Wood and polyurethane peeling off wood floor

Q: We had a new prefinished oak floor installed. On several of the more knotty or highly grained boards the finish and actual wood are flaking and peeling up. Is it normal to see wood and polyurethane peeling off wood floor?

I’m being told from the manufacturer rep that it is the “nature of wood floors” and the only solution is to replace the affected boards, at my own expense, of course. I’ve lived with oak floors before (some much older than this one) and have NEVER seen anything like this.

A: The only solution may be to replace the affected boards, but in NO way is this to be considered NORMAL. If a finish is peeling off a pre finished, or even site finished floor, this can never be considered normal. There is a defect in either the flooring (not dry before applying the finish) or the finish and application technique.
You should not have to pay a dime!

Flaking pre-finished hardwood flooring?

Q: We have Bruce pre-finished hardwood flooring throughout our home. Can it be sanded, re-stained and finished without the poly so there is no more flaking? The flooring is 10 years old and I have become so frustrated that I have cleaned it with water, trying to make it look better.

A: Why would a pre finished floor have flaking finish? Did somebody try to apply another coat to this floor? It can be sanded, stained and finished, and if done properly, won’t flake.

Polyurethane peeling off

Q: I have 2000 square feet of hardwood floors, and in some areas I have the poly / polyurethane peeling off. So far I have made one huge mistake: I cleaned all the floors with ammonia, and that took the water, dirt, and wax off of them. Then I used an oil based product called Dura Seal on two rooms. It made a huge difference. I then added a water based poly to one room and it dried great, but you could scratch off the poly. I do not know what to do about that. I do not want to sand my entire house. Can you put a stain over old oil based polyurethane and then use an oil based poly? Any suggestions?

A: You cannot apply either oil or waterborne finishes over top of a floor that has wax on it. If you intend to stain, the entire coating, whatever it may be has to be removed to bare wood first.

You would actually save money and your floors by hiring a professional.

Finish peeling right off

Q: My hardwood floors were just cleaned and then three coats of finish/poly were added. The cleaning did not include any abrasion. I noticed prior to the cleaning that there were areas where the top most part of the oak wood has lifted, almost like it is peeling off. It looks like the poly layers, as well as some of the wood, are dry and about to peel off. How do I fix this?

A: Are you telling me the floors were “cleaned” but not buffed? That would explain the peeling. I would think you are now at the point of needing a full sanding and finishing. No finish, oil borne or water borne, will adhere if not buffed (or more crudely stated, “scratched”) before coating.

Follow-up Q: Yes, they were cleaned with a solution by B********** and then a poly coat with B********** Wood Finish. Supposedly, the cleaning solution pulls up some of the previous poly coats, but I fear that they might have gone about this all wrong. The problem is that I have these beautiful oak floors (circa 1922) that are so thin that they almost look like a veneer floor. Many contractors have told us that they thought the floor started out thin and top nailed. So the cleaning company was afraid to buff as they did not want to thin it any more. But, I was under the impression that the screening process would only scratch the poly coats, and not the wood. This company indicated that buffing could do damage to my floors. Though they look good, I will have to maintain these floors for years to come and I don’t know how to handle without damaging.

A: Buffing with a polisher and fine abrasive would, as you indicate, only scratch/scuff the coating. It would remove no wood at all. However, if they did not buff (This is how a mechanical bond is created to ensure adhesion. The fresh coat of finish adheres to the scratches.) and did not use one of the new products, which are supposed to chemically prep the previous coating to gain adhesion, then the finish will peel, and you will now face a more serious issue. This entire coating will have to be removed. Since your floors are too thin to tolerate a sanding with a professional machine, it will either have to be chemically stripped or the finish buffed off with a polisher and rough screen.

Follow-up comment: Thanks Craig! Wish I had found your site before I had this work done.

A few bare spots in old finish

Q: We own a 116 year old Victorian home and our large dining room area has an original pine wood floor. Since we have lived here for only two years, we have never refinished this floor. The problem is that lately, in quite a few spots, the finish has peeled and cracked, leaving bare spots that are actually deeper than the rest of the wood. Can we repair just these spots and then finish the whole floor? What are the steps taken to fix this?

