Category Archives: Hardwood Floors

Don’t Sand It, Revive It !

Years ago, when I ran a floor refinishing business in Iowa City, we didn’t have very many options. You simply used a floor until the finish was worn out, then you sanded and refinished it. My wife Leigh Ann’s veterinary clinic floor, however, was neither worn out nor in great condition, which left her uncertain what to do.

Today, I explained to her, we have options, starting with cleaning a dirty floor using Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner, for many times what looks to be wear is simply a layer of ground-in dirt.

But the parade of animals passing through her examination room did more than just leave it dirty. They wore down the finish. But even when cleaning isn’t enough, we have another option: Minwax® Hardwood Floor Reviver. This is a quick and easy way to add a layer of clear protection over your existing polyurethane finish. Just squirt it on a 3′ x 3′ section….

Then use a damp painter’s pad to spread the Hardwood Floor Reviver across the floor. Do not spread it too thin! Work in the direction of the wood’s grain, using a back-and-forth motion, then complete it by smoothing out any pad marks, again always going with the grain.

Hardwood Floor Reviver leaves a permanent protective coating on your floor, which will help renew the floor’s beauty and shine. You can reapply it as needed (usually every 3-6 months) to keep your floors looking as beautiful as the ones in her exam room do now.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!



Putting New Ultimate Floor Finish To The Test

When it comes to floors, I have always been a traditional, oil-based sort of guy. But when I heard about all the advantages of the water-based Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish, I had to see for myself what the buzz was all about.

I decided to experiment on a section of raw, freshly-sanded red and white oak flooring I made in my workshop. I stained one section (left) with an oil-based stain. On another section of bare oak I applied Minwax® Sanding Sealer, as recommended on the can of Ultimate Floor Finish, then let each section dry.

A new synthetic applicator pad spread my first coat of Ultimate over both test sections very smoothly. As promised, the first coat dried in just two hours, and with very little odor.

I came back with a second coat without sanding the first. Now, I could have sanded the first coat, if I really wanted to, but as long as I applied the next coat within 12 hours, it really wasn’t necessary.


Two hours later, my second coat was also dry, so I pushed ahead and applied a third coat. Typically, three coats of an oil-based finish would begin to show an amber tint, but you can see that after three coats of the water-based Ultimate Floor Finish, both sides—stained and un-stained, were still crystal clear, as promised.

Might just be time to start a new, water-based tradition.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors

For years, anyone wanting to refinish their floors had no choice other than to use a standard, oil-based polyurethane finish, the same you would use on your furniture. Now, however, Minwax® makes an oil-based finish designed specifically for floors, called Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors.

For best results, sand off any existing finish to open the pores of the wood. I typically do my final sanding on a floor using #120-grit sandpaper on a regular belt sander to remove any scratches left by the upright floor sander.

I then use a bristle attachment on my shop vacuum to remove the dust between the boards. To be safe, I also do a final wipe down with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits.

One time I actually only used a four-inch natural bristle brush to finish an entire living room and dining room floor. But either a lambs-wool or synthetic pad applicator on a long pole will speed up the process and save wear and tear on your knees and back!

In addition to drying faster than standard polyurethane finishes, Polyurethane For Floors does not have to be sanded between coats, provided you apply next coat less than twelve hours later. (Note: picture was taken in decreasing light!)

Even though it does dry quickly, keep in mind that every finish needs time to “cure” and harden. To be safe, I wait 72 hours before moving the furniture back into the room (but you can walk in stocking feet after 12-18 hours). Drying and curing times are increased in high humidity, so always be cautious before using your freshly-finished floor.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!



“Which Floor Is Yours?”

Everyone knows that hardwood floors add value to any home, but how much value depends on their condition. Before jumping into any floor project, it’s always a good idea to determine exactly how your floor rates — and what you can do to improve it.

Example #1 – This floor is still in great shape, but it’s also where Jasper laid down after taking a dip in the creek. It doesn’t need anything but a quick cleaning, and all I use is Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner, which is safe for the finish and won’t leave behind a soapy film.

Example #2 – If your floor has some real scratches and not just dirt, then I’d recommend Minwax® Hardwood Floor Reviver — a water-based, clear protective finish that can add three to six months more life to your polyurethane floor finish.

Example #3 – Sometimes your floor finish may be completely worn out: deep scratches, missing or flaking finish, or dark water stains. When that happens, its time for a total refinishing: sanding it down to bare wood, then an optional coat of stain to accent the grain, and two or three coats of a clear, durable finish designed specifically for floors.

If you prefer an oil-based clear finish, then I recommend Minwax® Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane For Floors. In addition to improved drying times, it does not have to be constantly stirred. If it’s re-coated within 12 hours, it does not have to be sanded between coats.

But if you prefer a crystal clear, water-based finish for your freshly sanded floor, then consider using Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish. It dries fast, has very little odor, cleanup requires just soap and water, and it, too, does not require sanding between coats.

For complete instructions on any of these floor products, be sure to check them out at

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!