Ghosting and Ghost Prints on Timber Polished Floors

Have you ever looked at your polished timber floors and noticed faint footprints or marks that won’t seem to go away, no matter how much you clean? These marks are known as ghosting or ghost prints, and they can be a frustrating issue for homeowners.

Ghosting occurs when the surface of the timber floor is altered or marked, leaving an impression that becomes visible after the floor has been coated. It can be caused by a number of factors, including pH in human skin, moisture from shoes or boots. Ghosting can also occur during the curing process, when the coating is still vulnerable to external factors.

Two ways to minimize the risk of ghosting is to ensure no one is present during the sanding and finishing process.   Then use UV cured polyurethane as the coating. This type of polyurethane is cured with UV lamps, which helps to eliminate the risk of ghosting during the curing process.

What is Ghosting?

Ghosting is a term used to describe faint, ghost-like marks that appear on polished timber floors. These marks are typically in the shape of footprints or boot prints, and they can appear several months after the floors have been sanded, coated, and cured. Ghosting can occur in both residential and commercial settings, and it can be a source of frustration for property owners.

What Causes Ghosting?

Ghosting is caused by a variety of factors, including the pH in human skin, moisture from wet shoes, and disturbance during the sanding, coating or even the curing process. The pH in human skin can affect the wet coating on the floor, resulting in marks that appear as ghost prints. Moisture from wet shoes or boots can also be absorbed by the timber and affect the coating during the curing process. If the floor is disturbed during the curing process, such as from foot traffic, it can also cause ghosting.

How to Prevent Ghosting

Preventing ghosting requires careful attention during the sanding, coating, and curing process. Here are some tips to help prevent ghosting on your polished timber floors:

  1. Choose the right coating. To help prevent ghosting, choose a high-quality UV cured coating.
  2. Limit foot traffic during sanding and coating. Ghosting can occur when the timber absorbs moisture from wet shoes or boots during the sanding and coating process. To minimize the risk of ghosting, limit foot traffic in the area and ensure that all shoes and boots are dry before entering.
  3. Avoid disturbance during the curing process Once the coating has been applied, it is important to avoid disturbing the floor during the curing process. This means limiting foot traffic.
  4. Consider UV cured coatings: UV cured coatings are cured with UV lamps before people walk on them. This will dramatically reducing the risk of ghosting during the curing process.


Ghosting and ghost prints on polished timber floors can be frustrating, but with the right precautions, they can be prevented. By choosing the right coating, avoiding foot traffic during the sanding and coating process, avoiding disturbance during the curing process, and considering UV cured coatings, you can help prevent ghosting and keep your floors looking beautiful for years to come.

If you’re looking for a professional floor sanding company in Brisbane, look no further than Floor. Our team of experts can help you choose the best coating options and provide tips for preventing ghosting on your polished timber floors. Contact us today to learn more.

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