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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Wood floor finishes

Pulled up the carpets in moms house and find that the original white oak is beautiful. Looks like they were covered in the mid 60s and have always beed covered with rugs
One room had an old waffle pattern rubber pad that literally glued itself to the floor. Used an old angled paint scraper( looks like a bent wood chisel) and that took up all the rubber real good. Then I used my random orbitol sander to remove the waffle pattern in the finish. What surprised me was that the sandpaper did not gum up with the finish only leaving fine dust.
Question is ,what finishes did they use back in the 60 s to do floors? The only thing I can think of is an oil finish. What do you think?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 11:20 AM
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Re: Wood floor finishes

probably gym seal, which is not made any more. Use an oil base poly-u-rthene(spelling), they also make a sponge applicator that is nice to use

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 11:48 AM
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Re: Wood floor finishes

To refinish old hardwood floors I do the following.
Sand......damp mop......then use steelwool. Wipe area with a tack cloth. Having a clean dust free surface makes the whole job.

I then take 50/50 Mix of high gloss urethane (not the water base) and mineral spirits. I take a 1/2" nap roller and roll the area. This will dry as fast as you can roll, purpose is to seal grain and fill in scratches.

Then I do another sand with steelwool and tack cloth wipe.

On a total striped floor I will make another mix of 70/30 of urethane mineral spirit and roll again. I will not apply another coat till it has had at least 12 hrs dry time.

Another light steelwool sand and clean up then straight urethane coat. If it has enough shine after its dry.....your done.

Don't put onto much on the floor at one coat.... roll slow to avoid bubbles and do not go over any area if it looks dry....pick it up on next coat.

On new floors I will do a minimum of 5 coats total.

Take your time and make sure the area stays clean during the process.
If I am using a 5gal bucket to roll out of I just leave the roller in the bucket all night and its ready, if it's a small touch up job I wrap the roller in foil and put it in the freezer for the next roll.

This is not rocket science and a lot cheaper then bringing in someone to do it for you........Good luck
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 04:15 PM
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Re: Wood floor finishes

Agree with the sealing, but orbital sanding can leave circular scratches that show up. Get, borrow or buy a belt sander with especially fine grit belts to make sure everything is with the grain.

In fact, I installed a red oak floor and used oak sealer, the stuff is about the consistency of cake batter. (The stuff is rather hard to find, I had to purchase it from Schmucks Lumber and Millwork in Alexandria VA. BTW, they had a curved Cherry staircase in the showroom 5 ft wide. Looked like something out of a 1940's movie) I let that sealer dry and sanded. Used tack cloths to take up the dust, and then a coat of thin polyurethane, followed by another hand sanding with 600 grit paper, and tack cloth to get up the dust. Then 4 coats of polyurethane.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wood floor finishes

I do a LOT of woodworking projects and if you are getting circular scratches then you are not using progressivly finer grades of sandpaper. You can't skip a grade,especially in very hardwoods. 80,then 100,then 150 then if it's a super fine finish needed 200-300 grit. The sealer you are refering to is a pore filler for grainy wood like oak and mahoghany. It fills in the grain so your finish is smoother. Usually you use a rubber trowel to spread and fill then use the edge and sqeege off the excess. After it starts to dry a bit rub well with a burlap rag to remove the filler on the surface and remove the haze. Use lighter filler for oak etc and darker filler for mahoghany etc.
The floor in the original post turned out well with progressive sanding with an orbitol sander. Keep the paper fresh and avoid clogging the paper with pitch or finish residue which will leave marks on the wood

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