I rent, so the amount of money and labor I am looking to invest in my floors is small. That said, there are a number of spots where the hardwood has a sort of "dead" look that I wouldn't mind touching up if there is a straightforward way to improve the situation. The floors don't have to look new (clearly that is not going to happen), but maybe these spots can be less visible than they are now. Is there a relatively simple approach?

Related question: even the parts of the floor that aren't discolored are pretty beat up. Any recommended products for just improving the overall shine and appearance?

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    Throw a rug over it. Anything more extensive, clear with your landlord, first. – Ecnerwal Feb 12 at 18:47
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    "Refinish floor" and "cheap/lazy" are two concepts that don't belong together in the same novel. – FreeMan Feb 12 at 18:54
  • The laziest? Add more stains and eventually, it all blends in. – gwally Feb 12 at 20:07
  • Rugs aren't cheap! Also, I would have to scatter tiny rugs all over my apartment. – HotDogWater Feb 12 at 20:56
  • Seeing it is a rental, rug/floor covering are about all you should do by yourself. Anything else probably need to talk to landlord. Might reduced rent for work you put in(or not). – crip659 Feb 12 at 22:47

Get a sanding block and sand those spots to see if you can remove those stains. Then get some Polyurethane, you'll have to match the sheen, and put on three or four coats.

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    Come on Jack, you can be lazier than that! – DMoore Feb 12 at 19:26
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    @DMoore OK, I'll go with the rug like Ecnerwal suggested. :-) – JACK Feb 12 at 19:38
  • No, this is definitely meets my standard for laziness. If you told me I had to sand the entire floor down, that would be another story. Basically I'm looking for the "drywall compound" equivalent... – HotDogWater Feb 12 at 20:59
  • I would agree with poly on the top if you can match but the bottom looks more like danish oil. – Ed Beal Feb 12 at 21:44
  • I would suggest that attempting to match the stain and finish is anything but a "lazy" job. Trying to do even a slightly reasonable job of matching is going to take a lot of samples to get the colors and the top coat correct. Not even remotely lazy in my book! – FreeMan Jul 13 at 14:31

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