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Clean and coat uncovered wood floors


My house, built in 1953 in Arlington, VA has oak hardwood floors. From my understanding (family has owned the house since it was built) the floors were covered with carpets almost since day one. I am pulling up the current wall to wall carpet and want to keep the hardwood exposed.

My question is what products I should use to clean and protect these floors? The water drop tests would indicate they are still sealed. What I am not sure of is what they were finished with and what other daily coatings might have been used on them. Some wood floor cleaners I have read the label on indicate you shouldn't use them on shellaced floors, waxed floors...

Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks.

Re: Clean and coat uncovered wood floors

Considering the age, it is most likely an oil based poly or varnish. You can eliminate shellac by finding an inconspicuous place and apply some alcohol and rub. If it is shellac the alcohol will dissolve the finish. If it is not shellac clean it with TSP, and if the finish is dull a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper, vacum, and clean with a tack cloth and apply a new coat of floor rated poly.

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