Varathane on top of oil polyurethane

Hi all,
I refinished my yellow pine dining room floor last year, and the chairs, baby, and general carelessness have taken their toll on the gloss. When I initially did it, I applied six coats of oil semi-gloss urethane and buffed with steel wool between every coat. Needless to say, there is a very thick coat down at the moment.
I would like to buff the floors with steel wool once more and apply another skim coat of urethane on it. The problem I have is that it's a high traffic area and I can't really block it off for the time it takes oil to fully dry. Because of this, I would like to use Varathane instead. It's water based and should dry much faster without the smell.
If I clean and scuff the surface properly, is there any reason why I shouldn't use a water finish over an oil one? Like I said, the oil's had a year to cure so I don't think that leaching will be an issue.
Thanks in advance, -Tim
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Go ahead, rent a floor buffer with the correct grit pad, it will make the job easy and better.
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Hadn't thought of that. Good idea -- Thanks.
m Ransley wrote:

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In most cases, you do not want to put a waterborne product over an oil-based product. If that situation is not addressed on the can, you should email Rust-Oleum and ask. You don't want to deal with adhesion problems.
http://www.rustoleum.com/contact.asp?SBL=1
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If it is dulled and clean it will adhere, if it was water base over unpreped water base it would not, your statement is wrong, its about the prep.
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Many times latex paints, for example, will peel or crack (sooner or later) when applied over oil-based paints. That is one of the first things a painter learns in the trade. Oil over latex works much better. So no, my statement wasn't wrong, especially since my statement was that the OP should find out from the manufacturer if the product can be used over oil-based polyurethane. It can be used over oil-based stains, but nowhere on the website is it mentioned about the poly.
And actually, if you went to the manufacturers website you could read where they say that the main purpose of sanding (or dulling) between coats of their waterborne urethane is to achieve smoothness. Adhesion is not really a problem, so *your* statement is wrong. I do agree that a good paint job is primarily the product of good prep work.
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lightbulb , Latex failures of peeling and cracking are due to poor bonding, due to lack of proper prep. This means a very clean degreased and dulled surface is required to have proper adhesion. So common it is for a painter to not clean oils that have imbedded in paint from years of being touched by hands, and not properly sanding then, blame the Paint to get out of their liability. Show me where the major paint manufacturers follow your fear, they dont, they specify proper prep as that is paints regular failure to bond. You realy need to learn about paints before making wrong statements
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Coatings failures are also due to an incompatible product being used over a given substrate. What you call "proper prep" is no match for chemistry. I guarantee you that I have the facts and the experience on my side. Sanding and cleaning are a given when doing prep work. Researching what products may be used together, or over any given substrate, is an important part the homework necessary before beginning any job. You do it your way, I'll continue to do my homework and do things the correct way.
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That was the thrust of my question. You wouldn't try to put peanut butter on top of your jelly ... I do appreciate any tips on prep, however.
My fear was that the manufacturer might fudge the truth and tell you to do it when it's not the best idea. I could still easily more oil if that's better. I just wanted to skip the dry time and was hoping for some real world experience to back me up.
Thanks for the discussion.
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the
The manufacturer won't do that, because if their product fails, even if it's only because it was applied where it shouldn't have been, you'll never buy it again and neither will the 10 people you tell. In my experience, Minwax polyurethane dries very quickly. The biggest problem, if you can't get the fam out of the house, is the smell.
You might want to look into using the following product. It is oil, but designed to dry very fast.
http://www.minwax.com/products/protective/super-fast.cfm
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Sherwin Williams Fast Dry Oil Varnish thinned with naptha 1:1 can be wiped on with Viva paper towel. I applied three coats in a day. Ensure gloss is used as it doesn't have flatteners that will cause striped finish when wiped on.
On Mon, 11 Sep 2006 02:53:51 -0400, "TakenEvent"

