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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Question problems with refinishing wood floors

    We recently refinished our wood floor in our old home. We rented a floor sander from Lowes and followed the DVD instructions from the Varathane company. We sanded the floors to the bare wood. We then stained with an oil based stain (olympic). When then applied a water based polyurethane from Zinsser (instructions stated it could be applied on an oil or water based stain). We sanded in between each top coat. The floor looked beautiful after the last coat of polyurethane, but then after a few days, cloudy, rough spots began to appear throughout the floor. We followed the drying time directions. What caused this and how can we repair it?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    17

    Default Re: problems with refinishing wood floors

    It looks likethe polyurethane is pulling off of the floor. There's a chance that your oil stain has reactivated. That's my guess. This happens sometimes. I would get the number for Olympic and give them a call. Customer service people have probably heard of this before. Try Zinsser as well. I'm sure you will get the help you need. Looks like you might have to refinish the floor again.

    Josh Jaros (Jaros Bros. Construction)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,131

    Default Re: problems with refinishing wood floors

    How long did you wait between the OB stain application before applying the WB poly?

    What were the ambient temps and humidity levels?

    How many coats of WB poly did you apply?

    How long between coats of the WB poly?

    Application tool for the WB poly was?

    How long has it been since the application of the last coat of the WB poly?

    (WB finishes are much more persnickety than OB finishes, generally speaking.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    3

    Default Re: problems with refinishing wood floors

    Thank you for looking into my question, here are the answers to the questions:
    we waited 5 to 6 hours after the OB stain to put on WB topcoat
    The temp was around 69 to 71 F and very low humidity
    We put on a total of 4 coats of WB poly
    we waited 2 to 3 hours between WB poly coats (hand sanded in between each coat, vac'd and wiped down with lint free cloth)
    To applied the WB poly coat we used the varathane WB refill applicator from Lowes.
    It has been about a month since the last top coat of WB poly.
    I have to say we just finished another room in the house and went with the OB poly and looks alot better, so far none of these stains have appeared.Any advice would greatly be appreciated!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: problems with refinishing wood floors

    Quote Originally Posted by djpage87 View Post
    Thank you for looking into my question, here are the answers to the questions:
    we waited 5 to 6 hours after the OB stain to put on WB topcoat
    The temp was around 69 to 71 F and very low humidity
    We put on a total of 4 coats of WB poly
    we waited 2 to 3 hours between WB poly coats (hand sanded in between each coat, vac'd and wiped down with lint free cloth)
    To applied the WB poly coat we used the varathane WB refill applicator from Lowes.
    It has been about a month since the last top coat of WB poly.
    I have to say we just finished another room in the house and went with the OB poly and looks alot better, so far none of these stains have appeared.Any advice would greatly be appreciated!
    Some comments/suggestions-

    If you're using an off-the-shelf OB stain.....wait a day (minimum) before overcoating with a WB finish. This because almost all off-the-shelf OB stains use carriers that are slow to dry....and all of those OB carriers must be completely evaporated and/or set before using a WB finish over the top or problems will/can result. Play if safe and don't rush it.

    Temps and relative humidity sound acceptable for WB.

    Too many coats of WB (and/or...... too fast for that many coats, for sure). Most off-the-shelf WB finishes are limited to two successsive coats ......without allowing long curing times before more coats are added over those. Common WB polys are a totally different and persnickety critter....compared to other types of finish. They are coalescing finishes, not evaporative or reactive finishes.....and this means you must limit the "built-up" application thickness or they may never cure properly. If they don't.......that cloudiness you currently have.......may never cure out properly and disappear......and/or may remain soft-ish for a very long period of time (a month or more). Recommended procedure = Apply two coats and then no more for say... two weeks (minimum).....if you desire to add more more thickness. Likely safe to add another coat at that time.

    These common off-the-shelf WB polys are different than the moisture-cure or catalyzed WB floor finishes and such.... used by "pro" floor finishers. You must treat them/apply them accordingly. Off-the-shelf products are intended for use by the average DIYer and are formulated accordingly.....to render basic ease of application.

    Also........the chemical formulation of finishing products is changing as various VOC regulations force manufacturers to alter the composition of their product line. Often this alteration results in slower drying/longer curing times and often results in a product that is also more likely to foam if "overworked" during application.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 01-22-2009 at 11:06 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: problems with refinishing wood floors

    I agree with ****hiller, your wait time for the oil based stain was way to short. I always wait at least 12 hours before applying oil based poly and 24 hours before water based poly is applied. I also make it a habit to apply only one coat per day of the poly and never more than 2 coats if WB. I personally prefer oil based poly and use only floor rated.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: problems with refinishing wood floors

    Thank you very much for the info. We will take it slower when refinishing the rest of the floors in the house. We are very new at this!

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