How can I make my worn pine floors look better without sanding?

Pam Deloach
by Pam Deloach

I live in a 60s ranch house. Some of the house has newer floors, but the bedrooms all had carpet covering worn oak or pine floors. They are pretty but I don't want to take the furniture out and refinish all 3 of the floors. Is there a way to "cover" all of the scratches, worn places and make the remainders of the floors look presentable? I am elderly and just want a "quick fix". (I am more of an outdoor person)

  8 answers
  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on May 04, 2019

    Hi Pam,

    You could try restaining them a slightly darker color, but there is no guarantee that the light spots will still be covered. Especially if you don't know if the floors were ever sealed. I was able to do that with wood cabinets in our bathrooms when they started showing wear, but they were dark to begin with and I "played" with the stain by putting a first coat on the worn spots. Of course, your first step is to clean it thoroughly. See if you can tell if it has a sealer on it. If it does, the stain won't work.

    Another option would be to paint or "white-wash" the boards, using thinned down latex paint. If you use a dabbing action, the color won't be even but it should look more natural.

    One more possibility would be to use throw rugs on the worn areas if you aren't up to tackling the paint or stain job. Just be sure to get some double sided tape or rugs with nonslip backing so that they don't slide when you walk on them. Wishing you the best.

  • Pamela Pamela on May 04, 2019

    Hi ! I use a product once a year made by Halloway House called quick shine. It goes on over a clean floor , with a sponge mop. I get a cheap sponge mop from the dollar store and throw it out when I am done. You can use up to 7 coats , that will look like a bowling alley finish. I only use 1 -2 coats. I makes the floors look great. It won't change the color of worn areas or change the scratches , but the floor will have a consistent shine. Use throw rugs over areas you want covered. Good luck !

    • Pam Deloach Pam Deloach on May 04, 2019

      Thanks. I had forgotten about that product. That's exactly what I'm going to try first. I'm not interested in refinishing unless or until I decide to sell the house sometime in the distant future.

  • Ben WD Ben WD on May 04, 2019

    A lite sanding and a couple coats of poly will look pretty decent without having to do a ton of work. Poly would help blend in the scratches, etc. Waxing would be the easiest but not sure what kind of results you would get. You could always do a small area to test. The right way to do it though, the way pros do, is to rent a drum sander with 40grit, 80 grit and 120 grit sandpaper, remove all the furniture and pass with drum sander three times starting with the low grit (lower the grit rougher the sand paper), then put three coats of poly, sanding in between each coat with 220 grit (optional). That’s the easy part. Hard part is getting the corners and edges with a sander, but they do rent heavy Sanders for this but it’s still a little tough on the knees if you aren’t used to it. All and all not too bad of a job, mostly just messy, lots of saw dust (they do have vacuum bags on the machines but they don’t get everything) and of course you can’t walk on the floors for at least a week - from start to finish.

  • DesertRose DesertRose on May 04, 2019

    I am sorry but to bring them back you will have to sand them and re do the protector on them. It can be done with a hand sander with out too much difficulty, it is just dusty and on the floor work. You might be able to rent a sander to stand up and use over a weekend.

  • If there are any really deep scratches you can use walnut oil to cover them. It works great.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 01, 2024

    You can buy products for hardwood floors in large DIY stores or Supermarkets.

  • Janice Janice on Feb 01, 2024

    You can use a wax furniture pencil in the color nearest the original color of the flooring to minimize the look of the scratches but this won't work on large areas that are discolored. Sorry, but the only way to make them look spectacular is to sand them and re-stain. If you think you will do this later prior to selling, why not have this done now so you can enjoy them for the years before you sell the home.

  • Annie Annie on Jun 30, 2024