DIY Air bubbles

Q: I sanded my hardwood floors and refinished them with 2 coats of polyurethane. I applied the finish with a paint roller. The associate at the home center told me what caused the air bubbles that I had after I put the first coat on.

I resanded and applied 2 coats of finish. I didn’t realize there were teeny, tiny air bubbles in areas of the floor. This is a big room (22′ x 24′) and it is a little much to hand sand and I surely don’t want to have to use a floor sander again. Is there help for the air bubble problem that is not labor intensive for me? Someone told me to have the floor professionally buffed. Will this solve my problem?

A: This floor will need to be well buffed to smooth out all the pimples, ensure adhesion and apply another coat. Not only would I have recommended a professional do the buff and recoat, but the entire job. This is not do it yourself work You may find it difficult to get someone willing to come in to do this re coat now. Who wants to step into someone else’s mess?

Similar Q: I applied two coats of poly (clear gloss )to my floors. Now I see bubbles. I think I didn’t let it dry between coats. Will applying a third coat solve my problem, or how do I solve it?

A: If the first coat wasn`t dry you wouldn`t have gotten bubbles. The finish would have wrinkled. Make sure there is no air moving across the floor until it has tacked over. That should allow the finish time to flow out. You will have to buff down the finish hard to remove or knock down the bubbles. Apply in thin coats. Air flow across the floor is the major culprit with bubbles.

Related Q: If I decide to live with the air bubbles I have (after applying three coats of oil based polyurethane) will they “open up” and end up worse? I also had bubbles in my second coat, but didn’t sand as it was enough doing the first coat.

A: If you didn’t sand between the second and third coats you may end up with a peeling finish due to poor adhesion.