I have 40 year-old oak flooring in my house that until this week was
covered with a carpet (with a carpet pad underneath). The floor
appears in excellent condition. I plan to refinish the floor.
· Can I tell if the existing finish is water based or oil based by
testing with finger nail polish remover?
· Even if the finish is oil based, can I cover it with a water based
finish? I want to use a water based because of the ease of
application, shorter drying, and less fumes.
· How should I clean the floor before refinishing?
· Any recommendations for what is the best water based finish I can
use (brand or otherwise)?
I recently refinished my 70 year old oak floors, which were under carpet for
about 40 years. I'm sure they were oil, but we used 5 coats of water based
poly after sanding. For cleaning the floor before finishing we used static
pads, lots of 'em, to get up almost all the dust. Came out really nice.
We used BonaKemi TRAFFIC to refinish 1000 sq. ft. TRAFFIC is a 2 part
waterbased resin and catalyst hardener floor finish. Its top rated,
commercial grade and you won't have to worry about redoing your floors
for a good long time.
Normally only sold to contractors but you can find it on the web
(google it). Costs around $100/gallon and we used 9.5 gallons to do 3
coats on 1000 feet of red oak.
We had 40 year floors, covered by carpet for the most part but we
still sanded and puttied cracks - you should too.
Be sure to use their quick drying oil stain/sealer to ensure good
ahesion (I read Minwax stain is not compatible)
Get their 18" wide applicator and follow instructions - keep a wet
edge and work fast as it dries quickly.
Read and follow all the directions carefully and you won't be
On Fri, 05 Mar 2004 08:14:21 -0500, " email@example.com"
I was initially hesitant too but you have a 4 hour window once the 2
parts are mixed and with their 18" spreader it is really fast and easy
to apply, just pour a long puddle onto the floor and spread. I would
mix a gallon at a time and then towards the later part, I would mix
1/2 gallon to minimize waste (expensive stuff). I was _very_ impressed
on how it flowed and dried very evenly with no stroke marks.
Be sure to lightly sand/abrade the second to last coat (let it dry
sufficiently) to remove and bumps in the finish prior to the last
coat. Home Depot (Capitol Expressway location) rents the 175 rpm
buffers for this.
We used the Satin finish, shows less scratches and dust than the
Also, if you decide to stain/seal, use a lambswool applicator and
apply once around the edge of the room and then circle back (rubbing
more rather than applying more stain) again to insure that the wood is
evenly covered - some parts absorb more than others. Work your way
around the edge and leave a way out. Don't over apply, just rub it in
Why do you want to refinish a floor in excellent shape?
The right way to do it is to sand the floor down to bare wood before
refinishing. This makes the question of the prior finish moot.
Personally I have only done oil, so I'll let others comment on the choice of
firstname.lastname@example.org (David) wrote in message
As others pointed out, most of the time refinishing the floors means
sanding down to bare wood and reapplying a finish. Is that what you
I have the same with a house I bought two years ago. We were certain
we would refinish the floors when we first tore up the carpet. We
turned out to only have about 50 out of 1000 sq. ft. of flooring that
NEEDED refinishing. We just decided to leave them alone. Later, when
we refinished just the kitchen floor, we thanked our stars we hadn't
done the whole house. It became apparent that getting a finish as
good as the first one is a difficult task. We had trouble keeping the
floor sander from digging waves into our floors.
I don't believe applying new finish over old is a recommended
procedure. If the floor needs a new coat of finish, you will have the
best results by sanding the whole floor and refinishing all of it at
I was not impressed with the durability of the water based finish we
used in our kitchen. I know another person who sanded off his water
based finish after a couple years and redid it in oil based.
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