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Old 04-18-2010, 12:54 PM   #16
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Fir T&G flooring


that will work if your sealer and poly are water based. Otherwise use the oil based pre-conditioner. You should not mix oil and water.

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Old 04-18-2010, 02:40 PM   #17
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Hi Bob, thanks again. I was wondering about that oil water bizness. Now I know why I was advised to use the water... one of the guys always uses the Swedish water base. I'm using an oil stain and poly, so I guess I'll have to find where I can but at least a gallon of the conditioner. On line maybe.
You mentioned a sealer. I've gone over the floor with a wood filler and intended on sanding it today (the sander I rented sucks so I'm taking it back) and then begin staining it in a couple of days, then poly it. But, whats this about a sealer? I was told by a couple of venders I've asked that a sealer wouldn't be necessary because of the way I was doing it. What say you?
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:25 PM   #18
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A sealer is always a good idea. It raises the grain and allows for the next coat to follow a light sanding (with a drywall sanding pole and 120 grit paper) to give a glass like final finish. What some do is to thin the poly 50% and use that as the sealer... this will work okay. Try renting the three pad orbital sanders. Takes a bit longer but is much more DIY friendly. And pre-conditioner is only needed if you are staining. Did you test a section to see if stain is even needed? Oil will yield a yellow look and water gives a much light color.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:43 PM   #19
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glad to hear the install is done. about your "conditioning" questions... There is a Minwax pre-stain conditioner at HD but as you said, it only comes in quarts.... What your "in the field"guys were talking about is called "popping the grain". It can only be done with water.
Here is a more detailed explanation:
Sanding - it levels the floor, you have to finish with at least 80 grit paper. That will leave your floor acceptably smooth enough.
Buffing - a lot of DIY-ers skip this step, which is a bad thing. what buffing does(if done right) it smoothes the floor and blends in the sanding marks. HD also has buffers for rent. It takes a while geting used to using it, i suggest trying it in the middle of the room, to avoid the risk of breaking any holes. The pole method seems silly to me, but again, I do floors for a living so I use a buffer. The whole secrt to using a buffer is: first, you need to lean forward a little bit to prevent it from going backwards. Set the handle a little under your waist line, that's where you get the most control. to move it, lift the handle to go right and lower it to go left. takes practice, but it does wonders before and between finish coats.
Vacuuming: forget sweeping. you need a good vac to remove all the dust and dirt that otherwise will show in the finish as grit(rough patches). thoroughly vacuum the floor prior to any staining or finish application.
Popping the grain: when you wet the wood, all the pores open, making the floor feel rough. what this does, it allows the stain to be absorbed more even and it also darkens the color. I do it all the time. It has nothing to do with mising water/oil products, because you need to let the floor dry thoroughly before applying any stain. If you wanna speed up the drying process, you can mix water with alcohol, the one found in HD in the paint section, blue and red gallon. I use a spraying pump, the $17 one in the gardening isle. It's fast and easy to use, just make sure you spray the floor evenly and you don't drip. Again, this is how I do it. I only do it for dark colors. Now, I can't tell you if this is going to replace the conditioner or not. Try it on a scrap piece first.
And this one is for Bob: you suggested thining the oil-based finish and using it as a sealer over oil-based stain????? That's a BIIIG NO-NO!!!!
Sealers are fast drying, have totally different compositions than regular poly. To thin a poly, you would have to use paint thinner or mineral spirits.
Imagine what that will do to the stain when you start applying the finish over it.
I'm with Bob though on the "why stain it" part. It's a very nice wood, you would think you want to have it natural ,to show it's character. I would just apply 3 coats of the Duraseal and that's it. No need to pre-condition, "pop the grain" or any of that. Try it on a section, you might like it.
a sealer is really not going to help you in any way. It's a residential project, so 3 coats of Duraseal(which I think is one of the top oil-based finished) will be enough.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:24 AM   #20
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correct you would not thin anything over stain. But this was a step to do before staining and I also strongly recommend no staining.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:52 AM   #21
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Good to see you're still around MSV. Thanks to you and Ol' Bob I might get this thing done right. I'm with you both on the stain. My wife was wanting the floor to have a little 'color'. The stain we picked is not dark, but it's application certainly means more 'doing' then would just applying the Duroseal and call it a day, which I think she might be convinced now this would be the wisest choice... thanks to your opinions.
I tried to rent the sander that has multiple pads but discovered we don't have them around here. The sander I rented for yesterday has a base that the little points intended to grip the replacable pad are worn. When the sander was turned on it slowly vibrated right off the pad and did a very poor job of sanding. I'm off to town this morning to battle it out with the vender. I have no intention of paying for this poor equipment and will need to rent another sander. grrrrrr..........

