Finish has worn off the floor

Q: I recently removed my living room carpeting, as it was filled with pet stains. The hardwood floor underneath was for the most part in good shape. There are a few areas where the finish has come off the hardwood floor.

The floor boards are in great shape, no warping and the floor cleaned up nicely. However I want to know if I can just refinish these areas of the floor if there are no deep stains or smells. Can I re-stain these areas of the floor without having to refinish the entire floor?

A: Is the floor actually stained a different colour? Are you saying the finish has pulled off these areas or it has worn off with time and exposed the wood? If this is the case, and the wood has become discolored and you want a nice job, it really should be sanded professionally from scratch. When properly done the floors should give you years of very good use, with the occasional refresher coat when it starts to show signs of wear or marking.

Reply: The finish has worn off the floor. The areas are down to the natural wood with absolutely no finish on them. The wood in these areas is in excellent condition and there is absolutely no odor in the wood from the pet stains. We are eventually thinking of having the floors refinished, but in the meantime I would like to know if I can refinish over these areas until we have the time and money to refinish the floors. I’m looking for a temporary fix until that time is feasible.

A: Brush several coats of finish over the spot, buffing lightly between coats. It will show, but at least it will protect the wood until you are ready to have them refinished.