If you’re planning on applying floor wax to your hardwood floors, you may want to know how long it should dry before buffing. This is an important step because it will protect your wood and create a shiny, attractive surface.
Depending on the type of wax you’re using, this can take anywhere from one hour to 24 hours. The length of time it takes will depend on the temperature, humidity, and other factors. The experts in low maintenance floor finishes, Bell Janitorial Supply, discusses this in detail below.
Apply the Wax
Floor waxing protects your hardwood, terra cotta, and vinyl composition tile (VCT) floors and adds an attractive shine. However, it also requires regular application and maintenance.
Before you apply a new coat of wax, you should prepare your flooring by sweeping it to remove any loose dirt and debris. You can use a commercial cleaner, or you can make your own version by mixing one-quarter cup of mild dish soap with one gallon of warm water. Once the floor is clean, you can proceed to Step 1.
Once the floors are completely dry, you can begin applying the wax by hand or with a machine. For hand applications, it is best to be in a kneeling position, as you will need to hold the rag firmly to keep it from moving around during the process.
Liquid waxes should be applied with a terry cloth rag or another rag that will hold a lot of wax. Alternatively, you can use a sponge mop or a flat wax applier mop.
After applying the wax, let it dry for about 30 minutes before buffing it with a terry cloth or buffing pad. This is done to remove dust and other dirt particles that may be in the wax, so it doesn’t dull the finish.
Buffing helps to increase the life of your wax, as well as protect the underlying surface. It can also help to reduce scratching and dirt build-up.
If you have a rotary buffing machine, you can use it to buff the wax on the floor, using a terry cloth towel or a buffing pad that has been attached to the brush. Just be sure to change the buffing pad as soon as it becomes gummed up with wax, or else you will not get a smooth and shiny finish.
To prevent your waxed hardwood floors from getting damaged, you should not drag furniture across them, and you should never use a soaking mop. In addition, you should not walk on waxed floors with shoes.
Let It Dry
When applying wax to floors, it is critical that you allow the floor to dry completely before buffing. This process can take anywhere from half an hour to a few hours depending on the type of wax you are using and its manufacturer’s instructions.
When you’ve applied the wax and it has cured, you can then begin to buff your floor with a commercial buffer (rented from Home Depot for $30 for a half day). Buffing is essential for getting an even finish and removing any residue that may have built up on the surface of your floor.
Once you’ve buffed the entire floor, you should be left with a polished look that shows your attention to detail and demonstrates how well cared for your floors are. However, it is important to understand that it takes a long time for the finish to properly dry and cure, so don’t worry about trying to touch it for a while after you’ve buffed it.
A good rule of thumb is to let the finished wax dry for at least eight hours before stepping on it or replacing furniture in that room. This will ensure that the floor is fully cured and will give it the best chance of standing up to normal wear and tear without looking dingy or uneven.
You can also use a fan to help speed up the drying process, but don’t point it directly at the floor or else it will create ripples in the newly applied finish. In addition, don’t scrub the freshly waxed floor with any tools while it is still damp, as this will distort and remove the coats of wax that have already dried.
Both solid and liquid waxes provide a protective layer that helps ward off the effects of abrasion on hardwood floors and other types of wood flooring. They also add a glossier finish that makes the floor easier to clean, and they’re available in a variety of hues, giving your floors a unique look that enhances their beauty. The main thing is to be sure that you apply enough wax to get the desired shine on your floor.
Buff the Floor
After waxing your floors, you may want to buff them so they shine. This can be done either by hand or with a floor buffer machine. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s directions for how long it should take for your floor wax to dry before you buff it.
The drying time for different brands of floor wax will vary, but most floor waxes are ready to buff after eight hours or so. When the floor is completely dry, you can then use a soft cloth or a mop to buff in a circular motion over two-foot sections of the floor at a time. Begin in the back corner and move forward with overlapping rows to create an even buff across the floor.
If you want to use a floor buffer machine, the first thing you should do is fill a fine mist sprayer with buffing solution for your specific type of floor and apply it evenly to the floor. It is best to only spray a small area at a time, so you do not overspray the floor.
You can also make your own buffing solution with one cup of white vinegar in a gallon of water. If you are using a machine, you will need to change the pad frequently. It can be a good idea to use a lambswool buffing attachment for the machine, as it will help you buff your floor without scratching it.
Once you have completed the buffing process, it is best to leave the floor undisturbed for at least 8 hours to allow it to fully cure. This is important to avoid the risk of stains and damage that may result from stepping on the buffed surface.
Ideally, the floor should be completely dry before you step on it or replace your furniture. If it is not, it will be harder for you to remove any dirt that might have accumulated on the floor while you were buffing it.
To buff a wood floor, you can use a white pad or various grades of steel wool pads. Each grade is a different sheen, so you can choose the appropriate pad for the desired look. You can also use an electric floor buffer/polisher to speed up the process. You can rent one for a half day for $30 at Home Depot.
There are a few different types of floor wax that you can use to maintain your floors. Liquid wax is ideal for unvarnished wood and linoleum, while solid paste wax works well on finished hardwood floors. You should apply each type of wax in several coats, which usually need to dry in between.
Depending on the specific product, this should take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. For best results, wait at least 12 hours to allow the wax to cure.
After the floor is fully cured, you can buff it to enhance its shine. You can do this by hand or with an electric buffer. Make sure to keep your tools clean to avoid a buildup of wax on them, which can make buffing difficult.
Aside from the luster you get from buffing, this step is important for sealing the wax into the floor. It also helps to prevent dirt from becoming stuck in the polish, which can be more difficult to remove later.
To start, remove all furniture from the area you’re working on. This should include chairs, couches, and other items that people will walk on. You should also put up signs in public areas letting people know that the area will be off-limits for at least eight hours.
Next, re-apply the wax in thin coats and buff it thoroughly. Repeat the process until you reach the sheen you’re looking for. Be careful to not apply too much polish at once, as this will cause streaks in the finish that will be very noticeable on dark woods like mahogany and walnut.
Before you begin the buffing process, ensure that your floor is completely dry. Whether you’re using an electric buffer or an old-fashioned buffing pad, the wax should be dry enough to touch, but not sticky. You can test this by placing a small amount on a white pad and seeing how it lays on the surface of the floor.
If you’re not confident in your buffing skills, you can always hire a professional to do it for you. They will have the proper buffing equipment, and they’ll also be able to complete a strip-and-wax on your floors in a single visit.