Screening Wood Floors
This process of screening wood floors refreshes existing finish, without the effort and expense of refinishing. It is appropriate for floors that are dull but not badly damaged. Screening will also remedy minor scratches that have not penetrated the wood itself. The existing finish is abraded with a mesh screen that’s attached to a rotary buffing machine, which prepares the surface for a new coat of finish. To adhere properly, the new finish must be compatible with the old one. If you choose to do this job yourself, consult a wood-flooring professional to find the polyurethane best suited to your floor.
Screening is often called buffing, since the screening is done with a buffer. Screening both smooths the floors a bit, and the abrasive action allows the polyurethane to adhere to the surface better. The screen and recoat process can restore the glow of the floors and give them a refreshed look
So, every few years, well before the protective coat has grown too thin, you refresh it with another coat. The crucial word is “before;” you have to recoat a floor before you see damage, which is hard for some people because they think they’re leaving money on the table by top-coating what appears to be a perfectly good floor finish.
But polyurethane on floors is kind of like sunscreen on skin: not only do you need to put on a good thick layer before you expose it to the sun; you must re-apply it periodically because it wears off. Once sunburn begins to appear, it is too late to start applying protection. Protection is always less costly than the damage that results from not having it.