Saturday, August 31, 2013

Recoat and Screen Solid Wood Flooring

Recoating or screening describes the process by which the veneer of a wood floor is scraped very lightly to remove the topmost layer only before being recoated with fresh finishing. The term screening comes from the mesh screen, which is used to delicately remove worn finishing. By using the screening process you can ensure that only the very top coat is removed, which offers a renewed look to your floor without need for a full sanding and refinishing job.

Popular in commercial premises in rooms with heavy football such as gyms and pool surrounds, a recoat and screen can also work wonders in domestic settings with more and more homeowners benefitting from a topcoat finishing. Whilst screening does away with surface scratches and spots it will not go deep enough to repair gouges or heavy stains. Recoat your floor only if you are looking to remove surface wear and tear. Otherwise, re-sanding will be necessary to bring the floor back to pristine condition.

A facelift for your floor

All floors will eventually require a sanding and re-polishing but until that time screening is a viable and cost-effective method of Botox for your floor! A well-carried out screening will add years of life to the floor staving off the day when a full refurbishment becomes necessary.

The handy DIY-er can undertake recoating by hand, or if you don’t feel confident enough you can turn your floor over to a professional floor sanding specialists company with the additional advantage of all work professionally carried out and fully guaranteed.

However if you feel that screening your solid wood floor is a task you would like to undertake then here is the relatively simple but painstaking process to a lively and fresh looking wood floor.

First things first…

Before you start make sure the room has good ventilation. Vacuum carefully first and use a gentle cleaner to remove any build-up of dirt and grit. Begin screening with a 120-grade of paper (black) and always sand along the wood grain with a light hand. Move slowly and carefully along the length of the planks and avoid over-screening any one area. When finished screening vacuum and wipe the wood with a damp cloth to remove all debris.

Choose your finishing product carefully, and take into consideration the finishing which has already been applied. For example, topcoats which are oil-based are absorbed into the wood so if the floor is unstained it is likely to have been finished with an oil-based product. Another clue to oil-based finishing is the yellow/gold effect this type of finishing has on solid wood flooring sanding. If the floor has small blemish marks a satin finish will be more forgiving.

After screening has been completed then apply the new coat of finishing. The best method of application is via a small lambs wool pad which should be soaked in solvent being used (either mineral spirits or water as appropriate). Apply the finishing in smooth strokes moving along with the natural grain of the wood. Nooks and crannies are best reached by a good quality brush which will not drop bristles onto the floor.

Allow the veneer to dry out completely (24 hours at least) before walking on it. Leave the room empty of furniture for as long as you can (3 days is perfect if you can do it). After this time the floor will be fully hardened and can be polished by a buffing machine or you can use a hand held duster if the room is not too large. However use a buffer if you want a highly polished and ultra-smooth look.

Recoating and screening successfully can add years of life to an existing veneer.

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