Refinishing Hardwood Floors


TGT Addict
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Nov 3, 2014
San Antonio
Bona Traffic HD with a hardener. Use the properly weighted T bar Padco applicator.
Oil has always been the most durable surface but water based Polyurethanes have come a long way. In paints as well.
The Bona will get you back on your floors soon without the heavy VOC's.
I think that's what I'm going to use w/ a Minwax stain.
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School of Hard Knocks and Sharp blows
Dec 9, 2017
Hays Co.
I prefer the Varithane, but water based works, just takes about a week to get hard. Furniture will scratch it if put back too soon.


Aug 1, 2014
Op, one of things you did not mention was what kind of appearance you wanted when finished: high gloss, gloss, matte, or flat. If you are not looking for a gloss finish but want more of a natural wood look, you can also consider tung oil. I used to do a lot of wood floors for sports, office and high end residential and I started using tung oil for dance floors because of the need for some slip resistance but still with an allowance for dance shoes and stocking feet to glide across the floors. Tung oil will bring out the grain and provide a nice look with kind of an eggshell sheen. Not for everyone but something to consider since many homes are now using low sheen wood floors.


I think that's what I'm going to use w/ a Minwax stain.
It's good stuff and dries pretty quickly.
If you wanted to darken it it just slightly, you can also use de-waxed Shelac. It will make it pop a little more pulling the natural grain out.

I know GDR brought up sheens. The hard wax oil products are pretty popular now too. I have Pallman hard wax oil in my house as well. I've use Rubio hard wax oil too and different surfaces but it's made for floors and comes in many colors and small sample sizes for testing. I's a matte finish that gives it a more rustic appearance and silky feel on your feet.
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Glenn B

TGT Supporter
Sep 5, 2019
Texarkana Area
I much prefer oil based over water based. It is in my opinion easier to work with and more forgiving than water based if you need to fix a whoopsie, it gives a better finished look and is seemingly more durable. I have refinished a couple of floors and installed a couple of brand new solid oak floors - used oil based both times. I also stained the wood before adding the topcoat of oil based polyurethane.

If by chance you have any interior wood doors that need a new coat of polyurethane, let me suggest Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane. When we had our bathroom first made nice, right after we bought our house about 22 yeas ago, I told the painter we hired not to do the door because I would do it and that I would stain it and use a spar varnish. He was very doubtful that would stand up to the humidity of a bathroom but I don't know what he was thinking because it is used on boats and often gets wet. I applied maybe three coats of the spar urethane (think it was called spar varnish back then) and it came out great. I also applied one more coat about 15 years later when we had the bathroom redone (not that it needed it - it held up even better than I had expected). When we sold the house last year, I did niot bother putting any more on it, it looked as if it had been refinished the day before - great stuff. One of these days I am going to use it when I refinish a wood stock on a rifle or shotgun; been using Formby's Tung Oil for that but that brand sold out to Minwax. While I like most Minwax products, I do not like the current Minwax Tung Oil anywhere nearly as much as I did the Formby's; so maybe spar coat next time.


IQ: 47
Apr 9, 2013
Looking good so far!

I recently gave water-based a try on a big table I built (Minwax Polycrylic gloss) and honestly I was impressed. I had originally finished it with spar urethane, but the dry time was atrocious and the smell lasted a good month. I originally only had a "kinda smooth" surface, you could still feel the grain and the wife wanted to get it glass smooth. So, I sanded down the spar in 3 steps, and went back over it with the Polycrylic. Went on easily, dried SUPER fast, very clear, and very glossy. It'll be interesting to see how it holds up over time.
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