How To Restore Your Oak Floor Finish

restoreoakfinishguide

Introduction

Over time no matter what oak floor finish you use, the floor may begin to show areas of wear and tear. These are often caused by excess traffic over a particular area of your floor and may vary in size from small patches to whole rooms.

With this in mind, we have created this guide to show how you can restore your oak floor finish and bring it back to its original, like new condition.

If you require information on the initial application of either of these finishes, you can check out our Hard Wax Oil and Blanchon Original Wood Environment guides respectively.

Summary

General Maintenance

Recoating

Restoring A Hard Wax Oil

Restoring Blanchon Original Wood Environment

Conclusion

( To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here)

General Maintenance

To preserve the life of any oak floor finish it is important to carry out general day to day maintenance.

Remove dust and dirt regularly using a vacuum cleaner. Further to this, we always recommend the regular use of a wood floor soap whenever you clean your floor. Depending on which floor finish you chose, there are suitable floor soaps available, including the Blanchon Natural Soap or the Osmo Wash and Care.

Many of these wood floor oil brands also have their own set of maintenance products designed to “refresh” your oak floor finish. Osmo have their Osmo Liquid Wax Cleaner and Blanchon have their Blanchon Maintenance Oil.

Recoating

After a few years you may be left with no other choice but to recoat your oak floor finish. This can be done in two ways, depending on the scale of the damage.

Below we have demonstrated how this can be done using a Hard Wax Oil and the Blanchon Environment Oil.

Restoring A Hard Wax Oil

The first step when restoring your hard wax oil floor finish is to establish the level of damage and wear. Firstly, you should note whether the problem occurs across the whole area of your floor or just a small isolated patch.

For isolated patches, in particular with the hard wax oils, it is possible to restore the area without the need to recoat your entire floor.

If the area has thick marks or stains, these will need to be removed by sanding down the affected patch until the marks have been removed and the bare timber is exposed.

In our example, we have simply isolated an area in which to sand down.

If the area simply shows wear from traffic, with hard wax oils, this step can be skipped as there is no need to sand down the timber to bare wood.

Hard Wax Oil Marked Area

Hard Wax Oil Scratched Area

With all marks removed, the hard wax oil can now be reapplied over the marked area. We recommend this is done using a lint free cloth. Simply dab the cloth with a small amount of the hard wax oil and wipe the oil into the area. Do this until the area has been covered.

After leaving the oil for an adequate period of time to dry, if required a further coat can be applied.

Hard Wax Oil Recoated

Hard Wax Oil Recoated Area

This ability to restore small areas of your oak floor finish, without any negative effects is one of the great benefits of finishing your floor using a hard wax oil.

For larger, room sized restoration the same process can be applied. The flooring can be sanded back where required, and the hard wax oil reapplied.

Restoring Blanchon Original Wood Environment

When restoring an oak floor which has been finished using the Blanchon Original Wood Environment, the process is slightly different.

When refinishing small areas, begin by sanding the damaged areas vigorously using fine grain sandpaper.

Blanchon Original Wood Environment Marked Area

Blanchon Original Wood Environment Sanded Area

Next, ensure that any dust and dirt particles are completely removed.

With the marks now removed, the floor can now be recoated.

Using a clean, fine cotton cloth thinly apply the first coat of the Original Wood Environment.

After leaving adequate time for the oil to dry, further coats can be applied until the colour of the recoated marked area, matches the colour of the rest of the flooring.

Blanchon Original Wood Environment Recoated Area

Blanchon Original Wood Environment Coated Area

It is important to note that whilst this process will generally leave a near perfect finish, small discrepancies can occasionally be noticed depending on the level of wear.

For larger areas of flooring, the whole surface should be sanded. Once again all dust and dirt particles should be removed at this point. Thin coats can then be applied using a short-haired roller or brush.

Conclusion

Whenever recoating your oak flooring with whatever finish you choose, it is always important to consult the manufacturers instructions beforehand. This is because the general process may differ slightly between manufacturers.

8 Comments

We have light oak flooring in our downstairs cloakroom. There has been a slight leak from the cistern in there which has left a black stain. Do you have any tips about restoring the wood to its rightful colour?

Elizabeth Thomas November 27, 2014 at 3:27pm

Hi Elizabeth,

It may be worth you taking a look at our guide on this very matter, where we took you through the steps we would try to salvage water damaged boards. This can be been seen by <a href="[link awaiting verification]; rel="nofollow">clicking here</a>.

Hope this helps.

Peak Oak November 28, 2014 at 3:31pm

Hi,

I have applied 3 coats of hardwaxoil to a new pitch pine (reclaimed) floor.

There are numerous small patches where it looks as if all the oil has been absorbed.

Would a fourth coat be too much?

lawrie February 6, 2015 at 7:05pm

Hi,
Meant to say: "NOT al of the oil has been observed"

30sm so could fill patches with rag but could take time

lawrie February 7, 2015 at 10:55am

Hi Lawrie,

These small patches could be caused by the hard wax oil reacting with other substances that remain in the floor, such as previously applied oils or spillages such as olive oil etc.. This can happen with reclaimed floors.

I hope this helps.

Peak Oak February 18, 2015 at 9:56am

How do I remove osmo stain and hard wax oil finish to an oak floor without sanding as the room has been newly decorated

kay horne October 8, 2016 at 7:27am

Hi Kay,

It really depends on what has stained the timber and to what extent. You could try one of the hard wax oil soap products, to clean away the marking. Alternatively there are maintenance oils available which may do the trick.

If the stain is quite significant, sanding may indeed be the only option. With most hard wax oils, the area can be spot repaired, and once recoated there should be no significant difference in colour between the repaired area and the remainder of the floor.

Hope this helps

Peak Oak October 10, 2016 at 12:00pm

Hi. I am re-coating my oak floor using osmo oil and it needs sanding and I've been told before I start to sand I should clean with mentholated spirt to prevent the oil from clogging the sanding discs, is this advisable

Kevin

Kevin November 4, 2016 at 7:51pm

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