Finish protects your floorsAfter all the hard work of sanding down your floors, your floor is ready for the clear finish. Now let’s see, what kind of finish should I use? Well they all say they’re the best, this one does this and that one does that. I recommend that you go to the place where you rented your sanders from and ask them. I’m sure if you told them what you wanted, they would match you up with the right finish for your needs.
So ask yourself, how much am I willing to take care of my floors? In my grandparents’ day I remember them waxing their floors with every change of season. I also remember how much my grandparents didn’t like getting down on their hands and knees when they got older. So that ones out!
Selecting the right finish for your floorsWhat about polyurethane, that’s a good finish! What kind of polyurethane finish, oil based or waterborne? For help in the decision making process, I go and ask a floor professional at the floor supply store where I rented the equipment from.
Firstly, they’ll ask a few questions about lifestyle wear and tear. How you plan on using your floors, if you take your shoes off at the door, if you have pets, or children in the home. Those kinds of things.
Secondly, they’ll ask about what kind of look to you want. The depth of oil base or the clarity of water borne. You explain that you have a red oak, or brazilian cherry floor and that you love the depth that you get from oil based polyurethane. Your floor professional asks you if you like a satin polyurethane or a gloss polyurethane. You say gloss, because you love that beautiful shine. They will share their expertise, explaining that gloss will wear that high shine off in the high traffic areas. Or explain if you have a lot of windows it will give you a blinding glare from the sun, plus it will show the scratches better. You decide satin would be best for you. So, with a little instruction and armed with all the things you will need. Your back to your floor.
Applying FinishFirstly, you may want to use a sealer (if you experience a lot of movement in your floor) sealers will keep your floor from getting side bonding (when the boards stick together). After you apply your first coat of sealer (following the manufacturers recommendations) let it dry overnight.
Then you will need to give this a light sanding. For two reasons,1) the first coat will raise the grain of the wood, and 2) you need to abrade the sealer or you will get peeling. Once lightly sanded. and vacuumed you can apply your next coat the same way. Let it dry overnight.
Now the last coat if you decide that’s all you want. Again a light sanding, vacuum, tack apply your last coat, and let it stand for as long as you can.
My advice, remember to pickup and place all furniture (don’t slide or drag), and put felt protection under all the furniture that moves. Thanks!
At Dickel Floor Supply, we carry many brands of polyurethane clear finishes to include the Vermont Natural Coatings (image pictured above).