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Old 11-06-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
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Can you paint subfloor under hardwood

I have some pet stains on my subfloor and I was wondering if I can cover them up with an oil based primer. I would like to remove any smells. The subfloor is osb. I plan on putting rosin paper over it and 3/4 t&g solid red oak flooring. Would this be okay to do or will I have moisture or other problems. Would there be a better way of blocking oders as well.


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Old 11-06-2012, 11:33 AM   #2
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Is the sublfoor still in good shape?
If it is then your plan will work.


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Old 11-06-2012, 01:18 PM   #3
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A little light sanding before application can help, and a polyurethane can be a good alternative to oil-based paint.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:30 PM   #4
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I would treat with an enzymatic product for pet odors and stains. The one I have found to work well is Anti Icky Poo. Make sure you saturate the stains completely but not so much you cause the OSB to fail.

Then you can try spot priming with an oil based stain blocking primer or even something like BIN.

You might also try the search engine above to see prior threads on this topic and approaches others have taken. This topic comes up often.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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Regular oil based primer or paint is not gonna help stop odors. You should consider Zinseer B-I-N Shellac based primer.

Not sure how well those enzymatic products work, I've heard they do some good, but the smell returns, especially on humid days.

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Old 11-06-2012, 04:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Not sure how well those enzymatic products work, I've heard they do some good, but the smell returns, especially on humid days.
I have had no luck with Nature's Miracle but the brand I mentioned has worked out pretty well. As mentioned, with these bacteria/enzyme products you have to saturate the stains or they make little difference. They sell injectors for getting it under carpet and carpet pads, for instances since pouring it on top does no good. The bugs are photo sensitive and can die fairly quickly in sunlight too. And the challenge is the sub-floor physically falling apart if you get it to wet in a case like this where it is OSB material.

The safest thing to do is replace the pet stain sections if you can.

BIN by the way is, as mentioned, shellac based so be sure and use with adequate ventilation. No primer is really meant to hold up to foot traffic so you gain nothing heaping it on--your only goal is as a sealer in this instance.

In one of the other threads someone mentioned having reasonable luck with urethane (oil based) or epoxy (water based) floor paint to help seal the surface after enzyme treatment. I should think if you had leftover clear product it might work in similar fashion.

Last edited by user1007; 11-06-2012 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:28 AM   #7
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The level of subfloor saturation will determine what method of sealing and odor blocking will be most effective. If the subfloor saturation is relatively light then a scrubbing with bleach and water, or an enzyme material will typically work just fine to eat/destroy whatever is causing the smell. This would be prior to applying a sealing topcoat to lock out any possibility of a future "bleedthrough" type issue. This mostly relates to how pets like to mark their territory with urine and tend to gravitate back to the same area indefinitely. By doing your best to kill and seal the problem areas you will help to break your pets instinctive desire to use those areas as a toilet. Just make sure that you start what you finish and clean/scrub plus sealing topcoat. Pets can (obviously) smell significantly better than we can, so doing a final seal of the problem areas is essential to helping you retrain your pets.

This might sound somewhat vague, but without doing a physical walk through of the home it's difficult to determine the best plan of attack. I've seen some drastically different pet issues over the years that would range from a paper cut to a gunshot wound... one is relatively easy to remedy, while the other is a bit more involved, so you'll just have to guage your situation accordingly and do your best. In nearly every case you'll want to clean/scrub the subfloor with the appropriate product, and then once you are satisfied you'll want to seal the subfloor. Doing one or the other will very rarely work, so in doing both, properly, you should be fine.


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