Applied a coat of polyurethane but floor still looks dull

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: We are in the process of sanding our hardwood floors to have a different stain put on them. We have sanded off all the old stain, used the 120 grit to give a smoother finish, used a polyurethane but it still looks dull.

I was reading on sanding tips and it says that after we sand the stain off, put the new stain on, then add the polyurethane. Then to sand it again lightly with a 120 grit and then add another coat of polyurethane for a smoother finish. Is that correct? Please let me know ASAP as we need to finish the floor soon.

A: You have applied the stain and 1 coat of polyurethane. One coat is not enough. You will get greater penetration in some boards and areas than others since the density/hardness of the wood is not equal and consistent from one board to the next.

When I do a job, I usually use a polisher with a 180 grit screen for the main area, but rub the edges with 120 grit to assure adhesion and smooth off any rough spots. So, if you are going to rub down all the floor area by hand, 120 grit should be fine. Just be careful not to rub so aggressively that you cut through the finish and remove the stain. Vacuum the floor and wipe it down with a well rung out, water-dampened cloth and apply the next coat. Any succeeding coats will follow the same process.

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