How To Restore Your Oak Floor Finish



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.


General Maintenance


Restoring A Hard Wax Oil

Restoring Blanchon Original Wood Environment


( 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.


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.


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.


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


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

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 8:27am

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 1:00pm

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 November 4, 2016 at 7:51pm

I live in Pau, France, where can I find hard wax oil, please?

Jack September 13, 2017 at 1:26pm

Hi Jack,

Being based in the UK we can't be too sure of places to purchases hard waxoil products in France. However we are able to ship any of our hard waxoil products to France if required.

Peak Oak September 13, 2017 at 3:32pm

I have a holiday home in France and have recently received photographs of the oak floor that our builder has laid for us; we had hoped to retain the original floorboards. However, they were not in good enough repair. We went to great lengths to describe the rustic look that we hoped our builder would achieve, but having looked at the photo's of the flooring it appears that he has used solid oak pack flooring rather than planks of wood. Can you please advise how we can best achieve the rustic look using the flooring we now have with your products.

Geoff March 3, 2018 at 12:22pm

Hi Geoff,

Without seeing the flooring itself it is a bit difficult to comment. If you wanted to send us some images via email we can perhaps discuss this and your requirements further?

Many thanks

Peak Oak March 7, 2018 at 12:01pm

I had an engineered oak floor that has an hard wax oiled finish the floor was laid about 6 years ago the floor in the main is in good condition however there is a worn patch around 12/15 inches in circumference. I would like to repair this area and maintain the rest of the floor do you have a product to do this

Robin Taylor September 4, 2018 at 12:00pm

Hi Robin,

If you have used a Hard Wax Oil for this area it is possible (as shown above) to simply sand back the worn area and recoat with the same finish.

Alternatively, dependant on your chosen brand of hard wax oil, there are maintenance oils that can be applied to help to "revitalise" the area.

Hope this helps

Peak Oak September 4, 2018 at 3:59pm

Hi, we have an oak panel floor which is in need of restoration. the areas that have not been covered by carpet are looking dull compared with those that were. We are not sure if the floor ever had any wax applied or if it did what that was was. Is there anyway to tell? How should we proceed? Should we put a hard wax oil down?

paul January 2, 2019 at 4:57pm

Hi Paul,

Without seeing the flooring it is quite difficult to say what the best action would be. If the area is indeed severely worn the best option may be to sand back the entirety of the flooring ready to be recoated once more.

There are a number of Maintenance oils available - some of which are suitable for any oiled finish floor. These are designed to "bring life" back into the finish. This does of course depend on how worn the flooring is.

When maintained correctly, hard wax oils are great for oak flooring providing a natural hard wearing finish.

Hope this helps, if we can assist any further please let us know.

Peak Oak January 2, 2019 at 5:06pm

I have an oak floor sealed with Blanchon environment Matt bought from you about three years ago.. (For some reason the Matt finish was patchy with sheen and matt areas when applied). The floor is cleaned with the Blanchon soap but there has been a build up of dirt.
1. What cleaning/restoration is appropriate?
2. How do I remove/avoid the sheen and matt patches?


Les June 4, 2019 at 11:58am

Hi Les,

How exactly did you apply the finish originally? It sounds like there may have been a build up in certain areas which may have caused the patchyness. The oil should be applied thinly, using a natural bristle brush / short haired roller.

The Blanchon Natural Soap should be used for the general cleaning, whereas the Blanchon Original Wood Environment Maintenance Oil can be used to "bring life" back into the floor. Depending on the level of wear, the finish may require sanding back to bare timber and recoating.

Hope this helps, if you need to discuss any of these points further please give us a call.

Peak Oak June 4, 2019 at 12:23pm

I have some sun bleaching to the edges of our sealed oak floor through patio windows, which is now visible after changing what was an office into a lounge area. Any suggestions of how to bring it back to match the rest of the flooring?

Louise December 23, 2019 at 3:06pm

There is a polished oak floor in the house I am buying but it looks a bit orange.

How could I restore it to the original finish?

Many thanks for your help.

Helen Rogerson February 24, 2020 at 4:55pm

Hi Helen,

Dependant on the type of finish/thickness of oak flooring, the existing finish could be sanded away to bring the timber back to bare unfinished wood. A new finish could then be applied - dependant on the desired look.

Hope this helps

Peak Oak February 24, 2020 at 5:15pm


I have an engineered oak floor which has been damaged by my dogs. They have walked in off a lawn that has been treated with moss killers etc and I am now left with black paw prints. Is there anyway of treating this with out the need of sanding? The floor has only been down for 6 months. Thank you Claire

claire April 3, 2020 at 10:51am

Hi Claire,

It really depends on what type of finish has been applied to the floor and the extent of the damage. If the floor is an oiled finish the first step is to try a wood floor soap ([link awaiting verification]) to remove as much as possible. A more intense cleaner such as the Blanchon Powerful Cleaner ([link awaiting verification]) could then be used, which may remove the more stubborn stains. If this works, a maintenance oil could then be applied.

Hope this helps, please give us a call if we can assist any further.

Peak Oak April 3, 2020 at 3:14pm

Hi there
Slightly sensitive this one! We have an engineered oak floor in our lounge. My wife who sadly has OCD mops it every week, which had left lighter marks in the grain of the wood. Basically it looks dry!! Unfortunately, she doesn’t listen and it is a source of huge frustration.
Anyway, what would you recommend to maybe ‘feed’ the wood to get some life back into it please. I tried some Osmo spray which darkened everything off and it looked great. However, despite it looking okay, once it had dried you could still see the lighter ‘bitz’ !
I like natural finishes, so do you think Osmo natural finish oil would feed it and bring the colour back?

Peter April 17, 2020 at 3:41pm

Hi Peter,

It does depend on a few factors including what finish was applied originally and the level of wear. It sounds like it may be an oiled finish.

For the mopping process, are there additional cleaning products being used (e.g detergents etc.)? These products could instead be breaking down the oiled finish and causing the lighter marks. It is important that when mopping a proper wood floor soap is used (such as the Blanchon Natural Soap - These soaps not only clean the floor, but will also feed the finish.

Further to this, it may be worth taking a look at the Blanchon Universal Maintenance Oil ( This is designed to protect and rejuvenate oiled finishes.

Hope this helps, if we can assist any further please let us know.

Peak Oak May 28, 2020 at 5:20pm

We have just had laid wide oak unfinished planks in our living rooim & applied a first coat of Osmo clear matt hard wax oil, it has dried slightly patchy on some boards, will the patches disappear when applying the second coat ?


jim June 12, 2020 at 6:25pm

Hi Jim,

The patchy finish could be due to a number of factors including over application / surface preparation before applying. Generally the second coat does even out the overall finish once applied.

Hope this helps.

Peak Oak June 16, 2020 at 1:31pm

Is the hard wax oil clear, or does it come with a stain.

Can it be applied over a large area using a roller as we would be replenishing the whole floor.

Is it important to know what the floor is originally finished with before applying the wax oil?

Many thanks

Debi morton July 10, 2020 at 6:04pm

Hi Debi,

It does depend on specifically which hard wax oil you referring to, but the standard hard wax oil typically comes in clear matt and satin finishes. These can indeed be applied using a roller.

As for the original finish, it is typically recommended that the oil is applied to bare unfinished timber.

Hope this helps.

Peak Oak July 16, 2020 at 3:54pm

What's the best way to mend dents and deep scratches in oak engineered flooring?
thanks John

john September 23, 2020 at 12:48pm

Hi John,

The size of the dents/scratches as well as what type of finish has been used can affect this. Simply using a maintenance oil can often hide away these marks. For more serious scratches on oiled finishes, it is normally possible to sand away the scratch. This area can then be recoated using the original oil.

Hope this helps.

Peak Oak September 23, 2020 at 5:05pm

hi there, I have an oak wooden floor throughout my hall and large sitting room area. A man came to resand and oil it as after 8 years of use the wood looked thirsty and old. However I am very sad about the finish which looks rough and feels coarse to the touch as if granulated sugar has got baked down into the oil. He used OSMO clear satin. I also find the orangey glow and the sheen too much. We need to redo it and I love a natural and not too orangey colour. I love the bare sanded boards! It may be I am not keen on 3032 satin because of this particular is blotchy, smudgy and dull and patchy which is clearly not how it should be. I am thinking now of OSMO POLYX oil matt or semi matt, or OSMO RAW bottom coat with OSMO matt second coat, or the Blanchon original wood environment one you mention. For a nice understated smooth finish and neutral colour natural NOT 1970s Swiss chalet, which might be best please? Thank you

SARAH October 12, 2020 at 6:01pm

Hi Sarah,

If you are not liking the colour of the Osmo Clear Satin, we would probably not recommend the Osmo Polyx Oil Matt or Semi Matt. These finishes will enhance the look of the timber and provide a similar finish to the satin version - without as much sheen. As you mention, if you are hoping to finish the floor without significantly changing its natural, unfinished colour - the Blanchon Original Wood Environment is designed for this purpose. The Osmo Polyx-Oil Raw uses white pigments in an hard wax oil form to achieve a similar effect.

Hope this helps.

Peak Oak October 15, 2020 at 10:16am

We have lived in this house 43 years (the house was built 1910), the sitting room end of the property was built in the 1950's. The sitting room floor is oak, straight lengths 65mm wide. The floor is in good condition but has a faded area adjacent to a floor to ceiling window, and has a little water damage when water spilled out of some potted plants. We have no idea what treatment (prior to our ownership) the floor has had. My wife did have a floor polisher and used that with its recommended products for 20 years until it broke, but since then the exposed floor area has only been vacuumed and dusted. We do intend changing the carpets, which may be smaller than the current ones. We are reluctant to sand the entire area and would appreciate your advice.

Derek Beaumont November 12, 2020 at 8:57am

Hi Derek,

It really depends on the type of finish that has been applied. If you believe the finish to be an oiled finish, one product of interest may be the Blanchon Powerful Cleaner ( We would recommend spot testing first. This product can help to remove any more serious marks from oiled finishes. With the marks removed a maintenance oil or recoating of the original oil could be applied.

Hope this helps.

Peak Oak November 17, 2020 at 4:09pm

Hi, I have a dark wood flooring in my hallway that has a couple of much lighter patches due to being cleaned too hard with a brush.. how can I restore the colour please?

Sanchia treacher October 7, 2023 at 12:13pm

Hi Sanchia,

The best course of action is very mich dependanrt on what type of finish was applied to the original floor and the level of damage. If the finish was an oiled based product, a specific maintenance oil may be all that is required.

For more serious marking the original finish may need to be reapplied.

Hope this helps.

Peak Oak October 10, 2023 at 12:39pm

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