Finish appears to be lifting off Brazilian cherry hardwood floors

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Q: I have Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, natural finish, 3 coats oil base poly (high gloss). The floor was installed late summer with AC on in house and the material sat in house for 7 days. I still expected the floor to shrink over the winter and it appears to have done so within acceptable tolerance. I have no significant gaps. My problem is that between about 50% of the boards 2 1/4″ the finish appears to be lifting but is not loose (tried to gently scrape it with a utility knife). The coloration reminds me of loose poly. Is this something that will go away over time? Does it need refinished? Is the poly too thick?

A: When coating any wood, if each dried application is not abraded properly there is a risk of de-lamination / delamination of the next coat of finish. I don’t know if that is what is happening in your case. Some exotic woods can also create issues because of ‘extractives’ in the wood which react with the solvent in polyurethane. This floor will likely have to be refinished. I include an article from Poloplaz on how to deal with some of these exotic woods.

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