How To Fix Discolored And Sun-faded Hardwood Floors?

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Hardwood floors receive grit in the form of traffic every day. This can result in the weariness of the floors and can also cause the wood to lose its color over time.

Often, it has been seen that wooden floors lose their color over time and start to fade. This can cause the hardwood floors to lose their overall appeal and be a blow to their value.

There are other reasons, but the main goal is fixing discolored hardwood floors.

The best way to fix discolored and sun-faded hardwood floors is to refinish them. Removing the existing varnish, sanding the floors for a fresher look, and staining them again is the best way to restore the lost color in the wood’s grain.

Fix Discolored Hardwood Floors

This method is very easy and can be applied by every homeowner to their hardwood floors.

However, there is an additional step for the darkened hardwood floors, which can make their color fresh again.

It is mentioned later in the article, so read it thoroughly so you don’t miss out on it.

How To Fix Discolored Hardwood Floors? | Reviving Sun-faded Floors

You need to refinish your hardwood floors if you want to fix discolored and sun-faded hardwood floors in your house.

While the refinishing process is quite simple and mentioned in detail below, there is another important step involved in this process.

You can use hydrogen peroxide on your hardwood floors if they have a darkened appearance or show signs of dark discoloration.

Hence, read the following process carefully if you want to get your discolored floors fixed.

Vacuuming & Cleaning

It is best to clean the surface beforehand to ensure no residue or dirt on the floors.

Otherwise, you won’t be able to access the wooden surface underneath and make the color fresh and new again.

Vacuuming is the first step when cleaning an old unfinished hardwood floor.

It lets you remove the excess dirt and dust from the floors and make the buildup layer a bit thinner to clean.

Vacuuming and Cleaning
Vacuuming and Cleaning

Moreover, it can also remove all the remnants of the ages and give you a better surface that you can work on.

As there is sure to be a hard layer of crusted dirt and grime on top, getting the most powerful vacuum cleaner you can get your hands on is best.

You can use various cleaners according to your wood type and grain but also keep in mind if your wood is porous or non-porous.

Some suitable options are Bona, Lysol, and Pine-Sol cleaners which can easily restore the original look of your hardwood floors.

Once you finish the cleaning phase, it is time to dry the surface, as you don’t want any moisture to be locked in under your sealant.

Besides, excessive moisture can seep in, damage your hardwood boards, and destroy your subflooring structure.

Hydrogen Peroxide

If your hardwood floors are darkened due to excess buildup of dirt and grime over the years.

It is necessary that the layer should be removed and the color should be restored before you can move toward any other step. Using hydrogen peroxide is a useful method to do so.

Hydrogen peroxide is an effective cleaning agent which removes any dark discoloration and lightens the color of the wood.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide

Though it is considered a harmful substance if used incorrectly, you can follow the instructions and use it correctly to obtain the desired results.

Hydrogen peroxide should be used in a recommended concentration where it is safe and does not harm the surface of the hardwood floors.

The preferable and safer concentration of hydrogen peroxide is 3%, which can safely restore the lost color of the hardwood floors.

Substances in the buildup layer are rigid and stubborn and do not come off easily.

These pigments are mildly degraded by hydrogen peroxide without causing any harm to the unfinished or finished surface of the wood.

The chemical can quickly remove these stubborn layers thanks to its world-class oxidizing qualities.

  • Spray 3% hydrogen peroxide on paper towels, and place the wet wipes on the surface, ensuring the towel is completely saturated.
  • Now you must leave it for a few hours and re-spray the surface 3% hydrogen peroxide periodically to ensure the solution doesn’t dry off and works its way into the crust layer.
  • Once the layer starts to crumble or dissolve, use a damp cloth to wipe away all the hydrogen/ammonia solution so you don’t let it stay on the surface.

Stain The Floors

Once the unwanted colors or discoloration is removed from the hardwood floors, it is necessary that you should get the right color for your wood to give it the desired tone you want.

Depending on the type of wood and the color you want on your hardwood floors, you can choose something between oil, water, or hybrid stains for your hardwood floors.

Stains can color the hardwood floors and hide the scratches, dents, and scuff marks on the surface, making them look more smooth and finer.

Stain The Floors
Stain The Floors

You can use different stains on areas with scratches and scuff marks.

Make sure to smoothen out the layer and apply it according to the recommended usage. Once you are done with that, wait for the finish to dry.

