finishing woodwork

I am in the process of laying a laminate floor. My wife suggested that before laying the floor that we spruce up the woodwork around it. The woodwork is currently dull and needs a bit of shine. We had a painter do some interior work a few months ago and he also did the woodwork. It looked the same but now is shiny and looks good. He used a polyurethane finish. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if it was oil-based or water-based. I'd feel funny calling him and asking about it. What do you experts suggest and how should it be applied.....foam or bristle brush?
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You shouldn't use a foam brush with oil-based urethane.
Water and oil-based urethanes have different finishes. Oil is thicker and tends to lay on top of the wood while water tends to aborb into it. If the wood is open grained, like oak, you can often see the wood grain with a water urethane, particularly in a side light.
If you're not sure what kind of finish it is, rough it up with 220 grit and use water-based.
Steve Manes Brooklyn, NY http://www.magpie.com/house/bbs
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Remove the baseboard before you put down the laminate. The put it back in the same place, but it will be higher as the floor was raise about 3/8" or so. Use care in removing it. The new nails can even go back in the same holes again. I write the location it came from on the back of the board to avoid confusion later.
Sand it with 220 grit just to smooth any imperfections, then put on a coat of polyurethane. Oil based is the one most frequently used, but water can work too. Use a good bristle brush. The foam brushes are OK for a small tough up job, but are not nearly as good as a $10 bristle brush. Clean it in mineral spirits.
In most cases, one coat is all that is needed, but you may want to sand again and put a second coat. Can be done the same day. You'll appreciate the extra time you took to do it right.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Polyu needs something to stick to so sanding the entire baseboard is needed. I was raised using oil based finishes and tried the initial waterbased stuff and switched back to oil. The makers have figured out how to make usable WB stuff and I've switched back to WB finishes and really appreciate their attributes. Easy clean up, little to no odor, fast dry enabling 3 coats a day for some. Posts have complained about oil based finishes on floors lingering in the house. With baseboards removed they can be taken outside for sanding and finishing if desired.
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rile wrote:

Why would you feel funny asking? In reality, it doesn't make much difference in what you use as long as there are no areas in the current finish that have worn through.
If there *are* bare areas, you can easily tell what the top coat is by lightly sanding a worn area and moistening it with spit on your finger. The spot will darken. Does it look like the finished area? The finish was oil based. Is the finished area lighter than the damp spot? Top coat was water based.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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dadiOH wrote:

OK......I've put one coat of oil-based polyurethane on a door. I'd like to lightly sand it and apply one more coat. But, the work is being done in an unheated garage and the temperatures have turned cold again....low to mid 30's. Is that too cold to apply the poly?
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rile wrote:

Probably. Read the can.
BTW, you really need at least 3 coats of any top finish.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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