How to Make Unfinished Wood Floors Shine

So you’ve installed unfinished wood floors, and now you want to make them shine like a new penny. Or maybe you’ve just stripped off the old finish of an existing wood floor, and you’re about to apply a new coat, but you want to know how to get the shiniest result. Whatever your situation, this post will show you how to make unfinished wood floors shine, using simple and natural methods that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

How to Make Unfinished Wood Floors Shine

Can You Make Unfinished Wood Floors Shine?

While unfinished wood floors may give your space a rustic charm, they can also appear dull and worn over time. Fortunately, you can bring them back to life with a little bit of elbow grease. A few methods to consider include using a floor buffer, sanding, and staining, or applying a wax or varnish finish.

Each method has its own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to do your research before diving in. With the right technique, your unfinished wood floors can look polished and gleaming once again, adding warmth and character to your home.

Why Should You Make Unfinished Wood Floors Shine?

Unfinished wood floors can add a natural and rustic charm to any home. Although some may worry about the durability of unfinished floors, they can be protected with the right treatment. One thing to consider is making the floors shine. Shiny floors not only add beauty to your home, but they can also increase the lifespan of your floors.

A polished shine can help protect against scratches, stains, and other wear and tear that can occur from everyday use. In addition, shiny floors can reflect natural light, making your space feel brighter and more welcoming. With a little effort and care, unfinished wood floors can shine and impress for years to come.

A Polished Shine Can Help 
Protect Against Scratches

7 Tips to Follow on How to Make Unfinished Wood Floors Shine

1. Sanding

The first step in preparing your unfinished floor for polishing is sanding it. Use a sanding machine or sandpaper to smooth out any rough patches before applying a finish. Begin with coarse-grade sandpaper, such as 60 or 80 grit, and progress to finer grits of up to 220 grit. Vacuum the floor thoroughly afterward.

2. Cleaning

Clean the floor thoroughly to remove all traces of dust, debris, or excess oils that might interfere with the final coat. Use a vacuum, mop, or dry cloth to wipe the floor. Do not use too much water as it can damage the wood. You might want to use a wood cleaner or a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water to help you break down any stubborn dirt.

3. Applying the Finish

Many different types of finish can give your unfinished wood floor a polished look. They include oil-based, water-based, and wax finishes. However, a polyurethane finish is your best bet for a high-gloss shine. It comes in both oil-based and water-based formulations, and you can also choose between a satin, semi-gloss, or high-gloss finish.

Different Types of Finish Can
Give Floor a Polished Look

4. Buffing

Buffing is the art of rubbing the floor with an abrasive pad to create a smoother and shinier surface. You might want to use a buffing machine, a sanding screen, or a commercial scrubber for best results. You can also do it manually using a dry cloth or a soft-bristle brush. Be gentle and avoid pressing down too hard or you might create swirl marks. Buff the floor until you achieve the desired level of gloss.

5. Maintaining the Shine

Once you’ve achieved the desired level of sheen on your unfinished wood floor, it’s time to maintain it. Sweep the floor regularly to remove dust and grit that might scratch the surface. You can also use a dust mop or a hardwood floor cleaner to keep the condition of the floor healthy. Avoid using harsh chemicals, such as ammonia, bleach, or abrasive cleaners, as they can dull the shine or damage the finish.

6. Spot Cleaning

If you ever need to spot-clean your unfinished wood floor, make sure to use a mild wood cleaner and a soft cloth or mop. Never rub too hard, as this may remove the finish. Instead, gently wipe the spot until it’s clean without going over the same area multiple times. Afterward, quickly dry the floor.

7. Routine Maintenance

It’s also important to carry out routine maintenance on your unfinished wood floor, such as waxing or oiling it every few months. Wax and oil help to protect the surface from wear and tear, and can give the floor a much-needed boost if it starts to look dull. Make sure to use a good quality wax or oil that is designed for wood floors. Apply it evenly with a cloth or mop, and buff the floor afterward to restore its shine.

By following these tips, your unfinished wood floor will look as good as new in no time! With regular care and maintenance, you can keep it looking beautiful for years. Get started today and give your home a polished makeover.

