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Question and Answer ArticleDistressed Pine Flooring

By Jennifer T. Derrick
Published: July 1, 2009

Q: We have distressed pine plank flooring on the main floor of our cabin. We would like to reseal it without sanding to keep the distressed look. Can this be done and what would be the best sealer product for this? – Patti Yenish; Alexandria, Minn.

A: You’re in luck – there is a method that will work for your floor. Before beginning the project, however, it’s imperative to determine what type of sealant is already on the flooring. Checking with the floor’s manufacturer or asking the installer is a good place to start.

If you have a wax sealant on your flooring, the only thing you can really do is buff more wax into the flooring. If there is a urethane finish, however, you will want to use a process called a skim and recoat. To do this, you’ll first need to buff the entire floor with a light abrasive buffing pad, or a between-coat pad.

So you don’t lose the “distressed” look you covet, you’ll want to carefully select the degree of abrasion (or amount of grit) in the buffing pad. For information on different grits and their general uses, take a look at, which has a helpful chart. If possible, double check on grit numbers for buffing your floor by going back to the source of purchase, the manufacturer or the installer. If you’re unable to determine any of these, an experienced flooring installer should be able to tell you which grit to use.

You can buff most of the floor with a buffing machine and then use the same number grit pad and do all the corners and edges by hand.

When you’re done, vacuuming thoroughly and damp mopping will rid the floor of all the fine dust. After this, you can apply the urethane sealant.  

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