomplished by Wax’s ability to repel these elements.
  • Increases the product’s durability. If properly maintained, waxed floors have the potential to last for many more years than their unwaxed counterparts.
  • Improves one’s attractiveness by: When compared to simply vacuuming or mopping, applying clear wax results in a glossier appearance and adds shine. Colored waxes, which are available in a variety of brown tones, offer the same level of protection and upkeep as clear waxes, but in addition to that, they impart a visually attractive tint that makes floors look even more distinct and aged than they already are.
  • On the other hand, Wax does not offer much protection against warping or bulging due to prolonged exposure to moisture, such as that caused by spills or minor floods, and it is not very efficient at preventing deeper dents or gouges. Wax shouldn’t be considered the only barrier protection finish on a hardwood floor; rather, it should be viewed as a top coat, the last layer of safety.
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Does it work on all sorts of floors?

The protective qualities of finishes such as shellac, lacquer, and oil can be further enhanced by applying Wax, making these finishes great choices for waxing wood floors. Waxing is an excellent option for either finished or not yet finished floors.

It is not recommended to apply Wax to floors that have been finished with urethane; rather, these floors should be polished. In a similar vein, “no-wax” flooring, such as no-wax vinyl or linoleum that mimics wood, should not be waxed because it removes the industrial coating that prevents waxing from being necessary. Waxing also causes the flooring to lose its resemblance to wood.

The only hardwood floors appropriate for waxing are those in good structural condition and do not have major breakages, gouging, or warping. If your hardwood floors have any issues, you should replace or repair any damaged floorboards before waxing the floor.

Types of Wax you should use

No matter if it’s a powerful gel wax or a liquid wax: Solid paste wax containers, such as those sold by well-known manufacturers such as Minwax (which can be purchased on Amazon for as little as $10 for 16 ounces), typically contain a higher proportion of Wax and a smaller proportion of solvent. This reduces the number of coats that are required, but the Wax is still thick enough that it can be applied by hand using a cloth. 

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Products safe for floors include: It is best to steer clear of using furniture waxes on your floors because they dry to an extremely slippery finish and can lead to accidents.

Solvent-based: It is possible to cause damage to unfinished wood and give completed floors a white shadow if you wax hardwood floors with a product based on acrylic.

Keep away from one-step waxes, as dirt is more likely to stick to them. Instead, look for traditional waxes that need to be buffed after application.

How to wax your floors? (Techniques and methods)

Hardwood floor waxing entails three steps: ground readiness, applying the coats, and buffing.

Ground Readiness

Cleaning the surface requires the elimination of all obstructions, such as carpets and decor.

If there is any old wax on the floor, it can be removed by working a microfibre cloth dipped in mineral spirits over 2 segments of the floor at a time till no more wax coating gets off on the cloth. Use fine metal wool to scrub off the wax accumulation.

Remove dust and stray Wax by dry-mopping or vacuuming the surface with a dust brush binding.

You could use a sponge broom to get rid of the gunk that remains on the floor if the dusting didn’t do the trick. Use a wooden floor cleaning product, such as Bona (sold on Amazon), or a mixture of a half cup of dish detergent and a gallon of hot water to create a homemade alternative, and work in 3-foot sections. To get rid of any remaining cleaner, soak, mop the floor, and dry with a fresh washcloth.

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When working with wax solvents, it is imperative that you wear protective gear such as protective clothing and a breathing mask at all times.

Applying the coats

Solid paste wax must be applied by hand, so kneel in a comfortable position before you start (You can use knee pads as protective gear). Keep on standing if you’re using fluid wax.

If you’re going to be applying solid Wax, get a craft knife and a spotless, lint-free fabric. If you need to apply liquid Wax quickly, a sponge mop is your best bet.

With the craft knife, shovel a spoonful of the solid Wax onto the lint-free cloth. To use liquid Wax, first, pour or push one tablespoon onto the wood floor from the can or vial.

Spread a thin layer of solid Wax with the cloth, or a thin layer of liquid Wax with a sponge mop, working in 1- to 2-foot sections. You should wax hardwood floors in the direction of the boards, beginning in a far corner of the room and working your way towards an exit. If you don’t have enough Wax to cover the room with the first application, simply make another batch and use it to cover another piece of cloth or the floor. Wait for the initial coat to dry, which may take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour.

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Repeat the process with extra coats, waiting for each to dry in between applications as directed by the manufacturer. In contrast to liquid Wax, which requires at least two layers because each coat is so much thinner, solid paste wax hardens into a denser protective film and often only needs one coat over finished wood and two coats over unfinished wood. The last covering of Wax should be allowed to dry until murky before being buffed.

Buffing

To buff the floor, use a washcloth for solid Wax and a sponge mop fitted with a terry towel for liquid Wax; gently massage the washcloth or slide down the mop over two sections of the floor at a time. To get the best results, you should always finish back where you started and buff in a direction that is parallel to the orientation of the wood grain.

Make use of an electric floor buffer/polisher to speed up the process of wax buffing. After waxing the floor, it should be left untouched for eight hours before anyone walks on it or any equipment is returned to it.

How to preserve the gleaming appearance of your wood floors?

  • If you have hardwood floors, wait for the current wax layer to wear down before applying new Wax to prevent unappealing wax accumulation.
  • Do not use a wet mop on large sections of the hardwood floor after waxing because this can fog the wax layer and harm the wood.
  • To prevent dirt from being logged onto freshly waxed hardwood floors, place carpets or floor coverings at the entryways.
  • Avoid scratching the freshly waxed hardwood floors by carrying pieces of furniture instead of pulling them.
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Conclusion

In the right conditions, hardwood floors can last for generations. Wood floors are not only beautiful but also a great investment in the value of your home. An occasional waxing or polishing can bring back their luster and make them look fresh and new.

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