Q: I installed and finished the floors (3/4′ Red oak T&G) in our new home, about 8 months ago. They really came out nice and it was a lot of fun! I used Minwax Satin Polyurethane for the finish and protection (no Stain). Anyway, I think that I would like to go to Semi-Gloss instead of the Satin. My question is- should I remove ALL the poly with a drum sander?
Or can I use a square orbital sander to scratch the surface? Also, If I use a square sander and reveal bare wood in some areas and not others, will these be noticed after I put Semi-Gloss poly down?
A: You really don’t want to cut through the existing finish. That would show. You just need to thoroughly abrade the coating, not missing any spots. The fresh coat of finish will adhere to these scratches and is called a mechanical bond. I generally hand rub the edges with 120 grit and polish with 180 or finer screen.
Related Q: Is there a simple way to dull the high shine on my hardwood floors (without sanding)?
A: If you want to do it right, buff the coating and apply a lower finish with a lower shine.