Polyurethane Finish: Apply like a pro

Whenever you're applying a polyurethane finish, be sure to read the manufactures instruction, and specs on the side of the container, before beginning.

Not all polyurethane floor finish are made equally. Completely read this guide to get a good understanding on applying polyurethane floor finish.

In this article, you will find useful, quality, hardwood flooring information on a step by step standard procedure on how to apply a oil base polyurethane wood floor finishes. We'll also explain how to prevent problems, and give you advanced techniques to get a professional results, as we cover the basic techniques of applying polyurethane finishes.

Let's begin...

By now, you should have your hardwood floors sanded, prepped, cleaned and tacked. If you haven't done so yet, or need help with this task. Please refer back to our hardwood refinishing page before continuing with this part. This will ensure that you get the best possible result with your polyurethane floor finish. When, your ready come back and continue with this guide.

Always test a small area or produce a sample with scrap material, to ensure that you're getting the right color and to see, if, the polyurethane finish reacts in a bad manner with the surface being coated on - beading or bleed backs.

Certain Oil base polyurethane floor finishes will have different working time. This is the amount of time or period you have available to apply the polyurethane finish before it starts to set-up - normally 10-15 minutes.

Polyurethane Manufacture's are constantly making improvements to their products and EPA always make new guidelines for them to follow.

Which has an effect to the content of their product. This is important, if, you want to achieve a quality finish and a full functional wear surface.

Let's not forget to read the labels.

Oil base Polyurethane floor finishes

wood floorOil base polyurethane floor finish are one of the easiest wood floor finishes to apply.

The standard method for applying an oil base polyurethane wood floor finishes is with a bristled brush and lambs wool applicator.

Use a lambs wool applicator and a bristle brush that's specified for oil paints only.

It's important to use only oil paint applicator, to reduce puddling, to provide proper coverage, and to
allow the oil based polyurethane wood floor finishes to release itself from the applicator and level properly

This will prevent unwanted brush
marks, flashing, ridges and lap marks
in your polyurethane floor finish.

Allow your oil base polyurethane finishes to acclimate to room temperature, to make it easier to apply. This will also prevent bubbles from occurring.

Wood Finish Polyurethane Varnish Tips: Have a helper coat the edges while you coat the main body of the wood flooring with polyurethane, using a lambs wool. This will keep your edges wet allowing your polyurethane finish to level off evenly throughout your hardwood floors. You'll spend less time with the bad oil base polyurethane fumes.

Cutting In The Edges With A Bristle Brush

applying wood floor finishBrush applicator - Start by cutting in the edges, with your brush.

Use a 3" or 4" thick, short bristle brush with quick finish release, remove loose brush bristles before using. Use a brush comb, or brush it across your hands back and forth, so the loose bristles will come out. Then vacuum the brush head.

Carefully coat the floor and always keep moving, avoid getting any of the oil base polyurethane wood floor finish on any other surfaces. Otherwise the oil base polyurethane finish will yellow on you, later on.

If, you accidentally do, coat other surfaces other than your floors. You can use mineral spirit to clean it up.

When, coating the edges, you should brush across the grain, then complete your final brush strokes with the grain.

Wood Finish Polyurethane Varnish Tips: Use a Zig-Zag painting method. Cut in along the baseboards or wall, start by going left first, brush back, then create a "Z" pattern, working the polyurethane away from the wall. This should be a maximum of 4 brush strokes, per section.

Remember to check for puddles, splashes, or drips. Avoid brushing back and forth to many times. You'll thin out the coverage and the polyurethane floor finish will tack up on you sooner. You can be stuck with brush marks, and ridges in your finish.

When applying a polyurethane finish, be sure to apply the proper coverage, so that the finish levels properly.

If, you apply too thin of a coat, it can look dry, and may not level properly, leaving unwanted brush marks.

Too heavy of a coat, the finish can be to shiny (flashing) in that particular spot, and a puddle can occur.

Plus you'll cause splashing with the brush as your moving the finish around.

Maintain a wet edge at all time. By doing this you'll avoid unwanted lap marks, ridges, and flashing.

Learn the basic brushing technique, now, so you understand how to prevent and fix problems, then you'll have a better understanding of how to use any advance technique that we will be telling you. But, not until later, you must learn how to walk before you can run.

Applying Polyurethane Finish With A lambs Wool Applicator

Lambs Wool applicator - use a light lambs wool applicator, with a thin nap. Remove any loose wool fiber from the applicator. You can use a vacuum to do this, rinse with water or mineral spirit and allow to dry before using.

Avoid pulling on the wool. This can create more loose wool fiber.

Pour your oil base Polyurethane wood floor finish into a 5 gallon pail. Attach the lambs wool applicator to a mop handle.

Submerge the applicator with polyurethane.