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Ive dealt with Sherwin Williams and P&L for product failures and warrantys, If there was a known issue it would be on the can and their aplication warnings guides. If latex was an issue then what happened to every home repainted and floors recoated with latex-water base that was painted & floors done in oil when only oil was available, well nothing happened, it works if prepped right, but many dont prep right.
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With over 30 years of applying coatings I think I ought to know a thing or two and honestly it all depends on the situation.
No one can definitively say you can't do this or that with Latex, Oil (Alkyd) or Acrylics these days. In the "old days" you could NEVER put any oil-based product over any latex or arylic product as the solvents in the oil would strip the latex. Not true anymore, but latex or acrylics have always been ok over oil-based product provided proper prep work is done - the latex/acrylic must be able to adhere and since latex/acrylic and oil-based coatings expand/contract differently - the oil based undercoat must be cleaned and mechanically scuffed in a consistent manner so the latex/acrylic gets a good mechanical bite into the undercoat.
Now for putting oils over latex/acrylic, I know that many paint mfg's say it's ok (under certain circumstances) but it still makes me uneasy. Often the very same solvents used in paint stripper are the very same solvents in Alkyd (oil) paints and only certain specially formulated acrylics can tolerate those solvents. ALWAYS check with the manufacturer before putting dissimilar coatings over each other, and even with their blessing, TEST FIRST.
I would have NO problem putting a 'water-based' acrylic poly coating over a previously well-cured oil-based polyurethane (with proper prep - thorough cleaning and mechanical scuffing) however I personally prefer the hardness and durability of oil-based catalyzed polyurethane. The latter product is extremely nasty stuff to put on (fumes are killer) but nothing outlasts it. I have often put a 'water based' poly on as a top coat over the catalyzed oil-based poly successfully (after a proper cure and light scuff.)
Jeff m Ransley wrote:

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It has *not* always been okay to put acrylic latex products over oil finishes. It has been the counsel of paint stores and manufacturers that latex shouldn't be applied over oil. I've had several jobs over the years that involved dealing with latex paint that had peeled because it was applied over oil.
There are exceptions. Latex products can be used over oil base primer. In some cases, exterior latex paint can be applied over old oil finishes.

[...]
I agree. I'd rather use the same product (oil or latex). If I have to switch, I'll prime with an oil base primer first.
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Smart painters will prime with an oil-based primer before putting latex paint on surfaces that were previously done in oil. Otherwise, it is simple enough to continue using oil products over oil.
As for waterborne poly, I've only used it a couple of times, and those were on unfinished surfaces and newly-stained surfaces. That is why I recommended asking the manufacturer before using it over oil-based poly. I much prefer oil-based polyurethane.
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<...snipped...>
I've used WB varnish over oil successfully so I'm inclined to say go for it, but for the definitive answer, why not ask Flecto? (Manufacurer of varathane)
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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trbo20 wrote:

FYI - For those that read this post later on when researching floor finishes. If you want a semi-gloss finish on your floors and not glossy and are doing multiple coats as the original poster has done. It is advisable to use gloss for your first coats and only semi-gloss for your final coat. The reason is is that the semi-gloss finish contains a matting agent to make it semi. This can obscure the wood under the finish. The gloss does not contain this additive. Only the final coat give the gloss level desired, intermediate coats have no effect. So, use gloss for first coats, your last coat should be of the desired sheen.
To the OP - As suggested - Contact the manufacture of what ever water based product you are considering (or read the can or check their web-site). Then, if they say OK, I would look into renting a sander for a very light pass. They have those sanders that vibrate with about a 14"x18" pad on them. use a very fine sandpaper (320 or finer?) Since you have soo much finish already you are really just scuffing up the existing to ready it for the new finish. Or, you could just do the 0000 steel wool as before.
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I have also heard that using intermediate Gloss coats have two other advantages: 1. Glossy polyurethane is often cheaper because doesn't have the flatteners 2. It also goes on easier with less lap marks
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