Q: My hardwood floor was given a water-based polyurethane finish about two years ago, but now has a number of fine scratches. Can we eliminate the scratches without sanding?
A: You should be able to restore a smooth finish by using a no-sanding process developed by Varathane. This process will eliminate fine scratches that don't penetrate into the wood. The manufacturer says it will work on previously finished hardwood floors and some factory-finished floors and laminates. The process will not improve deep scratches in the wood and will not work if the finish has worn off to bare wood or if the finish is flaking or peeling. It also will not work on floors that have a wax finish or have been waxed to make them shine. You can check for wax by rubbing the floor with your thumb in an inconspicuous area; if the finish smudges, it is waxed.
If your floor qualifies, look for a Varathane Renewal Floor Refinishing Kit at a home center or buy one online. Renewing the floor is a three-step process that includes cleaning with a No-Sanding Cleaner supplied in the kit. The cleaner chemically abrades the old finish to eliminate the scratches and improve adhesion of the final finish. Rinsing with soap and water, is the next step, followed by applying a fast-drying, water-based finish. Two coats of finish are recommended.