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Adhesion problems! Finish didn't cure properly! Heeelp!

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Forum topic by Rustyempire posted 07-27-2017 05:25 PM 3743 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rustyempire

24 posts in 449 days


07-27-2017 05:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: ash question finishing

So last summer I finished our ash floors with a fabulous Oil/varnish blend. It looked great! But then it didn’t. My errors were: 1. Using an oil varnish blend as a floor finish 2. Using a spar urethane as the varnish component – way too soft for an interior floor!
So I took the sander to the finish to give it s bit of tooth, and then applied a new finish. And waited. and waited… well the finish never did cure properly. I want to assume the oils from the previous finish are the culprit. Could it be they have contaminated the wood too much for a regular poly finish to adhere? Even in areas down sanded down to bare wood it didn’t cure!
So the finish was scrubbed off with a citrus based solvent (again more oil on the surface!!) and I’ve now been wiping the surface down with mineral spirits in an attempt to get a contaminant free surface. I can tell there is still embedded oil residue in the floor from how it feels and looks, and am quickly coming to the conclusion that maybe any finish is unlikely to adhere now!
My question is what to do now? What finish will adhere at this point? The floor has already been sanded twice now and it’s still only a year old. Please recommend a good DIY finish product that will get me the durable finish I need for this kitchen! I’m desperate at this stage for any suggestions! Thx.


33 replies so far

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CharlesNeil

2143 posts in 3705 days


#1 posted 07-27-2017 05:29 PM

photos and specifics would help … brands as well.. many products are not compatible , and concoctions are a definite invitation for disaster .

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Loren

9610 posts in 3482 days


#2 posted 07-27-2017 05:34 PM

Most if not all film finishes will adhere
well over shellac.

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Rustyempire

24 posts in 449 days


#3 posted 07-27-2017 05:40 PM

Hey Charles thanks so much for your reply!! I can’t for the for the life of me figure out how to post photos here… sorry about that.

I used equal parts McCloskeys spar, Finico Unpolymerized 100% Tung Oil, and Finico citrus solvent. About 3 coats worth of this in a wipe off and hand buff style finish. Truly a fantastic in the wood finish – just no good for any heavy wear!

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Rustyempire

24 posts in 449 days


#4 posted 07-27-2017 05:42 PM

Loren: the finish was not over top of shellac. Are you actually saying that shellac will adhere over this finish? Or am I not understanding your reply?

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Manitario

2553 posts in 2718 days


#5 posted 07-27-2017 05:58 PM

I don’t have any advice but I’m curious to see what the answer is to this; it doesn’t make sense to me that you couldn’t apply poly over tung oil once the tung oil has cured, that’s basically a wiping varnish with a topcoat of poly. I imagine that the problem probably is the tung oil which is notoriously slow to dry.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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Loren

9610 posts in 3482 days


#6 posted 07-27-2017 06:04 PM

Shellac is often used as a barrier coat
between incompatible finishes. Shellac
will probably cure over what you have
on the wood and from there another
finish can be put over the shellac. I’ve
never used anything but stain and poly
on floors but I haven’t had anything like
the problem you’re having.

That unpolymerized tung oil may be
your culprit. Some of those tung oil
finishes can take a long time to cure.

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jbay

1856 posts in 734 days


#7 posted 07-27-2017 06:12 PM

I can’t recommend a fix but I use Bona for any wood floors of mine.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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Rustyempire

24 posts in 449 days


#8 posted 07-27-2017 06:30 PM

Manitario: So yes it was unpolymerized Tung oil but it’s been over a year so curing isn’t the issue. The oil blend is an in-the-wood finish so is that wherein the problem lies? ( Ie. Total contamination of the wood surface and below surface with oil, resulting in bond failure??) Or am I talking out my **s?!

.. Then I tried to top coat it with Arm-R-seal urethane – was that yet another error? No using poly but a urethane instead?

So the question is what product will adhere to the floor now?... I can go over it again lightly with 120 grit or 80 grit to give it some tooth (the surface is now low sheen and flat but likely still with below grain oil contamination)

Loren: I can pick up a gallon zinsser dewaxed shellac and get that down on the surface if you think that will work. Then would something like varathane oil poly over top be the ticket??

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Loren

9610 posts in 3482 days


#9 posted 07-27-2017 06:42 PM


Loren: I can pick up a gallon zinsser dewaxed shellac and get that down on the surface if you think that will work. Then would something like varathane oil poly over top be the ticket??

- Rustyempire

Yes. That would be the theory. If I were
you I would do some more research and make
sure my suggested approach makes sense.
The idea is just from information I picked up
from years of reading about woodworking,
not something I’ve personally done.

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Rich

1977 posts in 424 days


#10 posted 07-27-2017 06:52 PM


Manitario: So yes it was unpolymerized Tung oil but it s been over a year so curing isn t the issue. The oil blend is an in-the-wood finish so is that wherein the problem lies? ( Ie. Total contamination of the wood surface and below surface with oil, resulting in bond failure??) Or am I talking out my **s?!

- Rustyempire

How did you care for it over the course of the year? Did you use any floor wax that might have contained silicone, or other contaminants?

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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Rustyempire

24 posts in 449 days


#11 posted 07-27-2017 06:57 PM

Thanks Rich: Nope. No cleaners just a damp rag when needed. So that can’t be the culprit here.

Oh and I found the link to my post last year when finishing the floor. My first install ever! Herringbone design with border… not bad for a chick huh? Too bad it didn’t need stay looking like that! The picture doesn’t do it justice but the oilf finish is almost luminous. I’d love to try it on a surface that doesn’t get as much wear down the road.

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/180370

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Rich

1977 posts in 424 days


#12 posted 07-27-2017 07:02 PM



Thanks Rich: Nope. No cleaners just a damp rag when needed. So that can t be the culprit here.

- Rustyempire

That’s a good thing, then. It sounds like what Loren is saying is a good way to go. I’d try to find an area to test on, rather than doing the whole floor, until you have a method that works.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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Rustyempire

24 posts in 449 days


#13 posted 07-27-2017 07:09 PM

Yah Rich. It seems that is the only option here from the online traffic response so far.
I guess testing makes sense rather than jumping in with both feet as I am somewhat apt to do! (Finishing ADD perhaps?) & thanks for your much appreciated time today!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4756 posts in 2328 days


#14 posted 07-27-2017 08:20 PM

Shellac is a very hard and brittle finish, I’m not sure I would want it between 2 soft finishes on a floor. That said, I’m not sure what the solution would be at this point, you might want to wait for Charles to chime back in. If you do go with the shellac, please do test it first.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2890 posts in 1823 days


#15 posted 07-27-2017 08:43 PM

If it were me, I would “completely” strip the floor and then let it dry. With all the junk that is put on it, I would not put anything else on it. You need to start from the beginning. I am not certain how to do that with all the oils that have soaked into the Wood.

I would never try something new on a big project or any project. Always try a new finish on trial boards. Even if it takes a long time to run a trial, it saves time, money and aggravation later on.

I have never understood why people come up with these schemes for finishing. For your benefit, the person I would trust the most is Charles Neil. I hope that he can help you. I do not think any solution will be quick and easy.

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