Satin topcoat too dull looking

Q: I recently sanded the finish off of my hardwood floor (red oak). I did not take it down to the bare wood so the stain remained. I applied one coat of Masters Gloss Polyurethane. After 48 hours I sanded with 220 grit paper, cleaned it thoroughly and applied another coat of Masters Gloss Polyurethane. I waited 48 hours and sanded it with 320 grit paper, clean thoroughly and applied one coat of Masters Satan Polyurethane (well stirred). I loved the clean, clear look of the gloss but feel the satin is dull looking, almost fake.

Is there a chance I may have applied it too thick? Can I sand it again and apply another coat of gloss? If so, how long should I wait before sending? What grit should I use to remove the topcoat? Can I mix a gloss and a satin together so it isn’t too glossy or too dull? What is the best applicator for applying polyurethane? I used a large four-inch brush for oil stains. I wonder if I should use a lambs wool applicator on a stick?

A: Satin is supposed to appear much less shiny than gloss.  It has nothing to do with how thick the finish is applied.  I am surprised you were able to abrade the coating well enough with a 320 grit abrasive.  I hope it doesn’t peel off.  Time will tell.

I’ve not used your particular product but with the oil based finishes I’ve worked with 180 or 150 grit is usually used for buffing between coats.  You will know it is ready if the previous and now dry coat turns to powder when you lightly sand it.  If it doesn’t or it collects resin on the abrasive, it is not ready.  Usually over night or 8 to 12 hours.  I used a lambswool applicator for years but then some finishes were created that applied very well with a light pile roller.  You will have to check the manufacturers recommendation.  If rolling is an option it is the one I would go for.  You should be able to mix gloss and satin.  Make sure you have thoroughly stirred the satin first.  Remember that thin coats are always recommended rather than thick coats.  You can know if you are applying it too heavy by whether you are in line with the spread rate for that finish.  Generally that spread rate is about 500 sq. feet per gallon.  If you are using two gallons for 500 feet then you are far too heavy of a coating.

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