Flooring Finish Question (from a friend)


I was discussing the remodel of a friend's kitchen and suggested the use of SealCoat on the unfinished cabinets that he purchased, before the application of the polyurethane. I know that I have had extremely good luck with this.
He e-mailed me the following. Before I put my foot in it, what is the consensus of this group?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The oak flooring is down in the kitchen, as I mentioned. We are going to stain it to match the living room / dining room floor. After that we are going to put on Varathane Floor Finish (polyurethane stuff that's on the other). Should Zinnser SealCoat be applied between the stain and the Varathane? Or some other stage or not at all on the floor? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This may fly against the group, but nothing sticks to a finish like the finish.
When I have finished out cabinets, I only use seal coat (Zinsser's Bull's Eye also sold as sanding sealer) if the cabinets have been handled a lot, seem like they could be dirty, or if they are very open pored like oak. Under those conditions, sealer is a must.
The unseen dirt is usually my biggest concern. If they are mass manufactured cabinets that have been shipped to a distributor and stored in a warehouse, they get sealed. If they are from one of the big box stores, sealing is mandatory.
Otherwise, no sealer.
If it is a locally produced unit, I will brush them out, blow them out, then wipe them down with lacquer thinner and rag. I haven't had any problems doing this.
Sealer adds another coating to deal with when you finish. You now have another coat to sand, and to clean out the cabinets again after sanding as if you just started your process. You will be dealing with nibs, airborne particles, possible runs and sags (say it ain't so!) and all the other things that contaminate a good finish when you do seal. As an integral part of your final product, the sealing process is just as important as the final finishing. It provides a bondable substrate for your final finish, but more importantly the alcohol based sealers (like Zinsser) penetrate and stabilize most of the contaminates, seen or unseen allowing a good bond for your finish.
Oh yeah, besides the unseen fine dirt, you need to watch for dirty handed cabinet hangers. Sweaty grime seems to go right into new wood better than the finest stains. A few dirty handprints, and it needs sealing. Simply sanding off the discolorations won't do it, and the sanded areas will look different under your finish is you get too industrious.
If you can *lightly* sand and wipe away all the discolorations with lacquer thinner you should be fine with new wood without sealing.
That's the cabinet part.
You included the a text concerning flooring. It's a different animal. If it is *brand new* wood floor, stain it if you must, and then seal with the proper flooring finish. They are made to be installed without sealing first. However, you will have the time of your life if you are inexperienced and stain, then put an oil based finish over the top of it. You will be lifting dried stain in no time.
For the exact answer on your flooring, you should identify the finish manufacturer and the exact product you are going to use. Call them and ask them the best procedure. Many of the best floor finishes have aluminum oxide or other abrasion resistant particulates in them that will defy common sense and require their own application protocols.
That doesn't mean they are hard to apply, you just need to read the instructions. :^)
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.