A: For some areas I have used a polyurethane adhesive in a squeeze bottle. There is also a robust wood filler called Timbermate which could be used. www.timbermate.com

Poly started flaking and buffer circles started showing up

Q: We just went through a major renovation. We added new hardwood floors and had the existing ones refinished, so all would match. Due to some problems with the finish clouding and not drying properly, they were sanded at least three more times, with poly put on after each sanding. Two weeks after we moved back into our home, the poly started flaking and buffer circles started showing up. Now 6 months later it looks horrible. The flaking has accelerated. The guy who did the floors says it’s due to the low humidity and we should get a humidifier and that all wood floors do that. I’ve talked with friends who have hardwood floors and they are NOT having this problem.

Please HELP! What is causing this? He said he may have to do the floors all over again.

A: Applying coatings can be difficult and technically challenging, since a number of factors can influence the final outcome. some of these factors include environmental elements such as temperature and relative humidity in the home. A floor having too low a moisture content won’t cause a polyurethane to peel. Though if a floor is actually wet with moisture reading well above normal, it can happen. I suspect some contaminant of some sort has gotten onto this floor between coats of finish and has caused this failure. Perhaps someone decided to “clean” the floor with something that has affected adhesion. A finish can and will peel off if the previous coat has not been abraded or scratched. And since you mention that you can see swirl marks, we can safely say the man did abrade the floor. I don’t think it is that these marks are just now appearing. They were there before, but you didn’t notice them because the lighting wasn’t just right at the time. This also is a vexing problem for floor refinishers.
Abrading or scratching the previous coat is not optional. If we don’t do this, we have no way to gain adhesion. It is even possible to buff with a maroon pad (320 grit equivalent) with a couple of 180 grit strips applied and still see swirls with gloss urethane under, for example, pot lights. The finer the scratches applied to the finish, the less the next coat has to grip onto. It can become a “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” scenario.

It can also cause problems applying too many consecutive coats of finish. What you have needs time to fully cure. I would allow at least 1 month before attempting another buff and coat. It will have to be a fairly vigorous screening or buffing to hopefully get below the coat that is contaminated (if that is what the cause is) without cutting into the stain. It may or may not work.

Flaking, dull poly

Q: I have wood floors that have been refinished, stained and sealed with a polyurethane top coat. The poly has started to flake and is also dull. Is there a product I can use to revive the poly and reseal without having to sand it completely and reapply?

A: May I ask what was used as a sealer? If the finish is flaking, the only thing to be done is start over. The finish will flake from lack of bond between the top coat and what it sits on.

Follow-up Q: Unfortunately the previous owner did it, and I don’t know. It appears to be a polyurethane top coat that has dried up and is flaking. Do I have to sand off the poly and apply something else? or do I need to sand down to the stain, restain and reseal? I’ve seen some products that allow for a rough sand to dull the poly and then simply reapply 2-3 new coats. Just trying to figure out how invasive I’ll have to be, so that I only have to do it once.

A: It isn’t normal for a polyurethane to flake off. It can happen if there was a contaminant present, or if a previous coat of finish was not abraded well enough. If the source of the problem does not originate on the wood itself, you might be able to screen/abrade it really well to remove all the flaking and apply 1 more thin coat.

Hardwood floor finish chipping off

Q: I was reading the archives about oil vs. water polys and saw an old article by someone who had pine floors and dogs.

I installed a random-width wide plank heart pine floor one year ago almost exactly. After acclimating it for 14 days (during which we had record humidity for the area, but I have f/a electric heat on) properly with stickers, etc., I put two coats of stain (one per day) and then 4 coats of 100% Tung Oil on it (1 coat per day).

They came out beautifully, until my Labrador started walking on it. I went with the pine because scratches are unavoidable (I also have 3 kids, 7 to 11) and the theory that the more they get beat up the better they look. I expected it to be a little like copper, that it would need time to even out the patina.

However, the problem is, the finish is chipping off. There are scratches, yes, but they just look like regular scratches, and then there are spots where the finish has chipped off, and the wood is the same pale color it was the day I put it in, instead of the dark orange I stained it. These are actually shaped like chips you would see in fingernail polish, etc. Unfortunately, hardwood floor finish chipping all over the whole floor.

I contacted my flooring co. and they could not explain the reason, other than that for some reason, the stain did not absorb into the pine. They advised me to have the floor refinished with a polyurethane this time. They even sent me a check to cover it.

