The first finishes that were used on hardwood floors were made of wax, more specifically carnauba wax. Carnauba wax is a blend that consists of a wax emulsion that is combined with resin. This floor wax was easy to buff, and gave the floor a nice finish. The finish that replaced carnauba wax was a synthetic wax / polymer finish. Many prefer using carnauba wax because of rich, deep swirls when buffed. Here is a guide to floor waxing.
- Use a soft shirt or a sock to apply Restor-a-FInish or some similar kind of floor stripper to the floor. Start in a corner of the room, and then work your way slowly across it, applying the stripper evenly to the floor. Make sure that you do not add too much of the stripper in one place, or let it pool on the floor. - Work towards a doorway so that you will be able to leave the room without disturbing the stripper. - Allow the stripper to dry, sitting for an hour. You may find that in the process, heat rings and water marks disappear as well. - You may want to wear gloves in order to protect your hands during this process. Make sure that you keep the windows open as you complete this step. - You may need to take frequent breaks, since the fumes can be off-putting.
- Apply natural wax to another sock or a shirt. Take your time and try to apply it as thinly as possible. You will know if you have done it correctly when you will notice that the floor has a dark sheen. If you find that the dark sheen does not appear, wipe the wax again with the sock. Work on spreading the wax out, and continue with as much care as possible. - Rub the wax into the wood in the same direction. - Allow the wax to dry for up to 45 minutes. You may wish to apply a second and then a third coat.
Buff the floor
- Use a thick towel to buff the floor, after the wax has dried. This may take some time. The end result will be quite rewarding. - Make sure that you use a cleaner that will not remove the wax.