If the paint is worn off so that the wood shows in many places in the room, all of the paint should be removed as described in the preceding paragraphs. If it is worn slightly and only in a spot or two, the floor should be washed carefully, rinsed and allowed to dry. (Before beginning to apply the paint stir it until there is none left around the edges of the can and until it runs from the stirrer like milk.) "Touch up" the worn spots with paint just as near the color of the rest of the floor as possible and allow to dry. Then sandpaper the joining edges smooth, dust clean, and give the whole floor a coat of paint a shade darker than the original coat. Follow with a second coat if the floor is to have hard usage.
The same question arises regarding a floor with old varnish on it as one with old paint. If it is too much cracked, scratched, and worn to "touch up," proceed with its treatment for renewal in the same way as directed in the preceding paragraph for old paint. If it is not scratched but is worn off in a spot by a door, wash the floor carefully, allow it to dry thoroughly and varnish this worn spot. When dry smooth the edges with fine sandpaper (0 or 00) and go over the whole floor with a new coat of varnish to which has been added enough coloring matter to make a darker varnish than the original coat. Keep in mind that neither paint nor varnish will give satisfactory results unless all grease spots are removed before the coat is applied. Much more satisfactory results will be obtained if the varnish is warmed before using, for it flows more evenly and without leaving a dark line where a joining is made. To heat the can of varnish remove the cap and set the can in a pan of hot water.
If a waxed floor is preferred, but the one now in use has become dark and dingy looking, it may be renewed by going over the surface with a clean, soft cloth moistened with turpentine or kerosene. This will remove the surface of wax in which the dust and dirt have become imbedded, and when this is removed it is necessary only to go over the floor with a clean, dry mop and then rewax. Keep in mind that it is "a little wax and much rubbing" that is required to give a beautiful soft luster to the floor. Ordinarily the upkeep of a waxed floor requires very little work if the above rule is kept in mind. Too many people complain of the work entailed because they transpose the rule, that is they use much wax and little rubbing. One point in favor of the waxed floor is that worn spots can be rewaxed without the necessity of going over the whole floor, and the floor can be used immediately afterwards. A weighted polisher is the best piece of equipment to use for waxing a floor. This can now be found at any large hardware store and at many department stores.1
1 Electric polishers which are very easy to operate are on the market and also may be rented by the day.
Much has been written for and against the oiled floor and everything said has been true in some cases. Where the oiled floor has become a dingy, gummy, dust and dirt collector, it has been due to one of two reasons, or to a combination of the two: Either an oil entirely unsuited for use on the floor of a house or office was used, or it was not correctly treated when applied.
There is no more attractive, or inexpensive, floor finish for bedrooms in some of the big, old country homes, survivors from times gone by, than that obtained by an application of hot "boiled" linseed oil. Provided (and here is where so many people make their mistake) the oil application is allowed to remain on the wood from one-half to one hour and then all excess oil is rubbed off with a clean, dry mop. Many people forget that wood can absorb only a certain amount of oil and that the remainder, not being able to get into the wood, will remain on the surface and of necessity become a collector of all dust particles in the room. Therefore, a floor that . has been well and correctly oiled will not need another application for several months.
A floor that has been oiled, can later be waxed, shellacked, or varnished if desired. The two things to remember are: That oil must have dried into the wood thoroughly; and the floor must be well washed with warm water and mild soap, rinsed, and dried before varnishing or waxing.....