My question is, in the article I was reading, you said something about if the floors were sealed with a quick dry lacquer and then coated with poly, they would never be as durable as they could’ve been.

I would like to know what your opinion is… the tung oil I found to be very easy to put on, not too bad of a smell, and I love the look of it. But again, I have been advised not to use it again. By the way, I trim and file his nails every 5 weeks or so, and he is very very mellow, hard to believe, I know, but true.

I would like to have these refinished this spring, so any info would be highly appreciated.

A: I don’t like applying more than one coat of stain to a floor because of the potential for adhesion issues. If you did not remove the excess when you applied the stain, it would be a very likely that this is what caused the problem. Also, if you didn’t sand the pine floors first but simply applied the stain, that would explain the lack of penetration.

This is what I would suggest for you to do. In the past 6 months I have been introduced to a tung oil based product called Waterlox. I used it, in a similar situation to yourself, on nearly 4000 sq. ft. of new red pine that also had to be stained MinWax Provincial. After all sanding was complete, I was able to mix the stain in the Waterlox at a maximum ratio of 4:1 and apply with a lambs wool applicator. Do not wipe off. Just let it soak in and dry normally. If the stain is not dark enough, apply the second coat of Waterlox/stain mix for the second coat. Then apply 2 more coats of the sheen of choice. Being able to add the stain to the WL and not have to apply then wipe off saved me hours of grief and exhaustion and the colour came out so even throughout. It is also very easy to care for over the long run. Get any scratches through the finish and stain? Simple wipe or brush the tinted WL on the spot. Buffing between coats is not needed for adhesion, as this product co-adheres to itself.
www.waterlox.com

Follow-up Q: Thanks for your reply. I used an additional coat of Waterlox this summer on it. I also used Waterlox on my maple butcher block eating bar. I do like it. I did in fact wipe the stain off, but you’re right, not sanding was probably the key. Do you truly think this would be better in the long run vs an oil based poly? It is truly upsetting to see my beautiful floors looking like this. I lived on the East Coast for about 3 years and am very familiar with old floors. But they did not have the stain issues like I have. I also had a flooring professional come out and he just said to sand, re-stain, and do 3 coats of poly. I wouldn’t mind re-staining and oiling, as even he said I did what appeared to be a great job (I am somewhat of a perfectionist), but I do not want to undertake the sanding, as I understand pine can be tricky to sand correctly.

Will a good professional mind only sanding and not completing the job with stain and poly?

A: I have been applying coatings for over 33 years. Swedish finishes like S****** and G***** are the hardest finishes you could apply in a home. But they are extremely noxious, and I would not use them again. In fact, being very very hard can be a draw back in the long run. This is one of my complaints about pre finished floors. Aluminum oxide coatings are abrasion resistant, which means they are near to impossible to buff and recoat to freshen up the coating.

I did not know there was a product called Waterlox until I joined an online flooring community.

This product has been on the market from the early 1900’s. I have used it on a number of jobs and love it. It is a different from polyurethanes in some ways. Important ways. It does build like a poly. It is softer. but it penetrates the wood even better. That is a good thing. I did a water test between a board finished with polyurethane and WL and after 5 hours there was no penetration on either. Scratch up polyurethane and it becomes an issue to fix it. Scratch up WL and you just have to make sure the area is clean, and apply another thin coat. That is a winner in my books. It is a more grainy look, but it is far easier to care for. I would go so far as to say that anyone can apply it.

Follow-up Q: Hi, I just wanted to add, as long as I’m asking, I would like to stain the floor a little darker and redder. The stain I put on previously came out nicely, no blotches, but I have heard that pine is difficult to stain. I will not be doing it this time– I am having a professional do them.

As it seems that the stain did not penetrate well the first time, do you think it will go better this time? The floors were not sanded the first go around. The flooring co. said it was not necessary, and they were extremely smooth and nice to work with. Also, as a little tidbit, about 2 months after we finished the floors, my newly installed refrigerator leaked about 10 gallons of water on the floor, and although we did mop it up quickly, it got under the counters where of course we couldn’t get to it. The tung oil finish held up perfectly. There was absolutely no cupping or expansion whatsoever. At least I know it is definitely waterproof!

