Every coat of poly makes floor shine more?

Q: Two months ago we had hardwood flooring installed in our kitchen. This was bare wood, which was then finished so that it was an exact match to our existing living room, dining room and hall floors. It’s an open plan house and you see all the rooms at once. It turned out beautiful and I was thrilled with it.┬áThen, several weeks ago, I dropped a heavy pot lid that made a scratch.

I called the floor store to ask if there was some way to repair it. The head guy came out, showed me how to use a steam iron, and then offered to have another coat of polyurethane put down for free, which he said would further hide the scratch.

We had the flooring installed while we were on a trip, and made the same arrangement this time. When we came home two days ago, I was shocked to see that rather than another coat of the satin finish, the workmen had put down a shiny one. I called the store, and though the supervisor said on the phone that it probably just looked glossier because it was new, when he came out, he said, no it was semi-gloss, and he didn’t know why his workers had used it.

I asked if it would be possible to put a coat of the satin on top. I think he is willing to do this, but he says that every coat added makes a floor shinier, by it’s nature. Is that true?

He thought maybe the best solution would be to water down the satin finish. I wonder if that would result in bringing back the matte or satin finish I loved so much, or if the gloss would just show through.

I would really appreciate it if you have the time to advise on the finish. My husband says it looks fine the way it is, but I really hate the shiny look.

A: It is not true that each coat, by nature, gets more shiny. All shine has to be removed by buffing to allow for intercoat adhesion. Hence, the previous gloss level has no bearing on the next coat of finish. Satin and semi gloss are achieved by the addition to the finish of a paste that has to be mixed well in the finish. It sounds like they just used the wrong finish. Even if it is coat #10, if you are switching from gloss to satin, if satin is used, it will look like satin, not gloss.