Our housekeeper applied some wood flooring stripper by mistake to our new oak
flooring and it seems to have smeared the finish that was removed. Is there
anything we can do to fix it? It sort of has brown spots on it and looks awful.
> Our housekeeper applied some wood flooring stripper by mistake to our
> to fix.' (http://tinyurl.com/mfosxxf )
Well, I can try to answer your question, but virtually all my
experience is in ACRYLIC floor finishes applied over vinyl composition
tiles, so I would suggest to take what I have to say to some of your
local hardwood flooring contractors and see if they agree.
I would try to remove any softened finish as best you can by scrubbing
with a scrub brush (or perhaps ever some fine sand paper to remove the
softened finish from the underlying harder finish.
I would also use a sharp paint scraper to scrape out those brown spots
Then, I would clean the damaged area of floor and put new finish
directly over the existing finish to raise the level of the finish back
up to where it was originally. At this point the repair is going to
look awful because each time you apply new finish, the EDGE of the
liquid will result in a slight change in elevation as it dries, and your
eye is going to see the way those edges perturb the way light reflects
off that area.
But, after you no longer see the original damage in the way light
reflects off that area, but only the new finish added as part of the
repair, then have the floor finish in that one room sanded down and have
a new coat or two of floor finish applied over the whole room. The
sanding will remove the "edges" of where the new finish coats that were
added to the damaged area dried, and then a final finish coat over the
whole room should restore your floor to close to it's original
You might be concerned that if you add too much finish to the damaged
area, the resulting "bump" is going to be noticable even after sanding.
That's very unlikely. Not only will each coat of finish you add to the
damaged area self level quite well, but no floor is perfectly flat
anyhow. Many floors will curve concave upward right before the load
bearing walls that support them from below, and yet you don't see any
curvature on the floor because the finish on the floor is smooth, and
your eye doesn't see anything to convince the brain that the floor isn't
flat. This is common when repairing plaster walls; it's not until you
hold a bright light close to the wall to cast critical lighting onto the
wall that your eye sees shadows and bumps that convinces the brain that
the wall isn't perfectly flat after all. Until then, you thought the
wall was flat because the eye didn't see anything that convinced the
brain that it wasn't.
Now, if this was an oil based polyurethane finish that was put down,
you'd be best off to give that room floor a sanding with a very fine
grit to improve adhesion of the new finish to the old finish. If it was
a catalyzed waterborne polyurethane like Bona "Traffic" or Basic
Coatings "Street Shoe", then it's a different kettle of fish, and you'd
need to talk to some hardwood flooring contractors that are familiar
with these kinds of polyurethanes to see if they can be repaired the
On Friday, August 9, 2013 12:27:11 AM UTC-4, nestork wrote:
If you're going to get someone to sand and refinish the whole
floor, why would you screw around with the damaged section at
all? Just call a pro and let them straighten it out. It would
seem to me that if you're going to sand the whole thing, then
you should just do that, sand and refinish the whole thing,
without doing anything to add new finish to the bad section.
The other option would be to try to refinish just the damaged
section. If the finish is new and you have the same product
that was used, there is some chance that might work and there
isn't anything to lose really by trying.
No, you need to fill the damaged area to replace the softened finish and
the finish that was wiped out while trying to remove the stripper.
You can't just repair the damaged area because you will see a "line"
between the finish that was applied to the floor and the original
finish. Light reflecting off a surface is extremely unforgiving and
will show where one coat of finish ends on the old finish originally
applied. Once the damaged area looks like it's been completely filled
with new finish, then you can sand that area down until it looks smooth,
and then put a new coat over the repair. But, you need to sand the
whole room down to get proper adhesion of the new finish to the old, and
if you put another coating of finish over only one part of the floor,
your eye will see the "line" between the dried edge of the new finish
and the old finish.
That's why it's necessary to fill in the depression in the old finish
with new finish, sand the affected area down until it looks smooth and
reasonably flat, (and sand the rest of the room's floor for proper
coat-to-coat adhesion) and then put a coat of finish over the whole
Trust me, I've had to do this many times with acrylic floor finish, and
the optics of light are the same for acrylic floor finish over vinyl
composition tiles as they are for polyurethane over hardwood. I once
had a tenant spill a bottle of nail polish remover (acetone) on one of
my apartment floors. Acetone dissolves acrylic floor finish. But,
instead of doing the wise thing and just waiting for the acetone to
evaporate, she tried to clean it up with paper towels, and that just
made a mess of the floor finish. So, I've already had to deal with a
situation similar to what the OP is asking about.
On Friday, August 9, 2013 1:22:45 PM UTC-4, nestork wrote:
If you're going to sand the whole floor, then you just sand and
refinish the whole thing. That removes the finish from all of it
and you apply a new finish to all of it. IMO, you'd have to be nuts
to put some new finish on the screwed up spot, then sand the whole
floor, then apply a new finish to the whole thing and HOPE that it
works. With your process, you're doing almost the same amount of work
with no guarantee it's going to match.
Not sure I agree. I always told my PC clients, as soon as you're in trouble
call me because I can usually keep you from getting into bigger trouble
Whatever they may do wrong in trying is something the pros may get stuck
having to undo, especially if they could have fixed it but your patch isn't
dry or somehow screws up their repair.
When I read the original post only one thing came to mind:
"Time to get the floor refinished."
You have real solid oak flooring? "Stripper" is supposed to remove wax,
or what? I would contact the mfg. of the flooring and tell them what
product was used on the flooring....they may suggest repair methods
and/or supply some finish to make repairs. If you can't do that, try
waiting until the finish is no longer soft and rub with very, very fine
steel wool and then apply paste wax.
Yes, take a LONG time to repair it. Sit over it moaning, "See what a
massacre they made of my floor." Especially when the miscreant who did this
horrible act returns to the scene of the crime. Rub your hands over the
unmarred surface while they're looking and murmur "You're scarred for life,
but I still love you" and look up at the floor-wrecker and growl. Then say
"My Precious, My Precious."
Oh, this isn't the place for entries in the world's worst solutions? (-:
I think it's time to refinish the entire floor. The chemical applied may
migrate through the finish and permanently stain the wood, complicating
remediation efforts. Strip and refinish now. A floor isn't like a car
where "blending" sometimes actually works. (-: Sometimes.
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