Flaking finish, trying to save pattern carefully stained on floor

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Q: Help! Our contractor, who has now disappeared, applied sealer to our wood floors. I had previously stained a checkerboard pattern in the floor. The water based product they used is now flaking. One professional came over and stated that we had to take the floor all the way back down again. Is there a way I can take the sealer off lightly, and re-apply something else?

A: Regardless what you do, you are going to mess up your checkerboard stain pattern. Best approach, in my opinion is to do it over from scratch. Why did he use a water based sealer? When using any oil based product, it must be completely dry before applying a water based finish over it. Otherwise, you know the result, which you now see.

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