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.