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I am refinishing the floor in a small hall (aprox. 5'x4' - HIGH traffic). Is a high strength protective coating required, or would I be better served with wax and the ability to re-touch as the wear shows?



Dear Robert

In short there are two ways to go, either the water based finish like the Dura Seal 1000. Please read my article on this before you go ahead, you'll find this in the Product Reviews section. Or if you have less skill and less money the best buy is the oil modified polyurethane. I use only the Fabulon brand heavy duty pro satin finish, for ALL three coats. Thin the first coat with odorless mineral spirits, to slow the drying, and apply it thinly for the first coat. Use a BRUSH !!!!. Don't use a lamb's wool applicator at all.

Run a large fan on the floor and wail at least 24 hours to dry, scuff sand, vacuum and clean with the same solvent, by tack ragging with lint free cloth. Allow the solvent to dry and BRUSH on the second coat, wait 48 hours for this to partly cure. When you scuff sand now it should not be clogging the sandpaper. If it doesn't seem dry, wait another day or two, then repeat the same procedure for the last coat.

There is really no such thing as only a wax finish, wax is just the top dressing of a sound film type finish. And it does cover scratches well, but has it drawbacks, as discussed in the cleaning article in the How To's section of this site.

You may also find these articles helpful:

1. How To Sand Wood Floors Without Leaving Machine Marks

2. Plank Floor: What Special Considerations This Type Of Floor Raises

3. Custom Staining Wood Floors Without The Blotchy Effect

4. Floor Types And Finishes

5. How To Take Care Of Your Health And Safety when Installing, Finishing, Repairing or Cleaning your wood floors