Putty and reapply poly

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Refilling cracks with putty during a buff and coat

Q:I have floors that are not in bad shape but could use some refilling and a new coat of poly applied. Is it okay to lightly sand the floor, use a putty to refill cracks, and then reapply poly?

A: I would fill the cracks as you mention, but try to remove as much of the filler residue from the floor surface of surrounding boards as much as you can, while you are doing the filling. Then, the entire floor has to be abraded, cleaned and coated. If you want a filler that boasts the claim not to crack or fall out, take a look at timbermate.

Didn’t wipe all the putty off

Similar Q: A dark oil stain was applied to stair threads and the first coat of water-based polyurethane was applied. Then I puttied nail holes from thin plywood to protect the stairs from other trades. I wiped off the excess putty with a damp rag as stated on putty container.

When I applied the second coat of polyurethane, small white patches appeared after it dried. I tried applying stain over the whitish spots and it blended in, but all the stain wiped right off when I tried to remove the excess stain. I need help on this problem as don’t want to strip down and start over.

A: It appears to me that not all the excess putty or the carrying oil in the putty was removed.  Short of sanding that off, it is hit and miss to try and hide it. You could try a coloured marker like furniture repair shops use. 

1 thought on “Putty and reapply poly”

  1. Refinishing Hardwood Floors HOMETIME tutorial includes putty, buff and coat info. Most mistakes, I would gather to guess, occur by misuse of the drum sander for complete refinishing (lots of Q’s sent to us about swirl marks for DIY sandings!) and finish (like the surface not being lightly abraded between coats, or not being allowed to dry before the next coat.) – rachel

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