Can I apply more layers of varathane without sanding or screening them first?

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Q: My house was built in the 1780s. It still has the original wide plank flooring. When I bought it 15 years ago, most of the floors were covered in paint, asbestos tiles and linoleum. I pulled all that up, sanded them down and applied 3 coats of oil based varathane.

The wood is pine and having dogs running around has taken its toll. Can I apply more layers of varathane without sanding or screening them first? I don’t care about imperfections just don’t want the wood exposed.

A: You will have to abrade the existing coating first to gain adhesion, whether you use a polisher and screen or get down on hands and knees with fine sand paper and lightly but thoroughly sand the entire floor. Before I did that I think I’d wipe the floor down with a good cleaner such as Poloplaz, Basic Coatings or Bona Kemi makes. This will remove any contaminants such as oils or other residues which may have gotten on the finish and can cause adhesion issues. Thoroughly abrade all the finish. Vacuum up the fine dust. Wipe down with a micro weave cloth and apply coat.

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