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doug fir: how many finish coats?


illegalsmile's Avatar
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09-11-13, 08:27 AM   #1  
doug fir: how many finish coats?

So I've gone to TOWN on this 100+ year old doug fir floor. I believe it originally had a shellac on it for 20-40 years and then it was painted over white for another 20-40 and then it's had this nasty pink carpet for 20 years. The floor was not in great shape, I had to lace in many boards, lots of animal/urine stains, misc. stains and I had to do 2 45deg cuts with 20grit on the drum sander to not only level the floor but remove all/most of the finish. OH and the best part was removing like 100 2-1/2" brass screws and then filling in the holes. I don't believe the floor had EVER been refinished as boards were still 3/4" so I ended up removing a lot of material. I wanted to remove more but didn't want to push it. I went up to 100grit. I'm thinking 5 coats but maybe I should go for 7? I don't want it to look plasticty and I've never done 7 coats, usually only 4 or 5. This is the living room so it will be fairly high traffic but I'm thinking about runner rugs on the main thoroughofare.

I'm doing semi-gloss water based poly so my question is, how many coats?
Thoughts? Attached are progress pics. Thanks!

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marksr's Avatar
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09-11-13, 09:17 AM   #2  
Floor is looking good! IMO rarely is there any benefit to applying more than 3-4 coats of poly. Are you sanding a lot of the finish off between coats? If the jobsite is kept clean there shouldn't be much roughness in the poly after the 2nd coat.


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illegalsmile's Avatar
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09-11-13, 09:31 AM   #3  
After the first coat I started using a 150grit screen on a hand paddle but A) my wrist started hurting and B) it was slow. So I went to my ROS hand sander w/ 220grit and that seemed to work really well, fast and did a good job. I sand, sweep, vacuum then tack cloth before applying the poly and even on the second coat I could tell things were pretty smooth and the tack cloth glided much better than on the bare wood (of course).

I will go for 4 coats then unless I hear some other wild reason why 5+ is necessary.

 
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09-11-13, 09:41 AM   #4  
That floor is looking beautiful! I'm always blown away by what we can start with sometimes and what the results can be.

How long are you waiting between coats? I have to do this myself to our floors, but we've got two really active dogs and no way to section areas off (very small house). Might have to wait until we can borrow a place for a few days I guess.

Pretty sure the dogs would just destroy the finish within a day or so anyways I guess.

 
illegalsmile's Avatar
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09-11-13, 10:13 AM   #5  
Thanks, I was really skeptical about the floors when I peeled back the carpet, lots of cupped boards, big holes where an old stove pipe used to go, lots of split boards. many many hours and a few hundred dollars later this is the result. So far I'm pleased.

Weather here has been really rainy for the past few days with temps in the mid 70s, normally it's dry and in the 80s this time. Anyways, I applied the first coat last night and finished around 2100 and started sanding this morning at 0600, after work today I will do the same. I think it's probably taking a good 4 hours to set as opposed to the 2 I saw when I finished the kitchen floor and bedroom when it was 85, sunny and dry out. The first coat sucked up almost one and a half gallons of poly while the second coat used at most 3/4 of a gallon.

Water based poly dries amazingly quick, if I had dogs I'd huck'em outside for a few hours or let a friend take care of them for a day or two. If the weather is good and you're not doing it by yourself there's no reason why you can't do 4 coats in a day assuming the floor is ready for finish. I think no matter what kind of traffic you have the floor is always going to degrade to your level of usage but it will still look far better than what you probably have now.

 
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