The screen and recoat (also called buff & coat) procedure for hardwood floors is a cost effective method of fixing or revitalizing worn or dull floors. Instead of paying for a complete refinishing, flooring can be brought back to life, but don’t expect deep scratches and dings to be removed. The same holds true for removing paint that may have been splattered over the years. Frequent screen and coat applications can protect, postpone or eliminate the need for a complete refinishing at a later date.

How Does It Work?

Screening involves abrading the old finish on the existing floor making it compatible for applying another layer of new finish. We will bring in a buffing machine and attach a special sanding screen to the bottom. Minor surface scratches and marring from moving furniture can be removed.

Can Any Hardwood Floor Be Recoated?

  • No, some floors are just too far gone to be saved by a simple recoat. If there is damage at the level of the wood on any part of the floor, including dents, deep scratches, wear spots caused by heavy traffic (look for the tell-tale gray patches at doorways or in front of the sink), UV discoloration around rugs, and pet stains.

  • The finish on the floor in the photo at right is intact, but a recoat won’t help much. While it is physically possible to recoat floors like these, and even have the new coat bond well, the damage will still be visible through the fresh coat of finish, effectively preserved under plastic.

  • If that floor has been cleaned with Murray’s Soap Oil (you know what we mean), Orange Glo or any acrylic waxes like Future or Mop & Glo, a modern polyurethane will not bond to it.

  • Yes, even if you screen it aggressively first, you are likely to experience “crawling,” the dreaded “fish-eye” or just widespread peeling after the finish is applied.

When Should I Recoat My Floors?

  • That depends on how hard you live on your floors because, obviously, hard use shortens the life of a floor finish. We recommend that you start looking for signs of wear about three years after floors were sanded or last recoated, except for kitchens and exterior doorways.
  • Start looking for wear there after just one year. If you have a visible pattern of scratch under chairs or in walkways, it’s time.
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