Q: I have a Swedish finished hardwood floor. It’s been almost two months since it was finished, but it still smells if we close the windows. It’s not so bad that the Swedish finish smell is burning ours eyes or throat. The product used to finish is Berger Seidle (or Gerber Seidle? I can’t remember!) from Germany. My questions are – 1. How long will the toxicity continue for Swedish finished floors using Berger Seidle? Is that true that once the floor is completely cured it will not emit toxins any more?
2. Is that a good idea to buff it and apply a coat or two water based finish? Do I have to wait until the floor is done with the curing process to apply new water based finish?
A: I’m not sure my comments are going to be helpful. I haven’t used ‘Swedish finishes’ aka acid cure in more than 2 decades. It is very tough finish but it is extremely nasty stuff to work with. I don’t know if it continues to off gas after it is dry. That would be a serious concern. It could be that all the windows were closed during application so the solvents escaping the finish clung to wall, clothing, fabric etc. It may also be an issue getting a different technology finish such as water borne to bond to it. If that proves to be the case it would tell me that, yes it continues to emit formaldehyde even when dry. I’ve used Glitsa and Skandia in this acid cure formulation. I would not use it now.
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