Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How to use paste wax on hardwood floors


I live in a 1940s home with original hardwood floors. I decided to use paste wax because the finish was worn and dull. I have tried liquid wax, but it wears off too fast. In my case, it was less month. I read that paste wax lasts several months, and decided to use paste wax on my hardwood floors.
I did some research and read several terrifying articles about how to prepare the floors and apply the paste wax. I did not want to sand or steel wool anything. And I was not going to apply the paste wax by hand. My house is full hardwood. I could not move out all the furniture. Yet none of the research told me how to get the paste wax out of the can and onto the floor.
I had to devise my own methods. I chose a flip mop for wax application. This has a detachable washable cover and is soft enough to hold the wax. I am too small to move the furniture, and had nowhere to put it anyway since I was doing all the floors.
I used my Mighty Mite floor vacuum (which will suck the paint off the walls) and mopped the floors with my usual cleaner. I do own a Cleaning Machine with buffing attachments, so when the floors dried, I was good to go.
First, I took a small handful of the wax and threw it on the floor. I put the flip mop on the glob of wax, centering the flip mop on top of the paste wax. I moved the flip mop from left to right to work the wax into the soft fabric. Then I applied the paste wax, spreading a thin layer on the floor. I did have to use a rag in the smaller places. It took about an hour to apply the wax throughout the house: two bedrooms, hallway, living room and dining room.
I set the timer for 30 minutes after I finished all the floors. I relaxed outside. When the time was up, I put the buffing pads on my Cleaning Machine and began buffing the first room I waxed. If you get the wax on too thick, the buffing pads will fly off the machine. I learned this.
I continued to buff and put the pads back on until the entire house was buffed. I did use the polisher pads a few hours later and again the next day. It takes about two days for the paste wax to cure.  I had to go back to the places where I put the wax on too thick for two days. So be careful when spreading the wax.
The next coating will go on with a Swiffer.  I am thinking the sturdy paper will be more porous and apply the paste wax better.
The floors look very good. The entire process took about two and one half hours. It was not terrifying. I didn’t need sanding and mineral spirits. I just needed paste wax, an applicator, and a buffer.