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Old 04-03-2014, 10:35 AM   #1
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Plywood Floor - Pet Urine - How to Seal?


Hi -

This is my first post, but with a 113 year old train wreck of a house it will surely not be my last.

I have a plywood floor in our laundry room which also serves as the dog "foyer." One of our dogs is very tiny and it has been easier for her to just pee on the floor rather than go through the dog door in the winter.

The floor is about 4 sheets of plywood. It has dried urine spots and some damp spots from her recent activity.

From what I have read here, it sounds like it is worth trying a coat of Zinsser's primer before I rip out the whole thing, which was put down just a few years ago.

Before I run to the store and buy the Zinssers, I just need to know how dry the plywood has to be before painting, and how do I get it to dry (assuming I can keep her from peeing on it for the duration of this project)?

Other than being totally gross, it doesn't really smell during the winter....but it is going to warm up here soon and then YIKES!

Once it is sealed with the Zinsser's, is it recommended to put down sheet vinyl? Or is the Zinsser's sufficient for her future messes? She is a pretty old rescue dog, so I am not confident her habits will change.

Thank you for any advise at all!
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:22 AM   #2
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If there's really 4 layers of plywood something's already wrong.
Sounds like every time there was an issue someone just covered it up.
The floor have to be clean and perfectly dry to paint it.
Primer/ sealer can not be used a finished floor.
Linoleum would need new underlayment rated 1/4 A/C plywood with all the seams and flaws filled for it to stick.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:23 PM   #3
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Thank you! It isn't layered, I guess I was unclear. The size of the floor is about 4 sheets. I have a heavy duty fan blowing over it as of today. If nothing else the tiny dog will be terrified to pee there. I also put baking soda down to absorb some moisture and odor. How will I know when the floor is dry enough to paint?
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:57 PM   #4
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in time it will dry...unfortunately with a smell. I'd consider pouring some bleach on it or spray to saturate with a pet spray that has a neutralizer. Then, let it dry out. If you're covering it with a finished floor I wouldn't imagine you'd smell anything. Maybe with carpet, maybe.

Are you wanting to paint the floor and then leave it that way permanently?
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:05 PM   #5
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It actually doesn't smell right now but it is still winter weather here. My thought is:

1) Dry it out as best I can, paint it with Zinsser, put down vinyl linoleum
or
2) Have the guys that put the floor down rip it up, put down new plywood, and vinyl it right away
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:31 PM   #6
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We still don't know how many layers of ply are on the floor. Why just plywood and there's no sanitary floor there? It's either just one layer which is the subfloor. Or there's an underlayment over the subfloor too. So. one or two layers of ply. How thick is the top layer, if there's two?

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Old 04-03-2014, 07:29 PM   #7
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I've always heard oil based Kilz is what is used to seal smoke and pet stains. Not sure if Zinsser is the same. You can get a vinyl floor remnant roll that's something like 5x7 feet for $20 at both Lowes and Home Depot. You could use it as an easy to clean rug. I use those remnants to line kitchen and bath cabinets.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:48 PM   #8
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Kilz will work, might have to do 2 coats.

A better choice is Zinsser's Cover Stain. Either way, they both stink to high heaven so make sure you have adequate ventilation.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:00 PM   #9
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A painter once told me that shellac will do the same and it's cheaper.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:40 AM   #10
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Thank you everyone for your replies! I picked up a quart of Zinsser B-I-N Primer and still have the fan going full blast. I will report back with the results, I may decide to paint the floor instead of vinyl flooring, either way I will report on the results. The washroom was once an exterior porch, by the time I bought the house it had become part of the "interior" at least at first glance. It was completely uninsulated, and the old porch flooring was coming apart. Had the room drywalled, and replaced the old porch floor with plywood, which was never an issue until we adopted the little dog.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:00 PM   #11
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BIN is a good product for sealing stains. I don't think you'll have a smell if you end up covering with vinyl or another finished floor product (tile, wood, etc.)
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:59 PM   #12
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Some people should just not own pets.If you insist on letting your dog piss on the floor instead of spending you're valuable time to take him outside you are probably one of them.
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:11 PM   #13
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I love BIN. It is a pigmented shellac and will work on the floor. I have a rental and the lady's dog had a litter of puppies without my knowledge. They peed on the floor and ruined it. I tried EVERYTHING… bleach, enzyme cleaners… nothing worked. I finally painted it with BIN and in ONE coat the smell was sealed out. I then put a heavy duty floor paint over that and DONE. Should have painted it from the beginning. One warning about BIN. Some paints don't stick to it. I had a problem with Ben Moore paint peeling off the BIN I had put on the ceiling of a smoker's house. The BM rep came and said that it was the gloss in the BIN.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:36 AM   #14
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One coat of BIN worked great!! It only took a quart, then we painted over it with grey floor/porch paint. Not only does it look awesome, but it has been weeks now and the miniature dachsund hasn't gone on it once, and neither has the spraying dobie!! We cannot wait to do the rest of our old wood floors this way. There is absolutely no pet odor, and the area seems to have completely lost interest as a potty shortcut.

The miniature dachsund on my lap is none the worse for going through the double dog doors with the big dogs....but @mako1 maybe I should consider taking her to a shelter since I'm so remiss in allowing her full roam of our 15 room house and - GASP - going to work during the day. I'm just such a terrible person!! But with such a FANTASTIC painted floor!

Thank you everyone for your great advice. We are finally going to be able to move forward with a solution for our uneven 110 year old soft wood floors!
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