Recently we were called in to have a look at a very scratched up floor in a house in Lemont. The floors themselves weren’t that old… but they sure had seen better days. The finish was scratched up to bits and looking pretty worse for wear.
We were asked if there was anything that could be done… without having to start from scratch and re-sand the entire floor all over again. Thankfully in this case we could.
One of the services we offer is called a ‘Clean, Screen and Recoat’ (sometimes known as a ‘buff and coat’). It’s a process where we rejuvenate the floor by applying a fresh coat of finish over top of the existing one. This floor was the perfect candidate for this procedure.
Before I get into the details of what is involved in a clean, screen and recoat, and whether a floor can be recoated or not, have a look at the condition of this floor in the pictures below…
This is what large dogs, wearing shoes inside and not using protective felts under your furniture will do to a floor.
That’s a LOT of scratches!
As you can see, these hardwood floors had seen much better days.
Further below you can see the results after we finished – but first I’ll explain the process we go through to rejuvenate hardwood floors like this…
As you can see there is quite a bit to the Clean, Screen and Recoat process… but it is WAY less work compared to a full sand and refinish . It also is FAR quicker and cleaner than going back to bare wood.
It can usually be done in a day, depending on the size and scope of the project. You can walk on your floors in socks the following day.
Would you like to see the results?
What a difference!
And all in one day.
If you floor has scratches that are not too deep, you haven’t used a floor cleaner that can’t be recoated over (see this post here: Don’t use these cleaners ), there are no large areas of damage that have worn through the finish, and you don’t want to change the color of the wood floors… then your floors could be a potential candidate.
Please understand that screening and recoating hardwood floors will not give the same results as sanding the floors back to bare wood.
If there is water damage or other marks in the hardwood floors – they will not be removed. If you have overwood, minor cupping or any other unevenness in your floor – this won’t be removed either as there is no sanding being done.
But… if your hardwood floors are in relatively good shape, are flat and only have surface damage… then it really is worth looking into. In fact we recommend our clients to do it every so often as a way to maintain the top coat and keep your floor protected and looking great.
Please be careful when considering a screen and recoat (buff and coat).
There is a very high rate of failure in the industry when it comes to recoats.
As it is an easier process compared to full sanding, and it is a lot cheaper to set up a business doing this, many people get into it without proper professional hardwood floor refinishing training and experience. Usually by way of a franchise.
One of the big reasons for the high failure rate is the lack of, or not thorough enough, cleaning. It’s the most crucial part of a screen and recoat.
If only a screen is used across a wood floor, it doesn’t clean it or remove any contamination. All buffing will do is smear the contaminated residue further across the floor. If you only use a solution of water and vinegar prior to screening and buffing, it won’t properly remove any cleaning, oil soap or polish residue.
The proper way is to use professional cleaning and stripping products, along with a power scrubber to remove all traces of contaminants.
Have a look at a previous post we wrote to show what can go wrong if you hire someone that doesn’t know what they are doing: Buff and Coat Hardwood Floors .
A good rule of thumb would be that if the person you are considering to hire doesn’t fully sand, stain and finish hardwood floors from scratch on a professional level, then be very wary of their qualifications to do this very risky procedure.
One last piece of advice for those considering this – you need to do thorough adhesion testing in different areas to make sure this procedure will work on your floors. Not testing can lead to disastrous consequences and a bigger mess that what you started out with, like this unfortunate mess…
Not something you want to have happen to you.
If you are considering freshening up your hardwood floors and you feel that they might be a good candidate for a Clean, Screen and Recoat, give us a call and we will be happy to come out and have a look at your wood floors for you. We will do a full adhesion test and discuss the results with you as well as the best way forward.
Hopefully your hardwood floors will be a candidate and turn out as good as the floor above.
Updated June 2021