Important to Carry Out 
Routine Maintenance

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Make Unfinished Wood Floors Shine

1. Clean the Floor

Before you start to make unfinished wood floors shine, it is important to ensure that the floor is clean. Sweep or vacuum the floor thoroughly to remove any dirt and debris. If there are any spills, use a damp cloth or mop to wipe them up. If your floor has been waxed in the past, use a cleaner specifically designed for waxed floors.

2. Sand the Floor

Once the floor is clean, use a sanding machine and fine-grit sandpaper to sand down any rough spots or imperfections in the wood. This will help to create a smooth surface that will allow for better absorption of the polish or sealant that you plan on using later on. Be sure to wear protective gear such as goggles and dust masks when sanding your floors.

3. Apply Wood Conditioner

Before applying any type of polish or sealant, it is important to apply a wood conditioner first. This will help bring out the natural beauty of the wood and also help protect it from damage caused by water and other elements. There are many different types of wood conditioners available on the market, so be sure to choose one that is specifically designed for unfinished wood floors.

Applying Any Type 
Of Polish or Sealant

4. Apply Polish/Sealant

Once you have applied a wood conditioner, you can then apply either polish or sealant to make unfinished wood floors shine. A polish will give your floors a glossy finish, while a sealant will provide protection against water damage and staining while still allowing for some shine. Be sure to read all instructions carefully before applying either product and follow them exactly in order for the best results.

5. Maintenance

It is important to maintain your newly polished/sealed unfinished wood floors in order for them to remain looking their best over time. Regularly sweep or vacuum your floors in order to keep them free from dirt and debris, which can scratch and dull their appearance if left unchecked over time. Additionally, be sure not to drag furniture across them as this can cause scratches as well as damage any protective coating that may have been applied during installation or refinishing processes.

5 Benefits of Making Unfinished Wood Floors Shine

1. Improved Aesthetics

Making unfinished wood floors shine can greatly improve the aesthetics of any home. Unfinished wood floors are beautiful in their own right, but when they are polished and shining, they can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room. The reflective nature of a shiny wood floor also helps to make a room appear larger and brighter.

2. Increased Durability

Polishing an unfinished wood floor can also help to increase its durability. Polishing helps to seal the surface of the wood, which protects it from dirt, dust, and other debris that can scratch or damage the finish. Additionally, polishing will fill in any scratches or imperfections that may be present on the floor, helping to keep it looking like new for longer.

3. Easier Maintenance

Shining an unfinished wood floor can also make it easier to maintain over time. When a floor is polished and sealed, it is much easier to clean, as dirt and debris will not be able to penetrate the surface as easily. Additionally, regular polishing will help to reduce wear and tear on the floor over time, making it last longer before needing refinishing or replacement.

4. Enhanced Natural Beauty

Polishing an unfinished wood floor can help to enhance its natural beauty by bringing out its unique grain pattern and color variations. Polishing will also help protect the wood from fading due to sunlight exposure and aging, allowing it to retain its original beauty for many years to come.

Bringing Out Its 
Unique Grain Pattern

5. Increased Home Value

Making unfinished wood floors shine can also increase the value of a home if done properly. Shiny wood floors are highly sought-after by potential buyers due to their aesthetic appeal and durability, so having them in your home can be a great selling point when you decide to put your house on the market.

Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Make Unfinished Wood Floors Shine

Unfinished wood floors can bring out the natural beauty of any space. While they offer a rustic and charming vibe, they also require proper maintenance to keep them looking their best. However, there are common mistakes that people make when trying to make their unfinished wood floors shine. One of the biggest mistakes is using the wrong product to clean or polish the floors.

Abrasive cleaners or waxes that contain solvents can cause irreversible damage to the wood’s surface. Another mistake is not preparing the floors properly before applying any coatings, such as sanding the surface to ensure a smooth finish. Overusing water during the cleaning process can cause the wood to warp or buckle over time. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can enjoy the radiance and elegance of your unfinished wood floors for years to come.


Achieving a glossy and polished finish on your unfinished wood floor is not a difficult task if you follow the right procedures and use the appropriate materials. Sand, clean, apply, buff, and maintain the shine. Your floor will be a source of pride for years to come, adding warmth, beauty, and value to your home. Don’t hesitate to try these simple and natural methods, and enjoy the dazzling results. Thanks for reading our post about how to make unfinished wood floors shine.

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Jennifer Branett

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