Scuff Marks On Hardwood Floors



I have an old yellow pine hardwood floor. We just had floor refinished about a year ago. The floor is starting to become dull again and can see scuff marks.

Can I have another coat put on the floor or does it have to be resanded and then recoated?


Dear Erik

You’ll find this rather soft wood needs a little more care than most hardwoods. And a finish getting dull doesn’t mean it’s wearing out. Best thing I can recommend is to not wear outside shoes on this floor. You are bringing grit and sand in and sanding the floor finish dull. You should have started with at least 4 coats of an oil modified polyurethane, and normally should re-coat the floor every 5-10 years. Wear socks or indoor slippers on the floor and you will be polishing it smoother year after year.

Read my floor maintenance article in the Floored News section of this web site. It’s a bit early to recoat, and about 20 years too early to resand. But if you floor guys didn’t start you out with 4 coats of poly, screen and re-coat, with a good poly until you do. I would, in any case, stay away from the gloss finishes, and use a satin or low luster finish. It will look better longer, and will wear as well as gloss (it’s a myth that gloss is more durable, just easier and cheaper to apply, some floormen can’t satin finishes well).

Oh, and let me explain what screening means. It’s simply a scuffing of the finish, to create fine scratches in the old finish, so that the fresh coat will have a greater surface area to stick. A floor maintenance machine (buffer) is fitted with a screen abrasive disk to do this job. It was done presumably between all the coats of the finish you had applied originally. Polyurethane has no ability to stick to itself otherwise. So by all means yes, have the floor screened and recoated.

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