Screen & Recoat

Screening is a quick and easy refinishing option where we simply rough up the top coat of existing finish without cutting into the wood itself to enable a recoat. Sanding gets down to the bare wood, while screening simply removes the top coat of finish. We can screen a wood floor by using special metal mesh screening discs attached to a professional high speed rotary floor-buffing machine.

You could consider recoating instead of sanding and may be able to make the wooden floor surface look nice again by adding a new coat of polyurethane lacquer or hard wax oil on top of the old finish. Recoating takes a lot less time to carry out than a full-scale sanding and refinishing project. Floor recoating works on solid wood and parquet floors alike and is especially suitable for refreshing engineered floorboards because this type can only be sanded once or twice depending on the thickness of the surface veneer.

Screening will not remove layers of colour on stained wood and is regularly recommended for lacquered finishes because the finish is applied on top of the stain, and the mesh screen will only be lightly scratching the surface. The 5 step procedure for a 'Screen and Recoat' is fully explained on our Inspection Visit page.

A floor that has previously been waxed or oiled can be restored in this way but it is important to remember that the first coat of an oiled finish is embedded into the wood grain initially and the product you intend using may not be compatible with it. If the product originally applied to the floor is unknown, it would be safer to sand down to the bare wood and start the process all over again. Screening may not be suitable for very badly scratched or damaged floors either because the screen just skims across the surface and does not penetrate the surface of the wood. Problems such as deep gouges or an uneven finish where the current finish isn't the same colour throughout would be exaggerated with screening and this should be pointed out before this type of procedure has started.

A simple test can be carried out to determine if a screen and polish is feasible. This is best done on a high traffic area where the finish is most likely to be worn. First, we pour a tablespoon of water onto the floor, if the water beads up and can be wiped off without a trace it means that the finish is still working and it is not necessary to do anything just yet. If the water slowly soaks into the wood creating a moderately darkish spot, it indicates a partially worn floor and in this case, a routine screen and recoat may be the best course of action. However, if the water immediately disappears into the wood completely and leaves an obvious dark patch, then it will need to be sanded down to the bare wood before finishing.

It is also important to know the maintenance or cleaning history of the floor before a screen and re-coat because if it has been cleaned using an oil-based soap or polished with an acrylic wax, there may be a risk of the newly applied finish peeling afterwards. Some chemical strippers claim to be able to remove these products, but if they have definitely been used, we would play it safe and suggest sanding down to the bare wood. We would then apply a special Barrier-Seal primer before coating in the normal way.

The method used when testing for a greasy or waxy residue is to choose a low-traffic section that is not walked on but always thoroughly cleaned, such as behind a door or an area where any surface residue would wear off slower. A small amount of paint thinners is put onto the floor and left for a few minutes before wiping off with a clean white rag. If a yellow or brown mark on the rag feels waxy, it is most likely that the floor has been contaminated. Another method - again in a similar area, is to use an equal mix of water and ammonia. Allow the mixture to be on the floor for about 10 minutes, and if a white patch appears, it is highly likely that a wax-based polish or oily product has been used.

Commercial Floors
Floorfixer may be able to offer this less expensive alternative process and the fact that it takes less time to Screen and Polish, this service is especially suited to commercial flooring where business closure can be inconvenient to say the least. Finishing each job by using a product more suitable for use on High Traffic areas where heavy usage is expected, can last far longer between coats and is therefore more cost efficient in the long run.

We also offer a free annual inspection visit for all commecial jobs following a complete refurbishment to check if any further work is needed.

Fitting the mesh

Screening a floor

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Floor Sanding
Beware of Liars!
Wood Floor Restoration
Floor Types
Screen & Recoat
Wood Floor Maintenance
Floor Stripping
Wood Floor Polishing
Wood Floor Staining
Parquet Floor Refurbishment


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