Start and dab marks

Q: We have protected our floors with 4 coats of oil based F***** product. Sanding between each, and tack clothing, etc. We still have lap marks in long lines where we used the recommended F***** applicator and pulled the product down the hall in the direction of the wood grain. Also, we have the ‘start’ or ‘dab’ marks, like a wet sponge where we placed the applicator each time we moved the product down the hall.

We are so discouraged as we even thinned the product with 10% mineral spirits to improve the self levelling characteristic and slow down the dry time. It is a narrow hall. Any suggestions? Would a different applicator make a difference? We are prepared to try this again, but we don’t seem to be able to get rid of the lap marks or start and dab marks.

A: This would be an issue with the flattener in the finish. Perhaps it wasn’t mixed well enough? I would recommend switching to a different product and the product I would highly recommend is Poloplaz Primero Satin. Outstanding finish which rolls on incredibly well. I never get laps, streaks or stop marks now.

Similar Q: I just put stain on our sanded hardwood floors, and today you can see the start and stop marks from when I’d stop and go to different section then wipe off and go to other section. Anything I can do to even it out and not see the marks before I put the poly on?

A: Well, I don’t know what type of stain you have used or what colour, but there is probably nothing to be done about it now. Stain tends to fade out when it dries and while you might see lap marks now, when you apply the finish they may not show as badly as they appear now. If you used an alcohol stain or water borne stain then all bets off.

Related Q: We have a hardwood floor that spans between a a dining room and living room. We brushed the poly onto the dining room floor and waited for a few days to get some repair done to the remainder of the floor. I then used a lambswool applicator for the remainder of the floor. I can now see where the brushed part of the floor ends and where the lambswool portion starts. Is there any way to blend this transition?

A: It’s virtually impossible to apply a finish and stop across the boards and not see an over lap. The coating will need to be sanded with a fine abrasive either using a polisher and 150 or 180 grit screen and the edges hand rubbed up to the trim with 120 grit. Or, the entire floor will have to be sanded by hand thoroughly before clean up and application of a thin coat over both rooms.

Related Q: We just started to refinish the hardwoods in an old home and we still see some sanding marks. We have stained, but not finished. Can we resand just the areas that look bad or do we need to resand the entire room?

Problem 2. In a large room where we stopped and started in the middle there is a dark area where the stain overlapped, do we buff this out?

A: Well, I had one stain job go bad. Everything that could be wrong was! I was so disappointed and I went home that night and worked my brain on what caused the issues and how do I fix it? I got a roll of 80 grit sandpaper to use with my orbital sander and some 80 grit screens for the polisher. My objective was to remove as much of the stain as possible along with the offending marks and apply stain again. This time I used the same colour, different manufacturer. It worked. It may be worth a try for you too before taking the more radical option of starting over. After you apply the stain you do need to wipe the excess off and you also need to work fairly quickly. In other words, you need to wipe off the excess before the stain sets up.

Similar Q: After applying the first coat of polyurethane I can see areas where the application overlapped are considerably thicker. The floor looks blotchy. Is this something I should try to sand down and rectify now, or should I just put a second coat on as recommended and see how it looks?

A: If this is a solvent/oil based coating it must be buffed or sanded with a fine abrasive between coats to ensure good adhesion. If it is water base, you probably don’t have to do this step unless it is rough and provide the next coat is applied within the time limit specified by the finish manufacturer. If you exceed this time, say 6 hours after it is dry (just an example) you would have to buff this coating also. In the case of water base, if you meet the criteria I wouldn’t be too concerned about a blotchy look. Depends how serious it is.

Similar Q: I just installed 700 sq ft of Brazilian 3/4 cherry wood. We used min-wax clear satin. My problem is wherever we had to lift the lambswool pad applicator it left a very dull area the size of the pad which is 4 x 12. In the light these areas stick out like a sore thumb. Our edge laps blend very well. Would you suggest any type of sanding or buffing to blend the surfaces.

A: You will have to buff the floors to gain adhesion for another coat. Here is my best suggestion. Use Poloplaz Primero satin or matte. It is the nicest oil based poly I’ve ever used. The silica flattener remains suspended in the finish much better than other polyurethanes and I haven’t had it leave a mop stop on me yet. Even better, use a 1/4 or 3/8 roller. It applies well any way, but it does roll on really well.

Related Q: For finish I applied 1 coat of LOBA WS SUPRA using a 9 inch roller as recommend. It dried leaving lap marks throughout. What should I do next? Will the Lap marks disappear after applying a second coat? Or will I have to buff or sand with higher grit to remove lap marks, before applying second coat? It has been less 24 hours since finish was applied.

A: I’m not familiar with that coating. Solvent or oil based should always be abraded between coats. This product sounds like water born coating. Very few will allow for a roller application. You may want to try a T bar or a water wiz on a wooden block. Water based coatings often allow another coat without buffing if applied within a certain window of time. I think I’d buff it with a fine abrasive such as maroon pad, perhaps with sandpaper strips attached 180 grit.