Hardwood Floor Finish: Polyurethane

Hardwood floors.

Adding a hardwood floor finish to your home can improve the luster and quality of the shine on your floors. Hardwood floors are sometimes very difficult to find the right finish for, as they often require a lot of sanding before you start to notice an improvement. Polyurethane is a rather difficult liquid to apply as a finish, although once you have added it to the floor, it can create a better shine, and will also protect the floor against serious damage. In order to prevent the floor from being marked by the application of your hardwood floor finish, you will need to follow a certain series of steps.

Before Applying Your Polyurethane Hardwood Floor Finish

When you are ready to start refinishing your floor, always start by using a sander to remove previous finishes. This will give the floor a new layer, and will also help you to avoid refinishing marks which were caused when applying the last finish. Once you have used the sander, you should ensure that you brush the floor thoroughly, and then get good ventilation for the room you will be adding the finish to. The room may need a couple of fans to help blow the air around the room, and prevent fumes from building up. You should also equip yourself with a vapor respirator.

Applying the First Coat

The first coat of your Polyurethane hardwood floor finish will probably be the most difficult to apply well. You should always have a wet edge to apply the polyurethane to, and the application should progress uniformly across the room so that you are not leaving out areas. Make sure that you apply the hardwood floor finish with the grain of your wood, and you could use a soft applicator, such as a Lambs Wool, for the first coat.

Applying the Second Coat

Before you add another coat to the hardwood floor, you must ensure that it is completely dry. Applying your second coat too soon will result in bubbling, which is where the wet undercoat rises up, and the second coat then dries and seals these in place. You should apply a scruff sanding to the first coat before the second application, and if you are getting a urethane by-product on the sandpaper, this means it is not yet dry enough.

Removing Problems

If you do find that you have had a problem with applying the second coat of urethane, then you will need to remove all of the second coat. You may see wrinkles or bubbles forming in the second layer, and some of this will be cloudy. The only answer to this problem is simply to remove the second coat entirely. Use a paint scraper to peel off the second coat, and then sweep the floor thoroughly. Be careful when disposing of your scrapings, as they can combust if they are left in an ordinary trash can.