Ok... if I use the duroseal only do you still recommend I buff the floor? Or because there's no stain, the orbital scratches won't show and I can skip that step?
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:32 PM   #22
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buffing is not meant to remove scratches. It helps with that (if you have some experience), but that's not its purpose. you buff the floor to achieve a smooth surface ( before the fisrt coat/stain). Even if you finish sanding with 120 grit, the floor will still feel a little rough compared to a screened floor. Between the coats, buffing is important for 2 reasons: 1. it smoothes the previous finish, removing any dirt/impurities might have been trapped in it. 2. It lightly abrades the previous coat(think millions of little scratches) to ensure a proper grip for the new coat. If you don't scrren between coats, you risk having a finish that might peel off or chip really easy.
Whatever sander you rent, make sure you do a little research before using it. And yes, it should be a good one, not some piece of junk.
keep us updated.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:40 AM   #23
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I got a different sander and all went well. However, even after sanding with 36 and lighter paper and then screening what was equivilant to screening each board twice, I noticed a few places that had those curly cue tell tale signs left from the sander... seems I missed a few spots with the heavier paper. I'll try and smooth out those bad spots (I saw two) with a held held viberator sander or one of those blue, very fine, sanding discs meant for small hand held grinders, which I have. A little experimentation with a scrap piece of wood will be in order.

I believe we're NOT going to stain, so the plan of battle will be to apply the Duroseal with a lambs wool applicator, the first coat followed by a light sanding with 180 paper on a wall sanding board before the second coat. I'll sandpaper instead of the buffer because of costs and distance to town to get and then return it.

I'm going to make some tack rags to really get the floor clean. Even after a thorough vacuuming there remains a very fine residual dust everywhere. Thanks again for your advice. When the job is done I'll try to load up a couple of pics.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:07 PM   #24
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Ok, so I've got two coats of Duro seal down, applied with lambs wool. Before and between the coats I screened with 150, then vacuumed and tacked (even though the floor was clean and the tack didn't get much up).
This is the problem. The surface is somewhat pimply in places. Is it too late to use a buffer? Or should I let this second coat dry good and then sand down the pimples and then buff it before a final last coat. Or ??????
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:10 PM   #25
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you can always use a buffer and apply a new coat... are those pimples making the floor rough?
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:12 PM   #26
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Hey , thanks again MSV. I'll know more tomorrow when the floor is dry and I can check the whole job. But, I'd say yes, where the pimples are it's a bit rough... not what I want! I don't know how extensive the pimpling is, but it is by the entrance. I'll come back with more manyana'...
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:43 AM   #27
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MSV, Bob, the world... there are rough areas of finish here and there. But, they seem to be more around knots and certain 'textured' grains of the wood, even though they're also wide spread. I'm going to hit it again with the hand sander (150) and knock them down. I'm wondering whether I should buff it before or after the final coat of poly. OR????
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:32 PM   #28
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What do you mean buff it AFTER the final coat?
Buffing is always done before applying a new coat.
And again, I hope you are talking about 150 grit screen, not sandpaper.
Sand paper might take too much out of it.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:50 PM   #29
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Ahhh, there you are. Ok, so after final coat theres to b no buffing... got it! AND, I used 100 grit sandpaper in order to flaten and remove those raised (pimples) areas. I tried using 120 screen and it didn't do the job. After the sanding, where there was a goodly amount of the Dura seal removed, I lightly brushed another coat in those spot, feathering it into the rest of the floor. I've been on the road a few days and will finish sanding today (Tuesday). Tomorrow I plan to screen those brushed areas and then put a final (3) coat on. I just hope it doesn't bump up again. Because of the extra sanding I did do you think I'll need a fourth coat? Thanks for you replys...
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:28 AM   #30
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Nearly as smooth as a baby's butt, the floor (except the base board) is finally finished. BIG JOB kids. Thanks MSV and Bob for your expert advise. Hopefully the pics are included in this post.
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