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Question:

Doc,

I have 2,000 square ft. of 3 x 3 mesquite end grain tiles. We have other hardwood floors in our house that needed some attention, so we decided to reseal the mesquite why we were at it. I used the same person who originally installed the floors. When we first put them in 5 years ago we used satin Duraseal to coat the floors with. They looked absolutely beautiful. He has screened the floors with a 180 and 120 grit paper to remove the old sealer and vacuumed the remnants up. He then wiped the floors down with mineral spirits. Once the floors were completely decontaminated he applied his Duraseal. After 24 hrs of drying the floors felt smooth but had the appearance of streaks. He has now repeated the same process three more times with the same results. Our last try we used a matte finish to see if it helped. The floors have the same streaky appearance again. How do we get rid of these streaks. PLEASE HELP, we want our pretty floors back.

I have taken several pictures and chose these to send. You can see it better when i turned the lights down. I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Patrick

Answer:



Hi Patrick,

There are many possible reasons for streak marks on your floor. It is pretty unlikely but it could be that your flooring contractor did an uneven sanding job. That would mean that he may have actually removed all of the old sealer in some places and left remnant of it in other spots.

He could have also applied the mineral spirits unevenly. Certain spots would be darker than others if some of the old sealer was still on some areas of the floor.

The most important thing is THREE coast of oil modified polyurethane. This ensures even coats and no streaking. If you have streak marks, it means that certain spots on your floor probably have more finish than other spots. If your floor finish is uneven, he may have done all of the right steps but if he never went over the finish, there very well could be streak marks left behind.

The solution to your streaky floor is to invite your flooring contractor back and get him to do another 2 coats of oil modified polyurethane.

The sanding job was done slightly incorrectly. You must screen the bare wood with 100 grit sandpaper before doing your staining job. 180 grit sandpaper is actually too high. Keep that in mind for the future. If you say your floor is smooth, that is great.

The most probable reason that you have streak marks is caused by either trowel marks or brush marks (depending what your floor contractor used as an applicator). This is what I do: I like to apply my first coat of polyurethane with a 12" drywall trowel. I usually thin the finish I use (Fabulon Brand heavy-duty poly satin but Duraseal is good too) about 3-5% when I am troweling it. This particular brand has a bit too much body for troweling. In my case want to slow the drying down on this first coat, so I add odorless mineral spirits. I want to prevent trowel marks. I pour a puddle of this slightly thinned finish on the floor, and work it back and forth (just like glue troweling).

Make sure he gives the surface a light sand only. He should only sand with 100 grit screen paper. This will bring him back to the bare wood. Make sure he does the entire floor if you want your finish to look even.

Good luck!

FOLLOW UP: Doc, I think we solved our problem. My contractor decided to try to buff out the streaks, and it works. Yeah!!!

You may also find these articles helpful:

1. Floor Types And Finishes

2. How To Apply Oil Based Polyurethane WITHOUT The Pits And Bubbles

3. Custom Staining Wood Floors Without The Blotchy Effect

4. Laquer Finish Floor Fires

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


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