A: Bingo. Just as I said. If the wood was not sanded, that would explain why the stain did not penetrate. With all the handling the wood gets, there is all sorts of grime, oils, etc., on the surface of the boards. Yes, if it is sanded to bare wood, it will go much better this time. I would not anticipate any issues. I think the people who advised you that no sanding was necessary made a boo boo. If the company doing the work decides to go with the Waterlox tung oil based finish, I would recommend they go with the mix of stain and WL and make a small test spot on the wood to make sure the colour is what you want. They may have to apply 2 coats of the mix on consecutive days to achieve it. Testing is the key. If you don’t get the colour you want from the mix, then it will have to be stained as a separate procedure first. Then, 4 coats of Waterlox to follow.

I have confidence that if the company doing the work are decent, experienced, conscientious sanders you should have no real problems this time around. As to water resistance….they don’t call it Waterlox for nothing.

Follow-up Q: I have been reading threads on xxxxxxxxxx.com all day. You guys really know your stuff. I wish I felt as confident in the finishers in this area. No one even knows what tung oil or Waterlox is.

OK, my final question is this: my floor is country grade old growth heart pine from Carlisle Lumber in New Hampshire. It is not antique recovered heart pine. The reason I wanted to stain it is I don’t like look of fresh pine. However, I love the look of old heart pine. Will my pine be that beautiful dark orange/red and how long will it take (obviously I would rather not wait 25 years for it… 3-5, maybe)? It seems to me that if I chose not to stain it, that would eliminate the chipping problem I have with the stain on it now. I am a little worried about the blotchy thing as my floors didn’t blotch at all, probably because the grain was so smooth and flat that the stain did not penetrate. I love the old look, and someone had pictures on the xxxxxxxxxx.com site that I really liked of newly stained pine floors. It is not important and not even desirable that all the boards are the same color, if I wanted that I would’ve done clear maple. (I really prefer old genuine Douglas fir, that is my true favorite). Anyhow, I am wondering if my new pine, since this is not 300 yr. old wood, will still turn that color and after how long?

We don’t see tons of direct sun, especially at this time of year. I hope I haven’t caused you to start banging your head against the wall, it is just so nice to talk to someone who actually knows a lot more than I do, as the finishers I’ve talked to all look at me like I’m crazy for suggesting anything other than 2 ¼ inch red oak finished in 3 coats of builder-grade poly. I will try to send a couple of pictures of the floor as it looks today, and you will see what I mean with the chipping of the stain.

One of the pictures:
Heart Pine

A: I looked at your pictures. Your finish looks like someone in Toronto applied 3 coats of lacquer sealer and then a couple of coats of polyurethane. That chipping and scraping off, even delaminating, is the result.

The only way you can fix this is to have the floors sanded to bare, fresh and exposed wood…with nothing else on top to interfere with adhesion of what you apply on top. I think the Waterlox would be a great choice for this floor. It makes staining this soft wood so much easier too. But you would have to experiment with the colour. I did nearly 4000 sq. ft. of red pine with Min Wax provincial stain mixed in, and it turned out very nice. I used the same mix on some new pine doors I installed in my house. It was effortless and they turned out well. Even stain and they look dated.

Don’t be intimidated by xxxxxxxxxx.com. That site is there because we have problems. That really is how complicated this job can be. A person can have years of experience and still have an issue come from nowhere and bite him in the butt.

Regardless of the stain and finish you decide to use, your floors must be sanded completely clean. After that, you should be able to make a better result. I should add: Jeff’s wife said she tried to stain a board with just the stain and it wouldn’t penetrate. I asked her if she sanded the board? NO. Charlie and Paul at xxxxxxxxxx.com have a lot of experience with Waterlox. Perhaps you should talk to them.

Finish flaked off

Q: I have hardwood floors that are old and very dry. I sanded the old finish off, which was spotty and flaking off, but some of the wood looks gray and discolored. Is there any remedy besides replacement?

A: If the finish is flaking off, then for some reason adhesion was not gained between the floor and the finish itself. It could be that this old floor was originally waxed and if most of that wax is not removed by sanding, then the only thing to do is wax again, after a full sanding. This is the only way to get rid of the gray areas, aside from replacing those boards. If there is a wax issue, you might also have better results by using a water borne finish. This is best left to a professional in your area.

Similar Q, only between boards: My hardwoods were refinished 2 months ago. It is now cold outside and the polyurethane is noticeably flaking in between the floor boards. Is this normal?

