A contractor who evidently had no idea what he was doing did something
terribly wrong when he refinished my wood floors in my apartment. We
asked for a white finish -- I don't know what the "pickled" part of the
description means since no brine was involved (bad attempt at humor) --
and wound up with something that was white when we paid the man but
turned yellow in many areas shortly thereafter. I believe the fellow
used the wrong kind of urethane finish.
Is there anyway to salvage this without starting all over again? Heck,
I'd be happy if I could just address the exposed areas between rugs and
furniture to start with.
Thanks in advance!
He probably used an OIL based varnish. Oil based varnishes will yellow over
time. Actually they immediately change the color a bit when applied.
A WATER based varnish will normally yield a crystal clear non yellowing
The coloring solids left behind are larger particles than normally used
in a finish which allows them to go on so unevenly and out of
suspension (as opposed to paint). The particles are usually some kind
or ceramics or in the case of others, some kind of metallic oxide.
At any rate, they are more pourous and will attract the oils, etc. at a
different rate than the areas with less "pickle". This will then make
the finish uneven. Then, the chemical reactions between the finishes
(and in some cases the pickling agent has no finish at all and is
considered a "treatment") will cause the yellowing.
I personally don't think this is fixable. If you refinish, there are
some great waterborne finishes out there to try again.
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