Coating Exotic Wood Floors

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What are some of the names of popular exotic woods?
Brazilian Walnut, Brazilian Cherry, Jarrah, Bubinga, Merbau, African Padauk, Heart Pine, Mesquite, Teak, Wenge, Ipe, Australian Cypress, Sapela, Santos Mahogany

What is the problem?
The extractives in exotic woods are known to cause drying delays, adhesion failures, and soft cure in the seal and finish coats.

What is the answer?
Exotic woods should be thoroughly tacked with denatured alcohol until the extractives are no longer visible on the tack towel. Then seal with two coats of Prism Gloss or Fast Dry Sanding Sealer.

Waterborne System:
Tack with denatured alcohol.
Immediately seal with Prism gloss. Apply two coats, waiting 3 – 4 hrs between coats.
Finish with final coat of Prism or Zenith.

Oil-Modified System:
Tack with denatured alcohol.
Immediately seal with Fast Dry Sealer. Apply two coats, waiting 3 – 4 hrs between coats.
Finish with final coat of Supreme or Primero.

Brazilian Walnut presents a significant challenge for oil-based sealers. Due to the very high level of natural extractives in the species, special care must be taken when tacking the floor. If the extractives are not removed in the tacking process, oil-based sealers will almost certainly be slow to dry. For waterborne sealers, the drying time is not as much of an issue, but if the natural contaminants are not removed, problems with adhesion will occur.

Sapela is a very porous wood. Denatured alcohol causes excessive grain raising, so mineral spirits is recommended as the tacking solution. Always be aware of the purity and source of the mineral spirits. Use only 100% virgin mineral spirits for tacking.

TIP: Add Super Dry to Supreme Finish to reduce drying delays on the final coat. Super Dry will greatly enhance the initial drying and is minimally affected by the extractives in exotic woods.

Reprinted at Wood Flooring Guy with permission from Bill (National Sales Manager) at PoloPlaz (www.poloplaz.com). Visit their site for more information.

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