Oak still absorbing poly after 3 coats

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  #1  
Old 10-02-08, 06:13 AM
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Oak still absorbing poly after 3 coats

I'm refinishing a 1940 oak floor in my neighbor's house I just bought, which is identical to my house, where I've refinished the floors also. In my house I had the same problem but on a much smaller scale. In the new house, the darker sections of the grain are either absorbing or repelling the poly (oil based Minwax) even after the third coat.

I did not test the floors for wax or oil beforehand as I sanded to bare wood (36/60/80/100/120). Floors didn't appear to have poly on them, I did find Orange Glo floor care products in the house. I stained with Minwax, which went on fine.

I expected to see uneven sheen after the first coat (gloss). Now after three coats, there are high spots where the finish is building up on the surface as expected, but nearly all the darker grain spots are dull and the finish is not building up. First coat dried about 24 hours, then 12 hours for 2nd. Third has been down over 24 hours now.

Any idea on the cause and what my course of action should be?

Thank you,
Jim
Topsham, ME
 
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  #2  
Old 10-02-08, 12:49 PM
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Have you been sanding between coats?
 
  #3  
Old 10-07-08, 07:44 AM
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Yes - sanding with 220 and tacking.
 
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Old 10-07-08, 09:31 AM
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The darker spots are obviously softer areas of the wood. If the finish feels slick when you run a soft rag over both the light shiny and dark dull - you might not be able to get it much better.

How are you applying the poly?
 
  #5  
Old 10-07-08, 10:35 AM
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I used a lambswool applicator.

A few other thoughts: in rooms where the floor had been covered with other flooring, the issue is almost non-existent. Only in rooms where the hardwood was exposed is this happening. This makes me wonder if other finishes or floorcare products used in the past are magnifying the problem.

Second, will waiting for some time to allow the poly to cure & harden, presumably now in the grain where it has soaked in, allow me to recoat later with more success?

Also, after allowing the poly to cure, could I buff & put down a coat of a sealer and then recoat with more poly? I'd be worried about continuing to build on the non-problematic areas and never letting the problem areas "catch up" with the good spots, and never leveling the finish.

What a headache!
 
  #6  
Old 10-07-08, 12:37 PM
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While I've stained and finished a lot of oak, I'm not a floor guy
I don't know if letting the poly cure and then resanding and finishing will help or not. What type of sealer would you intend to use? Most sanding sealers aren't compatible with most polys.
 
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