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Spray Buffing procedures

One of the most controversial floor maintenance methods developed over the years is spray buffing. It is not unusual these days to hear one technician say “Spray buffing ruined my floors!” while another will say “ I couldn’t get all my work done on time without spray buffing!” Still another may claim that spray buffing takes to long, someone else may say that it saves him time. Who is right? Actually, they all are. Whether or not the method is successful depends upon proper understanding of the system, its advantages, and its limitations and most important, its correct usage.

The scuffing action of peoples’ shoes and abrasive actions of sand and grit, etc. all act to deteriorate film of floor finish. This deterioration appears as scuffs, heel marks, scratches and dullness. Damp mopping and wet mopping alone cannot restore or repair this damage.


Spray buffing is the halfway method between mopping and scrubbing. It simply means spraying the floor lightly with a special mixture of floor finish, followed by buffing with a 300-rpm floor machine and red buffing pad. The purpose is to remove surface soil, heel and scuff marks and to produce an acceptable shine. Before starting a spray buffing system, the floor should be completely stripped, sealed and waxed, if needed, and as many coats of finish applied as your particular floor requires. If not properly sealed, more porous flooring materials will require additional coats of finish, so that the final coat is above the surface of the floor covering.


– Floor Machine 175 – 300 RPM
– Red or white floor pads
– Trigger sprayer bottle
– Spray buffing solution
– Dust mop
– Wet floor signs

Spray Buffing Procedures

– Floor must be clean or you will grind the dirt into the floor.
– Dust mop the floor area that is going to be spray buffed.
– Wet mop or auto scrub the floor using a neutral pH floor cleaner.
– Fill trigger sprayer bottle with spray buff solution.
– Adjust spray nozzle to a fine mist.
– You will need a 175 or 300-rpm floor machine
– Attach a red pad on the floor machine.
– Mist the spray buff solution in a fine mist over a small section of the floor in front of the machine.
– Always spray buff from right to left or left to right (in a swinging motion).
– Do not over spray the floor with solution, use as little spray buffing solution as possible.
– If you see a build up of buffing material on the pads, too much spray buff solution is being used.
– Floor will remain dull if insufficient buffing is being done.
– Floor will appear smeary at first.
– As spray buff solution starts drying, the shine will start to come back.
– The scuffmarks should be gone.
– If black heel marks are on the floor, spray a little more and do second pass with the floor machine.
– Change pads frequently.
– Repeat this process until the entire floor area has been spray buffed.
– Dust mop the entire area that was spray buffed.


At this stage, the secret of proper spray buffing will be realized. Too much solution or an over spray will start a stripping action on the finish. Using a buffing pad, make two or three passes over the area. The floor will immediately become dull and smeared, if more passes are needed to bring back shine to much spray solution is being used. Difficult to remove marks and scuffs should be sprayed and buffed again. Pads should be changed as they fill up with soil otherwise the soil is re-deposited on the floor. Periodically, the floor must be recoated with a thin coat or two.

Advantages of spray buffing

1. One advantage of spray buffing method is that the floor being treated need not be closed to traffic, because only a small area is damp at any one time. This system can even be carried out during work hours without interfering with traffic.

2. A second advantage is the saving of time. This method was designed for speed and since the process is continuous, the operator began without delay. There is no need for the floors to be rinsed or wait for the finish to dry.

3. A third advantage is the minimum amount of equipment needed. Mops, buckets, wringers, are not needed so working areas are free and uncluttered.

4. A further advantage is some of the new floors on the market only require spray buffing for cleaning and maintenance.

Spray buffing does require a base of four coats of wax for best results. Spray buffing does seem to work best with polymers or acrylics. Spray buffing does require an appetite for good maintenance. A customer with minimum maintenance dollars to spend may not be able to use the spray cleaning method effectively. Spray buffing does require regularity (any good system does) the number of times a floor is spray buffed varies with traffic conditions, etc.