Too thick coat of poly finish

Q: Recently I restained our wood floors. Sanded, restained, then put poly on them. When we walk it leaves footprints and there are some cloudy areas. What can I do to get rid of them?

A: I’m not at all sure what is going on here. It sounds like surface contamination. Was anything else wiped or applied after this work was completed? Perhaps something used on other woodwork or furniture where a spray mist perhaps drifted down onto the floor? If that is the case you will need to use a cleaner to remove the contamination. Poloplaz has both a floor cleaner for general use and another for more serious issues called Tie Tac. If this is not the case and you have had no adhesion issues between coats, I would lightly but thoroughly sand down the final coat of finish, thoroughly clean up the fine dust and apply a thin coat with a roller using an excellent finish such as Poloplaz Primero satin finish.

Follow-up Q: When I put the final coat on I put it on thick and it seems soft as if it hasn’t cured yet. Will it harden eventually? Also, it was a gloss, not satin.

A: It will harden over time but I don’t believe it will ever be as tough as if you applied it at the recommended spread rate which is usually 500 sq. feet per gallon. I’d leave it for now and not even think of doing anything with it for at least a month. At some point later you may get a floor polisher and use 150 or 180 grit screens and buff it down really well before applying a thin coat. The edges will have to be sanded by hand. I use 120 grit for that on my hands and knees.

Follow-up: Thank you for the information. It has been a month but the weather has been all over the map. Hot cold rain etc. I will give it more time and then do as you suggested. Thank you again for taking the time to answer.

Way too thick a coat of poly

Related Q: We put way too thick a coat of poly down on our refinished wood floor. It has been a week with the fan on it and it’s still not dry all the way through. The very top has set up but any weight and you sink down into the “un-set” part. Any trick to get this to totally dry?

A: Many finishes have a spread rate of 500 sq. feet per gallon. If you apply it at half that, 250 sq. feet per gallon, I could imagine it will take at least three weeks for this to harden enough to proceed. Lots of fresh air, warmth and time are all you have unless you want to sand it all off and start over. 3 Thin coats are always far superior to one thick one.

Can I sand off the finish and not need to apply more?

Related Q: I refinished a floor myself. I put the matte water based urethane on way too thick! That wouldn’t be such a big problem in itself, but there are spots where it is even thicker in many places. I plan on sanding all the floors again with very fine grit sandpaper. Is it possible that I can get away with not having to put any more urethane on it since I put down too much already? I am hoping this is a possibility! 
A: Not really.  It will look pretty scuffed up after abrading the surface.  Generally, the recommended application method for water-based coatings is to pour a puddle the full length of a wall about four inches out and use an applicator like a snow plow to keep moving the puddle across the room.  Either a sponge applicator or something called a ‘bigfoot’, which is an 18″ sleeve that slides on a special bar and pole is what is used.  Thin, even coats are always best.

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