The time required to dry depends on the product but usually ranges from 6 to 24 hours. Make sure there is no traffic or movement on the floors during this time.

In addition, if the usage instructions have listed buffing as a necessary procedure, buff the surface using a buff pad or an electric buffer.

Seal The Floors

After staining the floors, it is necessary to seal them to prevent further discoloration of your hardwood floors.

You can use either polyurethane or wax to finish the hardwood floors and give them a decent coat.

Seal The Floors
Seal The Floors

Applying the coat on the entire floors and leaving it for a day or two would be good enough to ensure that your sealant has dried.

This will protect your floors from dangers and keep the wood from being discolored again.

Polish The Floors

Once the floors have been sealed, polish them to give them the right shine and make the stain glossy and palatable.

For polishing and buffing the floors, it is recommended to use a commercial-grade buffer if your sealant (polyurethane or wax) has been applied for some time and receives constant heavy traffic.

However, if your hardwood floors are not sealed, you can try using a polishing sealant which will add a protective coat and shine the boards.

Hence, making them appear more attractive and enriching their luster.

In addition, If there are stains or marks on the hardwood floors, try spot-cleaning them with either toothpaste and cloth or a homemade cleaning solution.

This can keep the floors spotless and prevent further staining or discoloration of the hardwood floors.

Lastly, if you want a glossy finish to your hardwood floors, you can use an oil soap to give you the finish you want.

A suitable recommendation would be Murphy’s Oil Soap which can give the shining wet look to your hardwood floors and give them a nice appearance.

How To Revive Sun-faded Hardwood Floors?

You can revive sun-faded hardwood floors through refinishing and using a simple ammonia solution which can lighten the darkened surfaces and prevent them from getting ruined any further.

All you must do is stripping the hardwood floor’s existing varnish after you’ve cleaned the floors thoroughly.

You can do this by either sanding off the finish layer or using chemical or gel strippers to remove the varnish from your hardwood floors.

Once done, sand down the hardwood floor so that the new grain appears from underneath and the discolored surface is scraped off.

You can also use an ammonia solution beforehand if your floors have a dark discoloration.

Sweep the floors for any sanding residues or remnants and then stain the floors with your desired colored stain to give the right color and tone to your hardwood floors.

Give the floors a few coats of the stain and then move on towards sealing

You can use a wax or poly finish for this purpose as they are considered as most effective.

Once sealed, polish the floors for a bright and shiny appearance and complete restoration from their discolored state.

What Causes Hardwood Floor Discoloration?

The biggest reason behind the discoloration of hardwood floors is the lack of maintenance by homeowners.

Untimely or insufficient cleaning can cause a buildup layer in hardwood floors which can cause the color of the wood to be lost.

Moreover, another common reason for discoloration is using products that leave residues, especially oil-based products.

They leave a sticky residue which is then stuck on the surface of the wood and attracts the dirt and debris to build up.

Besides, prolonged exposure to oily products can darken the color of your wood and make it look blackish in many areas.

This would call for a complete restoration project in the affected areas.

Therefore, it is best to care for your hardwood floors on time rather than allowing them to get discolored and then moving towards restoration processes.

How Do You Fix Badly Stained Hardwood Floors?

If your hardwood floors are badly stained, using hydrogen peroxide in 3% concentration is a useful method to help relieve the floors of these stains.

It is an effective cleaner which can be used safely under the right instructions and can allow the floors to be freed from worst cases of staining.

Try spraying the solution on to the affected area and leave it on the surface for almost 5 minutes.

After that, wipe it off with a damp cloth and check the surface for stains. If the stain has been removed, use a suitable polish or wood conditioner to counter the harsh effect of hydrogen peroxide on the wooden surface.

How Can I Make My Wood Floors Look New Again?

The best way to renew the hardwood floors is to refinish them. Refinishing can take care of 95% of the problems faced by wooden floors and restore their appearance if it was in the brand new state.

Final Words

Hardwood floors can get discolored if you haven’t taken proper care of them over time. This can result in lightening or darkening of the floors which will mar the appearance of the wood.

Discoloration not only destroys the color but can also damage the grain and texture of the hardwood floors.

Hence, they must be fixed on time otherwise the loss of color can become permanent and irreversible.

Therefore, it is not wise to leave the discolored hardwood floors in the state they are as it can lead to further damage over time.

If you also care for your hardwood floors and do not want them to be ruined, you must follow the guide mentioned above and fix the discolored hardwood floors as soon as as possible.

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