Michael Dresdner Blog Archive Scratch in Floor Finish, Polyurethane Tricks,

Michael Dresdner  Blog Archive  Scratch in Floor Finish, Polyurethane Tricks,

Ask Michael a question

Scratch in Floor Finish, Polyurethane Tricks, Protecting Kitchen Tables, Hardwood Floor Products

Q: If I wipe on too much Rockler gel polyurethane, I get streaks, and if I wipe on too little, I get ridges. How do I proceed?

A: I think the term wipe on is what is throwing you. The best way to work with it is to scrub it on liberally with nylon abrasive pads, then wipe it ALL off. That way you won’t get streaks. The thing is that even if you wipe it all off until the surface is smooth and streak free, you will still have left a very thin coat with each application.

Q: I’ve read that wipe on gel does not offer sufficient protection for a kitchen or dining room table top. Is this true?

A: No, but that deserves some clarification. As a rule of thumb, more build means more protection. Because wipe off finishes, such as gel polyurethane, leave such very thin coats on each application, you might need a whole lot of them to get the sort of build you might want for a table top. They are designed for applying very thin finishes, and done correctly, are very easy to apply. However, they are not meant for fast build up of thick coats. That’s not to say you can’t build a coat with them. You can, but it will take more than a dozen coats, applied at the rate of one per day or slower. Even at that it will not be as much build up as three brushed coats. Build up can be misleading, though; a dozen or more wiped off coats provides more protection than you might think, and requires less practice than brushing smoothly. Still, brush vs. wipe on is a matter of speed of build up vs. ease of application. Does that help?

Q: I sanded an oak door landing and stained it with Varathane premium wood stain. I properly wiped off the excess after waiting five or so minutes. Now, after 24 hours, I am still getting occasional wet spots or sweating on the surface. I have been wiping them with a cotton cloth but I need to know when I can finish the wood.

A: You can finish when it stops sweating, or as it is often called, weeping. Until then you will have to continue to wipe off the beads of stain that form at the mouth of the pores. For future reference, there are several things you can do to either mitigate or prevent the problem. If you are using oil based stain on open pore wood, like oak, wipe it off immediately and very aggressively. Go back immediately using a stiff bristle brush to scrub the excess stain out of the pores, and wipe again. The combination of quick, aggressive wipe off and pore scrubbing will eliminate most, if not all, of the weeping. Other options include using a waterbased stain or an oil based gel stain, neither of which weep.

Q: Two years ago I stripped our hardwood floors and redid them completely using your products. I used a poly that didnt offer much sheen but was a bit disappointed in the result. What is the process if I want to take off what is there down to the stain and redo it?

A: First, let me clarify that I do not sell any products, so no products can be thought of as mine. I am simply a finish consultant, and will answer questions on this blog about any brand or product. As for the process, it’s fairly simple; sand the floor down to the raw wood, which, by the way, will remove the stain, then stain and finish it in higher gloss.

Q: My husband put a good size surface scratch in the floor finish by moving a piece of furniture. Will it come out if I refinish the floor.

Michael Dresdner  Blog Archive  Scratch in Floor Finish, Polyurethane Tricks,

A: Yes, as long as the scratch is in the finish and not deep into the wood.

Gentle reminder: A modest donation to this finishing blog can keep it going to help others. Thanks!

This entry was posted on Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 10:10 pm and is filed under finishing techniques. gel. sanding. seal. stain. stripping. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Scratch in Floor Finish, Polyurethane Tricks, Protecting Kitchen Tables, Hardwood Floor Products

What is the current go to finish for new cabinets and doors (maple)? The painter wants to use lacquer, of course, but Im thinking more along the lines of a poly. The desired finish would look like low sheen satin.

Leave a Reply