Dogs and children and dents

Q: Our dogs and child have managed to thoroughly dent our 90 year old Swedish finished fir flooring. We are preparing to sand the floors in hopes to be able to at least minimize the dents.

My question is what should we use to refinish that will 1) make less visible any remaining dents and 2) prevent further damage? (We are not set on Swedish Finish.)

A: As soft as it is, you have to expect it is going to get beaten up in time. I did a very large pine floor recently, stained and finished with a tung oil based product called Waterlox. The owners did not want a top coat finish such as urethane. This penetrating finish will give you very good wear and excellent water resistance. It’s “trump card” is that it is so easy to maintain and touch up. There is no buffing needed to gain adhesion, and really is only a matter of making sure the area or spot is clean and then apply another coat with a rag or brush for a spot fix. There isn’t any finish that will prevent dents, but if you want something that is easily cared for in the long run, this product is the way to go.

Swedish finish is extremely nasty and noxious to apply, and is almost equally nasty and noxious to sand off.

Follow-up Q: Any tips on making the sanding easier with the swedish finish? Is it even worth it, knowing it will get dented again? Or, should we just clean it up and use the product you suggested?

A: You can’t use the product I suggested without a full sanding. The best way is to get a professional in to do it. This is not do it yourself work. It really isn’t. the nice thing about Waterlox is that if the floor gets dented, it will not pose an issue to recoating.