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Help! Ployurethane Coat is Matte in some areas, Shiny in others


Mustang Creek's Avatar
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06-28-12, 08:23 PM   #1  
Help! Ployurethane Coat is Matte in some areas, Shiny in others

We bought a 7 year old house last year and added an addition that extended our hardwood (red oak) floors. We did not like the transition area so we sanded the entire floor with 180 sand paper and we applied the stain that was matched to the old floors. The stain took a while to dry (we probably did not remove all of the old poly) but were beautiful.

When we went to apply the water based polyurethane we first used part of a gallon can of Helsman Clear Satin (opened and used within the last 6 months) and part way through the job switched to a new can of the same polyurethane to finish. After 4-6 hours we could see a change in the two surfaces (old and new can). The first area was a dull but ‘dry’ appearing. The floor where the new can was applied looked wet it was so shiny.

We were perplexed and sanded the floor with 220, cleaned and prepared the floor for the second coat, hoping for the best.

That second coat is drying now but I don’t think it will fix the problem.

If the floor is still two toned- do you have any suggestions?
Would possibly applying a new coat of glossy polyurethane even things out?

We are not picky on the matte or gloss finish but we sure want it all to be the same.

Thank you!

 
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marksr's Avatar
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06-29-12, 04:19 AM   #2  
Welcome to the forums!

Are you sure the stain was completely dry before you applied the water based poly?
Generally it takes 3 coats of poly [sanding between coats] to get a nice finish. Changing sheens won't likely make a difference. Will the sheen difference show up in a pic or two? http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html


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06-29-12, 05:49 AM   #3  
It is never a good idea to mix 2 different cans of anything whether it be paint, stain or finish, without blending them together first.

Tell me, was the product you used Helmsman water based polyurethane, or Helmsman Spar Urethane? Because I can't find that Helmsman even makes a polyurethane. I believe the can clearly says that Helmsman Spar Urethane is not meant for floors.

I would recommend you give the floors a good sanding, get yourself a polyurethane that is specifically meant for floors because it will provide the hardest most durable finish, and give it at least 2 additional coats. On floors, it is all about speed, consistency, and maintaining a wet edge. I know that water based (low voc) is appealing but I can't help but stick with oil based finishes, especially on floors.

The preferred applicator for floor finish is a lambs wool applicator. You brush the edges, and apply thin even coats on the main floor area with the lambs wool. Areas where the finish was applied thicker will often appear glossier. All finishes have a work time which is why you have to maintain a wet edge- not going back through areas of finish that are already starting to get tacky. Usually this is a repetitive S pattern across the floor.

 
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06-29-12, 07:41 AM   #4  
Thank you so much for that information. It was Spar Urethane and it does say on the can not recommended fro hardwood floors. Unfortunately, that is what our contractor told us to use. How aggressive does my sanding need to be? Will just a light sand with 220 work or should I get aggressive and go with a heavier paper to get all the old urethane off the floor?

 
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06-29-12, 08:16 AM   #5  
I would try to remove it all, spar urethane is for outdoor use and I would want as little of it as reasonably possible left on my floor.

Maybe call the contractor and see if he'll supply some labor for this? He is the one who steered you wrong....

 
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06-29-12, 10:34 AM   #6  
I believe that the spar urethane you have is rated for both indoor and outdoor use, so I don't think that is an issue.

The biggest problem with leaving it on is that it is not as hard or durable as a floor polyurethane. That being said, no amount of light sanding is going to take it off, and at this point I don't think you want to start stripping the floor all over again. Just trying to be realistic here.

IMO, the best thing you could do, assuming you don't have a lot of impurities or brush strokes, etc. in the finish, would be to lightly sand (w/ 220 grit on a block sander) then coat the floor with an additional 2 coats of floor polyurethane, and see if you're happy with the results. The spar urethane would then just be acting as a thick "sanding sealer" or undercoat for the polyurethane. The only problem you "might" have is an adhesion issue between the 2 different types of finish, but I think the chances of that are pretty remote. And if you asked the mfg their opinion they would probably cover their butt by telling you to strip the floor, and remove any possible problems. You will probably want to stick with a water based floor polyurethane, just to ensure there are no reactions between a water based product (which you have already used) and an oil based product.

I agree that I'd have a word with the contractor who recommended the wrong product, and see what he's willing to do. (nothing, I bet).

 
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06-29-12, 12:58 PM   #7  
X knows more about this stuff than I do, take his advice and see what happens with a couple coats of the right product.

 
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06-29-12, 01:40 PM   #8  
Exterior polys and urathanes don't dry as hard as interior polys do - they're more flexible in order to withstand exposure to the weather..... but I don't think you need to remove all of it. 220 sandpaper might be ok but I'd go a little more aggressive - 150 or 180 grit. There shouldn't be any adhesion issues as long as you sand.

......and no matter what anyone says - always read the label to check that the coating will do what you need!


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06-29-12, 03:22 PM   #9  
marksr is probably right about the more aggressive grit in order to ensure proper adhesion. when all of us put our heads together we sometimes come up with a complete answer!

 
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06-30-12, 08:16 AM   #10  
Thank You!

Thanks to everyone for helping us!

After sanding off the wrong urethane we applied the first coat of the correct poly last night and it looks GREAT! We are sanding down to apply the last coat today.

We cannot thank you enough. We will be reading our own labels in the future for sure!

i was glad to hear this is a stronger product. We look forward to many years of beauty our of our floors

Thanks!

 
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06-30-12, 08:33 AM   #11  
Thanks for the feedback Mustang Creek! We always like to hear how things turned out.

 
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