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How to remove wax from your hardwood floors
Beautifully finished hardwood flooring is a real asset in any home. The current trend is for more natural and organic finishes like oiling and waxing, these give your floor a beauty and richness that is quite unique. However, overwaxed floors can look dull and lifeless and you'll need to strip them back to the bare wood and start again. Here's how to get rid of a wax build up in five easy moves, ready for floor sanding and finishing.
Wax on, wax off
1. Make sure the floor is spotless by giving it a thorough sweep, then a vacuum and finally a mop over with warmed water to remove any residue. There's no point in proceeding with the following steps unless your floor is clean to begin with.
2. Using mineral spirits and a cloth, start to work away the wax in two-foot square sections. Don't move on until you've removed as much wax as possible - you'll achieve this by working the mineral spirits into the floor in a circular motion using plenty of elbow grease!
3. If the cloth alone doesn't lift the wax residue, use fine wire wool to clear the residue. Don't worry about any light scratching as you'll be sanding the floor at the end of the process.
4. Continue to work in two-foot sections until you're happy that the floor is free of wax. Make sure you change your cloths frequently so you avoid re-depositing wax back onto the floor.
5. Leave the wood to dry thoroughly overnight.
If you're happy, you can now simply apply finishing products over the entire floor. Otherwise, you'll need to sand the floor again using a standard grit sequence and taking care not to create any divots or swirl marks. Keep the sander moving at all times in the direction of the grain, then finish off with an edge and detail sander.
Waxed floor don'ts
• Never use a hairdryer or heat gun to try and melt the wax because it will simply soak into
the wood grain and be impossible to remove.
• You may need to use a wax stripping product on particularly stubborn finishes. Check the
label to make sure the product is suitable for your floor.
• Never overwax your floor, but instead apply thin and even coats to build up top the
Bill & Joyce Banks
“My partner and I have lived in our home for decades. Having raised our four children here, as well as looked after our boisterous grand-children, our home has naturally succumbed to general wear and tear and our floor was no exception. The many years of running to and from the kitchen in order to prepare and serve dinner obviously took its toll. However, after our floor was renovated, the scratches and stains which we had tried so hard to get rid of were no more; the clock had been turned back and the floor was similar to what it was like when we first moved in. As you gave us some great advice about how we can look after our floors too, we hope that we won’t have to ask you to repair our floor again for a very long time!”
“I thought that personally fitting wooden flooring for my tenants would be easy. How wrong I was! I soon discovered that there were so many gaps in between each individual slat that I was worried the whole floor might give way! I had to do something quickly, especially as my new tenants were due to move in. When I called you and asked if you could sort this out for me as quickly as possible, I was relieved when you said that you could. The property was draughty enough as it is, and when there are gaps in between wooden slats, this just made things even worse. But thanks to your team, the work was completed quickly and to a really high standard, and the property was very comfortable. The only draught which was noticeable was when the window was open! If I decide to fit wooden flooring in my other properties and the same situation happens again, I know who to call.”
The Watson Family
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“Our family home has hosted many parties and social gatherings which we have revelled in. Although we’ve had a lot of fun, our floor has suffered and it doesn’t match the colour scheme that we have used throughout the rest of the house. As we decided to redecorate our home, we wanted a floor that matched and complemented our new look property. As we wanted our walls to be very dark, our floor was light and it simply didn’t look good at all. When we spoke to you, we were told that you could change the colour of our wooden floorboards. And you didn’t disappoint! When the work had been completed, our home looked immaculate. I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done to our home.”
“When I ripped up my discoloured carpets which were, frankly, very old, I was shocked at what my floorboards were like. Although I have lived in my home for over twenty years, I had never seen my floorboards before. Not only did they have a variety of colours, but there were many gaps in between as well, and the amount of dust and dirt was frightening! As I suffer from asthma, this was a real worry for me as dust tends to trigger quite a nasty attack. When I explained to Andrew and his team about my concerns and the work that I wanted him to do, he reassured me that he could do this work without any problem. When he arrived at my home, he was very courteous and kept my home very neat and tidy. And the end result? My floorboards look as good as they have ever been, the dust is gone and my asthma seems to have improved too!”
Steve Cracknell, London
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When you make a decision to bring out the natural beauty of a wooden floor it’s a decision that can literally change the feel and ambience of your home or office. The best decor and furnishings can only do so much to alter your living environment, but when you turn your attention to restoring or creating a different finish to your wooden floor, magic happens.
People underestimate what can be done, but with over twenty years’ experience under our belt and a creativity that’s held by all that we employ, we know for sure that we can truly surpass your expectations.
You may have a clear idea of what it is you want to achieve but if not, don’t worry. Just give us a call and we’ll be with you in no time to advise on a wood floor finish that’s as unique as you are.
We don’t always have to re-invent the wheel...the more popular solid oak floors can make a room truly breathtaking. But, with a multitude of wood stains and oils to choose from, we can blend your floorboards to compliment the rest of your room in the same way a fine wine compliments an ageing blue cheese. Hey, we can even stain your floors that same rich blue colour.
Use our wood floor planner to help find a little inspiration, or simply give us a call. We’re looking forward to discussing your ideas and learning about you and the other people that occupy your home. Let’s face it, this is all about personality and at the end of the day, it’s inspired by you.