Fish eye bubbles and sanding sealer on top of polyurethane as a fix

Q: Please help. We hired a floor refinisher with over 30 years of experience to refinish our 24 year old red oak floors. He is having one problem after another with the finish which is an oil based polyurethane satin finish. He has put on 3 or 4 coats of poly in some rooms and he keeps getting fish eyes, cloudy spots, etc. and debris in the finish.

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Fish eye bubbles in epoxy coating



Q: My builder was required to resand and recoat my timber floors with a full gloss epoxy coating. This is his third attempt due to what I believe are fish eyes appearing. I told the builder the biggest mistake he made was painting over silicone that was used around the base of the kitchen joinery.

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Fisheye and many rough spots after finishing



Q: We had our 48 yr. old oak floors refinished by a pro, sanded to bare wood and 3 coats of oil base satin poly. I complained that there were many very rough edges and swirl marks from the buffer, so the pro then buffed and did another coat of poly. This time with a different brand, Fabulon, oil also. (Not sure what brand the previous three coats were.) While applying the 4th coat he started seeing what he called fisheye, spots where the finish didn’t adhere well.

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Finish eroding in a bubble-like pattern in some spots



Q: We have a four year old floor and around the fridge and some cabinets we have found places where the finish is eroding in a bubble-like pattern. We just had the whole floor refinished and that day the bubbles returned. They are not like air bubbles but are the same shape.

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Is this fish eye bubbles or dust between the layers of poly?



Q: I have recently had my floating floors fully sanded back to bare wood then recoated with a base and 2 coats of poly. I have lots of bubbles all over the floor. He has since re-sanded lightly and recoated with another coat of poly, though this has only slightly improved the finish. To the eye there are ‘bits’ everywhere. I don’t know whether this is fish eye bubbles as you describe or dust between the layers.

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Ripples and bare spots and bubbles



Q: I just puchased my first home, a 7 year old townhouse with hardwoods in the living room. The floors were in pretty good condition, but family convinced me to have them buffed and poly’d with a high gloss shine, as several of theirs had been done and came out beautiful. I went with the same person as they did, only I did not have them sanded, just buffed and glossed. I’m extremely unhappy with the outcome. My floors now look like a pond on a windy day, with ripples and bare spots and bubbles.

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Did cutting the poly cause this?



Q: I had problems with the third coat of poly drying too fast and leaving lots of bubbles. So, I hand sanded with 100 grit, and with the 4th coat decided to cut the fast dry poly with 25% mineral spirits to ensure no bubbles, and let it slow dry (no ventilation). Now I can see all the sanding marks on the floor?

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