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Screen & Recoat, please help!

1969 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Awoodfloorguy
Oh where do I start? We have about 800 sf of wood floors (they were hidden for about 50 years under carpet) The floors have some scratches and nicks, and areas that needed to be sanded, so we decided to do a DIY sand and recoat.

We used 120 grit and a orbital sander from HD. We sanded all the floors, smooth, then came and vac'd up all the dust and debris, then used mineral spirits to get remaining.

We applied the first coat of poly and the floors were completely covered in it. Then after letting it completely dry, we noticed there were areas that were shiny and beautiful from the poly.

Then there were areas right next to the poly, that looked as if they had never been touched by poly,(not possible) and were dull.

Now what?! Are we doing this completely wrong?
Do we need to sand the poly completely down and start again? Should we have used a sealer first?

We are Not planning to stain the floors as we are in love with the color! Do we just add more poly? Please help?! My husband and I are at a loss, and really want to move back into our home!!
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You are expecting to much from the seal coat---

What you are describing is quite normal---the first coat always is un even--it's wood and some places absorb faster than others---

If it's not to full of dust and such--add another coat---after it's dry run a buffer with a fine screen over the entire thing--this will remove the dust and crud that always roughens the first coats--

then vacuum--and wipe--then add your final coat.

I'm not a pro finisher--there are a few here---so if and when they check in--you will get more clear instructions---Mike-----
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Thanks Mike! I appreciate it, so much! I have a question. After the 1st coat, do we sand lightly "buff"? and if so, how far? I'm wanting to make sure that we dont need to sand completely down to where all the poly is gone.. but barely on there? Thanks again!
Only buff out the first coat if it is really loaded with dust and crud---the first coat is just a seal coat and to thin for any aggressive sanding---

Best plan is to add a second coat---then lightly sand --most floor finishers use a floor buffer with a fine screen for this--and lightly hand sand the corners and edges---

then vacuum the floor--tack rag it and apply the final coat-----
And use a higher grit sandpaper then the 120 you used to start,go to 180/220 after the second coat
If you have some dull areas and some shiny areas, the problem is likely 1 of 2 things. The floor wasn't abraded properly (probably not the case since you used a 120 screen, rather than the 220 you should have), or the floor has wax or shellac on it and their were bonding issues. Many times floors of this age will have shellac or a wax on them. New polyurethane's will not successfully bond to these. This is probably the problem.

The solution at this point is to buff the floor again after the finish you put down is completely dry. I would use a 150 screen. You will want to try to take most of the finish you put on the floor off of it. Then clean, vacuum etc and apply a universal sealer such as duraseals, or Parks pro finishers universal sealer. This will help the coating bond. After applying this, it's not necessary to buff again, just let it dry, then coat with a polyurethane. Make sure before applying the universal sealer that the floor is very clean.

When doing the buffing of the floor if you have areas that still look shiny, then the floor is not abraded well enough and this stuff will show through.

You can probably make these floors look alright, but honestly if they are this old, I can tell you without even seeing them that the right thing to do is a full sand and refinish.
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