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
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
Thanks in advance,
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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.
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.
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"
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.
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
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.)
m Ransley wrote:
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.
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.
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.
I have also heard that using intermediate Gloss coats have two other
1. Glossy polyurethane is often cheaper because doesn't have the
2. It also goes on easier with less lap marks
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