A: It sounds like your floors perhaps have shrunk in width now that heating season is in full swing and the finish stretched and broke along board edges. Is it normal? It’s normal if you have significantly low humidity in your house for this time of year compared to the rest of the year. It’s not flaking on the top of the boards though, correct?

Sticky, peeling coating

Q: The old farm house we just moved into has hard wood floors, and whatever type of coating they used is peeling and scratches easily. Any idea what kind of coating they used? When the coating peels away it is kind of sticky.

A: Sounds like they may have tried applying varnish over top of a waxed floor.

Finish peeling

Q: Our house is only new-one and a half years. We just had the top coat of our wood floors sanded and refinished. After only one and a half months the floors are starting to peel. What could be causing this and how do we fix it?

A: I always try to caution people with re coats. If an unfriendly cleaner has been used which can leave a film on the polyurethane finish, there would be a good chance of this happening. There are only 2 possibilities I know of that would create this problem. A film from a cleaner that resists adhesion, or insufficient abrading of the previous coat of finish.

I have also heard that with pre finished floors, which use aluminum oxide coatings, there could be serious issues with sufficient abrading and compatibility of other finishes to adhere.

The only hope, short of a full sanding, is to totally remove the last coat of finish with an aggressive buffing and screening. There is a product from Basic Coatings called the Ty Kote system which uses and intensive cleaner first, and then a solution which will prepare the existing finish to accept another coat without buffing. www.basiccoatings.com. It may be too late to follow this procedure, now that the “horse has already been let out of the barn”, but I would contact them with this issue and see what their opinion might be.

Open windows

Q: Could open windows and cold temperatures have caused peeling air bubbles?

A: It may have been a better idea to leave the windows closed in the actual room where the finish was applied. Air movement across the floor when first applied would cause it to set up too fast, and hence, not level out. Cold temperatures in the room could have a similar effect. The finish, being cold, won’t flow and level. What is he using to apply this? Is he following what is called the proper “spread rate”? That is, if coverage is about 500 sq. ft. per gallon, Is he getting about that distance, or only, say, half that? This coats are definitely better! It could be that when he picked at the finish it was still soft. It may not be peeling off, but it may be soft. If he has applied the coating heavier than what is recommended, it could takes several weeks at least before the finish really hardens enough to attempt another buff and coat. Solvent entrapment occurs and leads to a “tender” coat that marks easily.

I would suggest leaving the floor to fully harden. Then perhaps take another go at it. I would give it a good polish with 220 grit screen, make sure to clean up any and all dust and wipe it down before coating. Make sure the finish is also clean. Leave windows in the room closed until dry enough to walk on (though you can open windows in other areas of the house.) and make sure it is around 70-72F. Make sure the finish is inside the house overnight also, so it is not cold when trying to apply.

Finish peels off

Q: I am looking at refinishing a oak hardwood floor that has had a product called xxxxxxxx on it. I am wondering how I remove it without damaging the stain under it? What would I use to refinish it after? There are a few spots where the finish has peeled of and there was duct tape put on it to hold down cardboard when the people moved out and the tape is taking the finish of also?

A: There is an obvious adhesion problem here. I have seen this happen with water based finishes but not oil based though that is possible too if the coatings were not properly prepared to receive another coat of finish. By that I mean not properly buffed to create a mechanical bond. Another problem with adhesion can be caused by oily or silicone type polishes or cleaners that will not allow adhesion between the coats of finish. The best I can suggest is you give the floor a really good screening with a polisher and 220 grit screen. Take off as much of the finish as you can without cutting into the stain. Apply the finish of your choice. If it does not stick, there is a problem in the base coat or just above it and the floor needs to be sanded to bare wood.

Peeling finish

Q: We have pine floors in our home and we did a scuff with an 80 grit sandpaper to make it so the polyurethane will adhere to it. We used 2 coats of low luster as a base and 1 coat of High gloss to finish. The problem is My High gloss is peeling. It doesn’t seem to be the first 2 coats just the high gloss. The other weird thing is. We have 2 areas of this room the one was covered in carpet the other has been redone before. Well, the area that was redone before is not having any peeling issues. It seems that the peeling stops where the pine flooring that has been uncovered begins. We used the same on both sides and did both at the same time.

