Bubbling between boards after DIY job

Q: About 4 months ago we put down new 3/4″ thick oak flooring (unfinished). We thought we followed the proper procedures the whole way through, but we are very quickly noticing something did not go right.

After sanding and staining, we applied Olympic Oil Based Sanding Sealer. We followed up with multiple coats of ******** Based Polyurethane. The urethane coating seems to be “bubbling” (but not breaking) between each board and the connections. My guess was that I didn’t buff enough between coats. What do I need to do to repair this?

A: I suspect there is more than one “issue” at work here. I don’t know how you applied the stain, how heavy you applied it, if you wiped off the excess and if it was thoroughly dried before applying any finish. If you applied it heavily and did not wipe off the excess, then any stain that seeped through the boards is likely still not dry and is weeping to the surface. I also would not have used this sealer, which may be reacting with both the stain and the finish.

The sure cure is to have the job re sanded. This time, may I suggest a professional? This is not do it yourself work in spite of what you heard at the do it yourself seminar at Home Depot. This is one of those trades that a person has to apprentice for.