Stain wasn’t dry when finish was applied

Q: I sanded and edged, then applied Minwax penetrating stain. At 24 hours of drying I noticed the oil was sitting on the wood. I wiped the excess oil off the floor and at 48 hours attempted to poly with Minwax ultimate floor finish. I experienced a separation in a few areas where the water based poly separated due to oil residue. When I went to check the floors today, they were bubbled / easily flaked.

I began to sand them and decided to let dry more. I can not go back and sand these down and start over; do you have any recommendations? I am willing to try anything.

A: You are going to have to do what you say you can’t do. This will have to be done from scratch. You are applying water borne finish over a solvent based stain which has not fully dried. This is the problem when DIY people think this job is so easy anyone can do it. I don’t know how you applied the stain. I don’t know if you applied a section and then wiped off the excess before proceeding.

Start over and use Dura Seal Quick Coat for example which is a fast dry solvent based stain that contains polyurethane resin. You will be safe to use your DIY, none professional finish with over night drying.

Sometimes I get as frustrated as those who ask questions and have a problem. I basically had to apprentice under guidance with lots of practice to get my work to where it is now. And after more than 40 years, and most of my floor restoration jobs requiring stain, I still feel intimidated by the job. So how can you or others like you who have never done this work think you can just rent a machine, know nothing about the products you work with or how to operate anything, know nothing about the best process expect to have a successful outcome? You will have to start over I’m afraid to tell you. I still don’t really like the water borne finishes, not even the really good ones that professionals use. I always use the stain mentioned above and Poloplaz Primero Professional Polyurethane. Great products that work together and dry well.

Related Q: I refinished my hardwood floors and I had used a minwax stain first. Followed all DIY rules, waited 24hrs then did a finish coat. The finish coat seems like it isn’t adhering to the floor in a bunch of different areas. I don’t know if this means my stain wasn’t dry!? Help!

A: Did you use a water born finish? Min Wax stains are rather high solvent and can take longer to dry. If it isn’t totally dry and you apply a water born coating, then voila, peeling. You would have been better to find a distributor who sells Dura Seal Quick Coat. They are the contractor division of Min Wax. Same colours in a fast dry stain.

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