I am dumbfounded and don’t know why the floor would be doing this. My father who is a flooring installer is flabbergasted as to why. He thought the paint may have been bad but, that would not explain why I have a good adhesion to the one side of the floor and not the other. This flooring is about 68 years old and about 3/4 inch thick still a lot to work with. What do you suggest?

A: There are 2 immediate issues that can cause peeling. Lack of or insufficient buffing to gain a mechanical bond between coats. Did you buff after each coat of finish?

Contaminants on the floor or finish surface which prevent a good bond. For example, if a floor had been waxed or an oil soap had been used to clean the surface, it could and likely would result in adhesion failure. Depending what the cause is, you will at least have to remove the finish down to the last stable coat. That coat will then have to be thoroughly abraded.

Curious that you would use a satin first and then a gloss on top. Generally I go the other way. I use gloss first, and then a satin or semi last if that is what is requested. The main reason for this is the flattening agent used in satin polyurethane. Sometimes it can cause issues with streaking or irregular shine etc. Are the satin and gloss that you used both made by the same company? Perhaps you could contact the manufacturer and ask them if there are any issues with the procedure you used.

Reply: With the floor we buffed each coat and where it is peeling got the most abrasion in the first place. The two cans of paint we have are from the same brand and the technique is good. The floor does not seem to have any problems with luster or streaking. The other half we just finished looks beautiful we did them at the same time. One half had rug on it the other none. The one side was refinished some time ago. Seeing that only half the floor is peeling if it were a problem with the scuffing I can only see that the whole floor would have problems with peeling not only the half that was covered in carpet. I am unsure if there were any oils and such used on the floor but, if there were would not the other 2 coats be peeling as well. It seems as though it is only the high gloss coat that has begun to peel. Do you have any more ideas I thought about maybe the wax or some type of stuff was used but, only the one coat is failing and only on the one side of the floor that was previously covered in carpet. I have no idea.

A: OK, so you have applied 3 coats of finish to 2 rooms. You used satin for the first coat and gloss for the final. One of those rooms was covered in carpet. You fully abraded between all coats of finish, and the finish all came from one manufacturer. However, in spite of proper preparation, the gloss coat on one room is peeling off. Do I have this all correct?

If you prepared all areas at the same time, and applied the same finish at the same time, I don’t have an answer. I would suggest you contact the polyurethane manufacturer. Maybe one of their chemists will have an answer.

Related Q: I installed a new red oak hardwood floor in a new home. We sanded it, cleaned it, stained it with a min wax stain, then applied three coats of poly to it. Along the edges of the boards some of the finish is turning white like the finish is lifting? Why?

A: It does sound as if the finish is peeling. The most likely reason is insufficient sanding between coats of finish. It is this fine buffing or scratching that sets up the between coats.

Similar Q: I helped a friend refinish his floor 3 weeks ago. We sanded down to bare wood, sealed it, screened, vac’d and tacked applied the 2nd coat. At that point he said he could finish the job. Now the top coat is peeling off. I think he skipped the vac and tack part. Can we screen off the loose top coat and reapply another coat? The finish under the loose top coat appears perfect. We used a water based poly. Thanks again for your help.

A: Water based coatings generally allow a window of time where you can apply an additional coat without buffing the previous coat. If that window is exceeded then it has to be thoroughly scuffed up like any other finish to ensure good adhesion. Another issue can be contaminants finding their way onto the previous coating. You say you tacked the coating before applying another. What exactly did you use? Many people have Swiffer’s in their house. If you read the product data sheet it indicates wax is part of their product. If you used this and wax has gotten onto the previous coat, you may as well start over because at some point it will likely all peel off. You could, otherwise, if the above is not the case, give it an aggressive buffing with fine sand paper for the edges and a polisher and screen and apply another coat.

Flaking finish, trying to save pattern carefully stained on floor

Q: Help! Our contractor, who has now disappeared, applied sealer to our wood floors. I had previously stained a checkerboard pattern in the floor. The water based product they used is now flaking. One professional came over and stated that we had to take the floor all the way back down again. Is there a way I can take the sealer off lightly, and re-apply something else?

A: Regardless what you do, you are going to mess up your checkerboard stain pattern. Best approach, in my opinion is to do it over from scratch. Why did he use a water based sealer? When using any oil based product, it must be completely dry before applying a water based finish over it. Otherwise, you know the result, which you now see.