Straightforward way to reduce hardwood floor shine?
January 15, 2013 4:41 PM   Subscribe

My very dark strand woven bamboo hardwood floors have a semi-glossy finish. Even after they've been freshly mopped, every speck of dust is visible and they'll look dirty the minute someone – wearing socks fresh out of the laundry, even – walks across the room. Is there any way I can change their finish to matte?

The floor (similar to this, but looking at a spare board, only the top 2 mm or so are stained) is several months old, beautiful and otherwise great, in the sense that my 65 lbs dog has not been able to scratch it one bit. However, they look dirty all the time.

I just spend several weeks with my (shedding) dog in a home with matte finish hardwood floors and believe that it's exactly what I want in my house. Is this even possible? What would the process entail? If so, any idea how much it would cost in a 3,000 sq.ft. Seattle home?
posted by halogen to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You could have the floors sanded with a very fine 0000 steel wool pad. Or you could have it all recoated with a matte finish. Or both. Experiment someplace under a rug or under a piece of furniture.
posted by beagle at 5:32 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have a lot of experience finishing and refinishing wood. Dark-stained wood is merciless in showing dust and dirt, and you're right, the glossy finish makes it so much worse! If you want to recoat it with a less shiny finish, the floor will first need to to be 'screened." A floor buffing machine is used with a mesh similar to window screening instead of a buffing pad.

Consider using a satin finish rather than matte. I suggest doing some sample areas before you decide...and look at the samples from various angles and in different types of light.
posted by wryly at 6:28 PM on January 15, 2013

I once put a too-shiny finish on baseboard. Some super-fine steel wool took care of it with no problems.
posted by ceiba at 6:33 PM on January 15, 2013

Water-based finishes are much less glossy and look much more natural than oil based. We had ours coated w/ Bona Traffic Satin and we love it. I think it's exactly what you're looking for.
posted by no bueno at 5:35 AM on January 17, 2013

Response by poster: I'm being quoted $3,200 and four days of uninhabitable house to have the sheen changed. Would steel wool really do the trick?
posted by halogen at 2:25 PM on February 8, 2013

Why not try it in an unobtrusive spot, like under rug, inside a closet or under a large piece of furniture?
posted by beagle at 10:24 AM on February 9, 2013

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