Wood Finish Polyurethane Varnish Tips: Always submerge your applicator to the same amount, same depth of polyurethane finish, coat the same amount of area, this will help you get an even coverage throughout your floors.

applying wood floor finishStart from furthest away from your exit. Working in a 5'x 5' area or smaller, apply a 12 inch x 5 foot puddle or line, in the middle, in front of you.

Pre-coat the wood-flooring, mopping from the starting puddle to the coated edge. Use a Zig-Zag painting method, create "Z" patterns as your coating from right to left.

Apply downward pressure while your mopping. Avoid applying pressure to the middle of the mop handle, this can cause the handle to break.

Overlap your brush passes,
to prevent any missed spots.

It's important that you pre-coat your floor, using one forward and back pass. While, making sure the wood flooring is completely coated.

This will help you apply an even quantity of polyurethane finish across the surface, without thinning out your coverage of wood floor finish.

Note: It' not to important to apply the finish with the grain of the flooring on the first coat - this can always be buffed out. It's more important for the 2nd and final coat, to prevent brush marks across the wood grain.

Tip: If dealing with cold or humid climate conditions. Maintain room temperature at 65-70 degrees. If the polyurethane finish does not dry to touch over night or within a 12-16hr period. Adjust the temperature higher, usually 70-72 degrees is more than enough. Any higher, you can end up with brush marks in your finish, due to rapid drying.

applying polyurethaneOnce you've completed the pre-coat step. You want to do a light finish pass, using the same procedure, but with less pressure, from the same start point.

We apply pressure to the mop head to squeeze out the wood floor finish on our pre-coat pass, basically making sure it's coated.

On our finish pass, we must apply less to zero pressure towards the mop head. Allow the applicator to glide across the surface without adding or removing additional oil base
polyurethane finish.

While doing this check, for splashes, unevenness, and missed spots,re-coat if necessary.

Wood Finish Polyurethane Varnish Tips: Minimize your passes to 2, this will prevent thinning and dry brushing in the polyurethane floor finish.

Repeat both process for edging and mop applicator. Working towards the exit area.

Open any windows as necessary to allow unwanted fumes out, during the process of applying your polyurethane finish.

Allow to dry overnight or to suggested manufacturer's direction. Before abrading and applying the next coat.

Wood Finish Polyurethane Varnish Tips: To confirm that your polyurethane finish is hard enough, firmly press your finger nail into the finish. If, it leaves a mark, then your finish is still soft. Allow it more time for drying. If, the dry time has exceeded the manufacturer's recommended dry time. Scratch the floor with your finger nail, if the finish is removed, allow more time to dry. If, not then the finish is hard enough to abrade.

Wood Finish Polyurethane Varnish Tips: For you final coat, apply a thin even coat, to help prevent bubbles from forming.

Sanding/Buffing In Between Coats

buffing wood floorBuff or screen - your wood flooring using a combination of white cleaning pad, and new 120 grit screen for the first coat, then used 150 grit screen for additional following coats.

Screen floor, then clean and tack surface. Then apply the next coat.

Repeat this process until you've applied 3 coats of polyurethane floor finish. Do not buff the final polyurethane finish coat.

Wood Finish Polyurethane Varnish Tips: When, you screen your floors, make sure you screen off any dust, particles and bubbles before cleaning and tacking. Otherwise it will show through, on your next coat.

Allow the final polyurethane finish coat to dry for 24 hours for light foot
and 48-72 hours before putting any heavy furnitures in place.

The polyurethane finish will take 30 days to fully cure or harden. Take care of it until then.

Wait 21 days for your oil base polyurethane wood floor finish to acclimate to sunlight before laying any area rugs, to prevent unwanted tan lines.

For additional information on how to care for your newly finished floors, visit our hardwood floor care page.

Wood Finish Polyurethane Varnish Tips - Drying Tip: If, you have a programmable thermostat in your home. Preheat your home to 72 degrees, then shut it off 30 minutes before coating. The warm floor will allow your wood floor finishes to level off equally, the cool down will prevent early tacking.

Program it to turn on 2 hours after you've completed to 65 degrees. And this will help your floor dry efficiently.

Avoid using any fans to blow air across the final coat. It can transfer dust particles, lint, fiber or hair onto the surface of your hardwood floors.

Oil based polyurethane wood floor finishes are a traditional, quality finish with a very good reputation. When your choosing a oil base polyurethanewood floor finishes, invest in a high quality polyurethane finish.

This will save you money, from having to refinish your wood floors to often. For the best polyurethane wood finish use Bona - Woodline Polyurethane.

If, you have a more contemporary style consider using a water based wood finish, for a more natural look.

Learn how to take care of your newly finished polyurethane wood floor.

Too much to take in? Too much of a challenge? Need a flooring contractor? Massachusetts residents contact us for your project. Don't wait, lock in your dates today, before it's too late!

Click here, for more information on, polyurethane floor finish G and S woodfloors Lynn,Massachusetts

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