How do I wax a hardwood floor?


I remember my mother using a hard Johnson’s paste wax from a round tin to shine her hardwood floors and then buff to a shine with an electric buffer.The liquid wax shine products that I’ve been using neither last very long or shine very well and I’m concerned about just applying coat over coat. I would like to copy my mothers technique p, but a search on Amazon and I can’t find any home buffer machines. Ideas. .

  13 answers
  • Beth Beth on Mar 15, 2020

    Have you tried your local home improvement stores? They often have machines like this that you can rent.

  • You may have to rent one. Try Beth's suggestion.

  • Dee Dee on Mar 15, 2020

    I agree with you that you do not want wax buildup. That would be a real headache to clean up.

    Important Considerations. Wax should be used only on wood floors with compatible finishes. Flooring with polyurethane and some other varnish-type finishes should never be waxed, as the wax prevents a bond with future coats of finish, precluding the option of screening and recoating the finish.

    Howard makes feed and wax and it is a good wax.

    Amazon sells floor buffers, or for a cheaper option try Harbor Freights.

    I have a hand buffer from HF that works great.

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Mar 15, 2020

    Johnson's paste wax is probably what your mom used. It can be found at Home Depot and other places. Most floors these days don't need a wax finish.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 15, 2020

    Dee makes a good point about the hardwood floor types, is this the same floor as your mother's or is it a newer hardwood floor?

    If you have a newer hardwood floor, follow the manufacturer's instructions for care of it. Johnson's wax may not be the right product for your floor. Also if the wrong product is used, it may void your warranty.

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Mar 15, 2020

    Hi Jeff, I have noticed that those machines aren't very prevalent anymore. I have a very old scrubber that you can switch out the brushes (for cleaning tile) with brushes that are made of lambs wool for a good buffing as well as sanding pads. It was a one and done machine that could do it all. This used to be the practice more often than now because so many of the wood floors didn't have the shiny hard composite finish that the new floors do. Older floors just had a finishing sealer like poly on top. YAY I found one on amazon for you!!! Well they do sell those machines still even though they aren't popular and it looks like you can get buffing pads and other brushes to do other things too. Look at the included accessories and the frequently bought together.

  • Pat Pat on Mar 15, 2020

    I remember using Johnson Paste Wax on my living room hardwood floors. I had a polisher but found that my two little boys loved getting into their stocking feet and scooting around to "help" mom polish her floors. They would run and slide around till it ceased to be fun . lol

    Be sure what you use on your floors does not make it too slick, which some finishes do.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Mar 15, 2020

    Hello. Wow that brings childhood memories back.

    The ”renew” products and the Bona floor cleaner system will give a shine, but there’s nothing like refinishing your HW floors.

    Refinishing your floors revitalizes them makes them look like new. We did ours in 2015 and married them up to a new HW install.

    The past two years we have been using the BONA mop and solution and we’re very pleased with the results.

  • Judy H. Judy H. on Mar 15, 2020

    I have always used Johnson's paste wax. (comes in a metal can) I rub into the floor and buff it with an electric buffer I got years and years ago from my grandmother. Applying the wax is a bit of a task, so I do only one room a day. The upside? The paste wax leaves a hard, shiny, smear-proof finish that lasts a solid 12 months before it requires re-waxing. In low traffic rooms, (bedrooms) I have floors that have not required re-waxing for years.

    A few years ago, I tried a Bona liquid wax in my front foyer, the finish smeared and looked cloudy. I asked a good friend of ours, a woodworker by trade, for suggestions. He kindly came over and cleaned our foyer floor with a wood cleaner he uses in his studio. I then used my Johnson's paste wax and the floor looked beautiful.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Mar 15, 2020

    you can usually rent buffers from places like home depot or a vacuum store - or you can buy smaller versions for home use (I had two over the years that do a great job Hoover brands)- my mom used the Johnson's paste wax and then she hand buffed our wood floors with white socks on her hands!

  • Pamela Pamela on Mar 17, 2020

    Hi ! Better and easier then using a paste wax is to use a product from Halloway House called quick shine !!! Make sure you get the formula for wood floors ! This is not a cleaner , it is a floor shiner, to be used once or twice a year . I would get a sponge mop from the dollar store to apply , then throw It out afterwards . You apply this to a clean floor . You can apply up to 7 coats , that would give you a bowling alley type finish ! I always used 2 coats , when I had kids and pets running around , then when they no longer were at home I went down to one coat . My wood floors were over 60+ years old and they were always clean and shiny looking !