Lighter areas everywhere after first coat

Q: My daughter and I just stripped and primed (oil base) the hardwood floors. With one coat of oil base polyurethane there are visible lighter areas throughout all the rooms. I did notice when the primer was dry the edges were darker, but thought it was due to the brush. With the first coat of polyurethane the lighter areas are everywhere, in the middle and edges, and there is no pattern to it. I did use a high quality brush and lambswool finisher.

What can we do to rectify these issues?

A: It’s probably not an issue. The wood absorbs the finish at different rates because of varying hardness. So, some areas will look lighter and more dry than others. When dry, buff it down, clean it up and apply another even, thin coat at a spread rate of 500 feet per gallon.

Similar Q: I have just finished sanding, staining, and applying a coat of clear gloss polyurethane to my 1880 heart pine floors. The clear gloss took on some boards, but not others, after the first coat polyurethane. I haven’t put a second coat on yet. Any suggestions as to why this happened and what my next step should be? Thanks.

A: It’s not clear what you mean by ‘it didn’t take’. Pine is soft wood so it is quite expected most of the finish will totally penetrate in some spots and not others giving an appearance of a blotchy finish look. You will need at least 3 coats of finish on this floor, buffed between coats of course.

Another Similar Q: I applied two coats of Minwax oil stain on newly installed pine floors. The stain came out beautiful. I waited a week before I put the first coat of satin oil polyurethane (Pro Finisher by Parks) on the floor last night. This morning the wood floor looks blotchy. What went wrong? Should I proceed and lightly sand and put on second coat of polyurethane? The temperature inside the house is 75 degrees and I even left a window cracked in order to assist ventilation of the area.

A: The floor looks blotchy because you only have one coat of polyurethane applied. A good portion of that would have soaked right into the wood. You will need at least 2 more coats, each one buffed prior to gain adhesion.