How to Paste Wax Hardwood Floors

Written by michelle skidgel
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How to Paste Wax Hardwood Floors
Keep your hardwood floors shiny by applying and buffing paste wax. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

If you've invested in new hardwood floors or just want to keep your older floors in the best shape possible, applying wax may be a suitable option. Before applying new paste wax, try buffing the floors to see if their sheen reappears, as overwaxing is possible and is not recommended.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Broom
  • Dust pan
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Towels
  • Hard paste wax
  • 6- to 8-inch-square piece of cheesecloth, double layer
  • Putty knife
  • Low-speed buffer

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  1. 1

    Sweep the floor with a broom and dustpan or the nozzle attachment of a vacuum. Damp mop the floor to pick up any grime. Do not saturate the hardwood with water; immediately dry any excess water from the floor.

  2. 2

    Remove a 2-inch chunk of paste wax from the can, using a putty knife or other utensil. Place the wax onto the centre of the cheesecloth.

  3. 3

    Wrap the corners of the cheesecloth around the wax ball to encase the wax in the cheesecloth.

  4. 4

    Place the cheesecloth ball on one corner of the hardwood floor, and rub it across the surface to apply a thin coat of wax. Work in sections until the entire floor is covered, replacing the wax with new as necessary.

  5. 5

    Buff the floor once the wax is dry -- it should be dry by the time you finish waxing the entire floor. Place a soft bristle attachment to the buffer according to manufacturer's directions, and slowly buff the entire floor until it shines.

Tips and warnings

  • Rebuff the floor as necessary to bring back the shine. Hard paste wax buffs to a repeated shine better than liquid paste wax. This means you can wait longer in between having to strip the floor and rewax it.
  • Always defer to the paste wax manufacturer's guidelines.
  • Do not apply paste wax to a finished hardwood floor. This will create difficulties in future refinishing projects.

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