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Is there a simple way to dull my glossy wood floors?

The question:

I would like to lessen the effect of high-gloss floors without the work and cost of refinishing. Can a matte finish be applied on top of the glossy wood?

The answer:

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If you have a prefinished floor, you can't, sadly, change the finish with a simple buff; you would need to sand away the microbevel between planks and start all over again. If your floors were finished after they were installed, however, you can give it a light buff and a matte finish.

But I think glossy floors are beautiful and that you'll tire of the matte look – if the floors are in good shape, I would keep them as is and throw down area rugs instead. By opting for a "European fix" – cover the majority of the floor with a sisal area carpet, leaving a six-inch border of wood – you can have a fabulous layered look, although you may need to start wearing slippers since sisal isn't always comfortable against bare feet.

Dee Dee Taylor Eustace is an architect and interior designer. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail

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