Floor rough after 2 coats of water-based polyurethane

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors:  We have sanded and stained our oak wood floors. We have put on 2 coats of water-based polyurethane. The floor still feels rough. How do you get that hard smooth finish?

A: Professionals sometimes find water-based urethanes hard to apply. There are specific rules to be followed in applying any finish, whether oil or water based. With water-based polyurethane finishes, you generally don’t have to buff after each coat to achieve adhesion if it is applied within so many hours. But, you always have to buff it once. Water-based urethanes raise the grain of the wood to some extent.

After the first or second coat, you have to buff the floor smooth, tack rag with a slightly damp cloth after vacuuming, and apply another coat. It should also be said that you must make sure the stain is dry, or you could have adhesion failure of the finish.

It also needs to be said that you must allow the water-based finish to dry back to the original moisture content in the wood before applying another coat of finish. You can know this by using a moisture meter and hygrometer.

This is not a job to be done by the homeowner, in most cases. I have been at it for over 30 years, and with all that time, it can be a very stressful job. You might do well to check out the Q & A at www.duraseal.com. They are a major water-based urethane manufacturer. They have a cause and effect/solution section.

Original / moved link https://faceliftfloors.com/q-and-a/rough.php

We have done the second coat of polyurethane but the floor is still rough and not shiny

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors:  We have done the second coat of polyurethane but the floor is still rough and not shiny – do we continue with the same process of sanding with 120 and then polish again?

A: Are you using gloss polyurethane? The typical flavors are satin, semi gloss and gloss. Adding additional coats does not change the gloss level since each coat is buffed to remove the gloss prior to the next coat. Whose finish are you applying?

And how are you applying it? It is often recommended that the finish is stirred well prior to application. Some can be applied with a roller, but I prefer using a lambswool applicator, which is attached to a wooden block (2 pieces, a top, and bottom, held tight by 2 wing nuts). After you have thoroughly buffed the floor, and vacuumed well, it is a good practice to tack rag the floor with a lint-free cloth. Wet the cloth with water, and squeeze it as dry as you can get it, then wipe the entire floor surface to remove all contamination that may have been missed with the vacuum. Make sure you suck the dust out of any air vents you have.

I would suggest preventing any air movement across the floor at least for several hours until the finish has started to set up. This will allow the finish to flow out and level properly. Therefore, it should be room temperature when applying, around 70 F, but cut off the furnace for an hour or 2 until the finish has had a chance to settle.

Original / moved link https://faceliftfloors.com/q-and-a/stilldull.php

Cracks between boards shinier than floor after second coat of poly

Q: After our second coat of satin poly there are shiny places along some of the cracks between boards. We waited 24 hours then used a pole sander with 180 grit screen to sand after the first coat. My theory is that these are low places where the poly pooled. Continue reading Cracks between boards shinier than floor after second coat of poly

What causes air bubbles in the floor finish?

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: What causes air bubbles?

A: Fisheye bubbles. You can get those in oil modified finishes as well as polyurethane, and the reason is usually Continue reading What causes air bubbles in the floor finish?

Third coat flaking due to contaminant (soap) used between coats

Q: We had our hardwood floors refinished over the summer and they are starting to flake. The floors are scratching easily and you can peel away the poly with your finger nail. Continue reading Third coat flaking due to contaminant (soap) used between coats

Finish not shiny enough

Q: Just had my kitchen floors refinished to match the rest of the house. Three coats of a 50/50 mix of satin and semi oil base poly was used. It did not come out shiny enough. He then did a coat of straight semi. It was put directly on without any sanding. Still not shiny enough. Continue reading Finish not shiny enough

A precautionary tale on doing floors last and in one go

Q: After sanding down a clients floors, we were made to wait 18 days before we could start the polyurethane. We have experienced some difficulties I have not encountered before. We are four coats in (screening in between) and there are still light rough spots and also some staining appeared (on brand new floors). Continue reading A precautionary tale on doing floors last and in one go

Finish didn’t chemically bond and is lifting off

Q: I am having issues with polyurethane peeling off my hardwood floors. I have refinished multiple dressers, tables, chairs, beds, etc. so the idea of refinishing a hardwood floor did not scare me. I used an oil based stain and followed that with an oil based poly. Continue reading Finish didn’t chemically bond and is lifting off

Final buff too aggressive

Q: We recently had our floors refinished by a professional. First he weaved in some new floor with our existing floor, where a few walls came out. Then he sanded three times and applied stain. On top of that he applied 2 coats of WS 2K Supra by Lobadur for the water based finish. The floor looked quite good and even but still somewhat raw, however we did chose a matte finish so this may be the reason for that. And then the final buff. Continue reading Final buff too aggressive

Polyurethane doesn’t look thick enough

Q: I recently had my wood floors sanded and refinished with 3 coats of polyurethane. I was expecting the polyurethane to look a little thicker than it does. Should I be able to feel the edges of each board? It just seems like all you would be able to feel when you rub your hand on the floor was a nice thick coat of polyurethane.

Continue reading Polyurethane doesn’t look thick enough

Wanting little to no shine



Q: I just had my red/white oak hardwood floors stained with 2 coats of ebony/dark walnut. They are a really nice, dark, rick color. My floor guy uses Masterline poly in a satin finish. I am wanting little to no shine. I cannot find much information on this product. Is this a good product to use on really dark floors? Will there be any shine to their satin?

Continue reading Wanting little to no shine