finishing new unfinished wood floor question

Old 08-28-04, 09:45 PM
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Unhappy finishing new unfinished wood floor question

I've just finish installing a new brazillian cherry wood floor. I've sanded it once with 60 grit and once with 80 grit with a vibrating floor sander that I rented. I have some small cracks between planks that I am trying to fill. I've started using a product called Pro Finisher Full Trowel Wood Filler for Floors. When I spread this over my newly sanded hardwood, I experience two problems:

1) some small areas are slightly lower than others and retain the wood filler. These areas are not detectable by eye and barely detectable by running my hand across the floor. The vibrating floor sander cannot sand away the excess filler

2) the excess filler and the filler in the cracks are quite a bit lighter than my cherry wood. I tried a small spot of both water based and oil based poly and do not like the results of the light wood filler constrasting the darker wood

Is it hopeless to try the full trowel spread wood filler? Should I just spot fill with conventional wood filler. This would still have the same problem desribed in 2) wouldn't it?

I'm new at this so any help is greatly appreciated.

Old 08-29-04, 05:35 AM
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I'm not familiar with the filler you're using, but wood fillers generally seem to look great when they're first applied and become much lighter when they've dried and been sanded. The problem is much more obvious in darker woods.

Those other areas you describe need more sanding. The sander will eventually get them smooth but be careful that you don't 'dish' the floor by oversanding in one small spot.

It's probably better to leave small gaps between boards alone so the boards can expand and contract with changes in temperature/humidity. If you fill the gaps, normal expansion/contraction can pop the filler out eventually.
Old 08-29-04, 07:34 PM
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You need to add pigment to your filler!

If you didn't add a darker color pigment to the filler and test a small area, you have what you see!!!

Good luck! You have just learned the hard way. Start picking. They sell dental pick sets at most hardware stores.
Old 08-30-04, 12:41 PM
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Thanks for the info. I ended up going back to my local home improvement store and buying small cans of maple colored Dap wood filler (plastic based). I then spot filled the larger cracks and let the sanding and poly fill the smaller cracks. This worked great and the floor looks better than I could've imagined.


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