Finish for hardwood floor.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by lobro2 posted 1800 days ago 1106 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View lobro2's profile


10 posts in 1820 days

1800 days ago

Recently, we pulled the carpet out of our living room. The carpet was ruined by the pets and we were going to replace it. took it up and found the harewood floor was in excellent shape. Needless to say no carpet is going to cover it back up. Looking for advice on the best finish to put down to protect the floor. Any and all help will be appreciated. It has a urethane finish now, but have been advised that sanding and going that route is not necessary, at least going by the criteria given by a floor guy. Besides that the bedrooms are also hardwood but the condition is still unknown. BUDGET plays a roll in this also.

-- Deacon Tom--Talk to the wood, it won't argue!

8 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2446 days

#1 posted 1800 days ago

Yes, you can put down a topcoat of poly over the existing finishing without sanding back to the original wood if the existing finish is in pretty good shape.

When I have done this I always wipe the floor down with mineral spirits just in case a paste wax was used on it in the past. A new coat of poly will not stick over a coat of wax. Another thing I do is lightly sand the floor after washing it with a sheet of 320 grit just to slightly roughen the floor’s existing finish so that the new topcoat will have a surface to bond to. I usually just put a sheet on a pole sander and “mop” the floor with the sandpaper, vacuum up the dust and do another wipe down with mineral spirits.

Once the floor is clean then I use a lamb’s wool applicator to apply the poly to the field of the floor and a good quality brush for the corners. Let the poly cure out and, if you want to add additional coats, begin with the sanding routine and continue applying additional coats until you get the finish that you want.

And, of course, don’t poly yourself into a corner! :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View lobro4's profile


177 posts in 1837 days

#2 posted 1800 days ago

Do not lay down any area rugs for at least a week. Protectors under the furniture legs and nothing plastic for the same period as well.

-- Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU!!

View JonJ's profile


163 posts in 2464 days

#3 posted 1800 days ago

If you use Varathane, don’t use thier synthetic lambswool applicators they offer with thier “system”. We did everything per directions ( washing applicators to get rid of stray fibers) and did 700 sq ft of our floors- got fuzzy crud in all of it. Sanded and refinished again after really cleaning applicator- same results. Gave up and let it dry and just put our stuff back…fuzzies and all.

On a positive note…The varathane is very tough, and didn’t stink too bad. Just test the application method before doing whole floor!

-- Jon

View DaneJ's profile


55 posts in 1832 days

#4 posted 1800 days ago

A few years ago I encountered the same in an upstais bedroom, as I recall I did:
1. Cleaned the nail hole stains(from the tack boards) with oxicilic acid then filled them with oak colored putty.
2. Scuffed the floor(sorry dont remember the grit probably 220)
3. poured and spread Minwax WB floor poly and a pad
It is still in great condition(except where a flower pot was dragged, arg)

hope this helps…

-- Dane, Fairview Pk, OH. The large print giveth and the small print taketh away...

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 2519 days

#5 posted 1800 days ago

I recently finished my living room floor. It was the first time I ever used a water-based poly and it made a believer of me. I used Fabulon high gloss. First coat dries in about 5 hours. Apply second coat, wait 2 hours. Sand lightly to 220. Apply third coat. Done. It turned out beautiful. I’ve used Varathane and several other types before but water-based is what I will used form now on unless there is a reason to do otherwise.

room 12×26 plus hallway 4×16; red oak floor
Fabulon 50, 2 gals, about $100 (only used 1.5 gal)
sander and paper rental – about $85
2 days to completion

-- Sam

View lobro2's profile


10 posts in 1820 days

#6 posted 1799 days ago

Thanks for the advice. thought i knew the answer, but that’s what you are for. keep a amateur like me from messing it up.

i hve used water based poly on some other things and I like it, too. Wiill have to wait for a long weekend to do this. Have to be ready to sleep on the couch in the den. When i get this floor in the curing stage the rest of the house is cut off.

-- Deacon Tom--Talk to the wood, it won't argue!

View DaneJ's profile


55 posts in 1832 days

#7 posted 1799 days ago

these may help keep houshold harmony…
when you sand use a HEPA vacuum if your sander has a dust port.
Close the door to the area that you are working in, put a dampened towel at the bottom of the door to prevent dust migration.

-- Dane, Fairview Pk, OH. The large print giveth and the small print taketh away...

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 2519 days

#8 posted 1799 days ago


DaneJ is right… I used plastic to seal off the room from the rest of the house.

I thought I was faced with the same situation but it turned out that the Fabulon dries so quickly I didn’t have to worry about that. I sanded the floors starting at about noon and finished up by 5. I applied the first coat at about 6, and it was dry enough to actually walk on by 10. Let that sit overnight, then applied coat #2 the next morning at about 8; could walk on it again by 10;sanded at 10:30;applied third coat at noon and could walk on it at 2:00. It’s not fully cured but there is no problem walking on it that soon.

I still haven’t put any furniture back in the room yet as I am remodeling it.

-- Sam

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase