Bona Kemi Refresher Kit Provides A Dressing For Water-Based Floor-Finish


Thank you for your promised quick response. I guess the only question you didn’t answer is, wouldn’t or doesn’t a waxed floor have a deeper more lustrous finish?

Second question is you say that I chose a light finish for a dark stained floor. What water based poly would you have used on a newly stained dark finish…Understand that a certain amount of scratching is expected, this I know, but is there a dark poly finish that scratches dark? You talk about a light colored finish on a dark stain…what could they use that would lessen the light scratches?

For your edification, I chose this wood for it’s tight grain and inherent ability to stain really dark. I want to avoid that white build up that you say wax will cause. Do you really mean to say that wax over time won’t make it look more beautiful? I understand also fully that waxing it will never allow me to go back to a poly finish…but if it give a richer deeper lustrous finish, I’m willing to maintain it with monthly buffing and tri monthly waxing….

However you make a good case against wax because of buildup and spotting, which in the kitchen would over time be maddening.

Now, you say two coats on the deep scratches (which will be screened and restained and polyed) and then three more coats? Then how do I maintain it from day to day? A slightly damp mop using Polycare or do you have another product you recommend. I don’t quite understand what a refresh kit is…Also, as much as we take off our shoes, frankly, I think it’s bizarre to make people remove their shoes, unless the weather is inclement. A mat at the door should suffice and we women will not give up our shoe affair for a wood floor…I just want to minimize the dullness and have the floor look more lustrous….the satin finish is okay but not super…see photos below…it’s pretty spectacular, but in one or two of the photos, you see that multi scratched used look….and this is a clean floor…mopped yesterday…

Thanks again,



Dear Ann

It’s too bad I couldn’t get the photos, you might try again in a separate email if it’s not too much trouble. Anyway, over dark or darkly stained floor I always use an oil modified polyurethane. This finish stays clear and only ambers a bit over many years. The amber color doesn’t interfere with the dark wood or dark stain. So, the floors ages to that nice lustrous finish you refer to.

But the probable reason why they used a water based coating over the Wenge, is that this wood (along with other tropical woods) sometimes contain resins which interfere with the drying of oil based finishes. The water based finish in my opinion has far too much of a pale bluish tone to it. You can see this if you coat a piece of glass with this finish. Over time water base finishes can turn even more opaque when exposed to strong sunlight. it’s a very subtle change, but once pointed out it’s noticeable. Most water based finish manufactures suggest their finish will last about 10 years. It’s this “whitening” that is the limiting factor. There is a chemical cause for this, but that a complex discussion.

So in any case, water based finishes will never deepen and darken in color or tone, as you wish. Sorry, I hate to tell you that now. And paste wax will never change the tone of the finish either. That’s why I suggested the Bona Kemi refresher kit. It’s made to top dress the water based finish. Did you click on this link and have a look at this product ? Again it has the distinct advantage of allowing the floor to be recoated, which is very important.

I reiterate; that you should do two touch up coats only on the scratches. I don’t think that the scratches have gone through to the stain. Use a small brush and just touch up the deep ones. Have a pro do this, they know how to prep the floor so that the finish will stick. The just have them do a final prep (they can use a special chemical prep agent, instead of dry scuff sanding the finish) and then they only need to apply ONE coat of the proper water based finish to the floor.

As to the shoes off or on, it’s up to you, but adding outside grit to the floor will dull any finish in no time. A billion Asians can’t be wrong, and they think our custom of tracking dirt and grit onto our lovely floors is weird. I agree. Take your choice, but expect a lot more work to keep your floors looking good, when you choose not to give up your affair with wearing hard shoes indoors.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.