hardwood floor finishing question(s)


Greetings,
I have an oak hardwood floor which I sanded with 24 grit paper ONLY. The idea was that I knew the floor was going to take a lot of abuse and I wanted to give it a look which could withstand this abuse. The trouble came when I went to put down polyurethane. The lambs wool applicator hung on the flooring and pulled out applicator fibers. I was able to solve this problem by applying a thicker layer of polyurethane which lubricated the applicator. I ended up using 4.5 gallons for only 750 ft^2 of flooring (first coat). 4.5 gallons should coat 2250 ft^2 of flooring. I just finished the application about two hours ago. Since I applied this coat so heavily am I likely going to have any problems? If so what is the best thing I can do to fix the problems which I just created? I am also afraid that it may be uneven since it was so heavy. What applicator should I have used if not lambs wool for what I was trying to accomplish? How many hours should I wait for the next coat if I don't want to sand (normally I would wait 16 or so)?
Thank you for your time, William Deans
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William, poly over 24 grit is like trying to poly over dirt. Start over, this time, read the instructions. good luck, tim1198
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I sanded with 60 grit and I came across a similar type of problem. I had to brush on the poly, it took a while.
There's nothing wrong with a good thick coat of poly... you haven't screwed anything up too much yet and you shouldn't feel bad for having attempted something a bit unorthodox in order to receive what you perceived as a better result. If it weren't for this line of thinking, we'd still be in the stone age. (seriously, someone thought that combining copper with another metal may make a better metal, hence bronze)
What you may consider doing is sanding the poly though... maybe with 150 grit... just a quick once over to knock down the tough spots. This will leave a 'white" finish, but don't worry...as soon as you apply the next coat of poly it will make it clear again. Try in a small area if you don't believe me.
If you apply too thick a layer of poly, you can get "orange peel" texture...which kinda looks lousy, but it does have considerable more traction when wet! you can sand orange peeling in poly down with 150 grit very very easily and it will look super neato when you're done.
If you've got any lamb's wool stuck in the poly, you may have to knife and plier it out. I had an issue with hair like that once. Who would've thought there would be that much hair in a house! Gosh.
Oh, it's gonna take forever to dry. I use Minwax fast-drying poly, and it takes overnight just to get tacky then by about the next night it's semi dry. NEVER EVER sand poly that hasn't completely dried. When poly (or any other oil-based finish) dries it exhibits an endothermic reaction, this means that as the molecules strengthen their bond they produce heat and when it's flat on a surface the heat's got plenty of place to go without buildup, but if you sand a floor and all those little pieces or poly are piled up, the increased surface area will cause much more heat much more quickly and it won't have much place to go...leading to a flame!
Take your sanding dust outside, put it on concrete or soemthing to dry. DO NOT pile it up, and never ever leave your sander's dust catcher full of the stuff, or the floor you just finished will just become kindling.
good luck!
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It will eventually dry and harden. I have no idea of the time but I'd wait a few days, maybe even a week before doing anything. I'd also thin out the next coat so it will self level a bit better. Depending on how rough it is, you may need a couple of coats like that.
I'd have thinned and brushed on the first coat to act as a sealer/smoother for subsequent coats.
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