Applying Oil Poly to Avoid Sand Marks on Hardwood Flooring


For future reference, since I will be selling this house and am sure to install hardwood floors again, what is the clue to a final sanding without even fine scratch marks?Thanks, Debbie


Dear Debbie

The clue here, is to use the same oil based poly for all three coats over the stain (if any). This way the screening marks will self heal, and because it Using Threreis the same finish for all coats no marks will show. I know because my work has been scrutinised for years, and shows no such marks. His work will always show some screen marks because he is wrongly using an old fashioned penetrating sealer as the first coat. It has almost no film build to it, and when he screens it, some scratch marks go though the sealer. And then when the poly is applied it colors the wood slightly differently (because poly is a much different product these days than the penetrating sealer), and hence shows the marks.

Also he needs to learn better screening techniques, this is quite and art, that a lot of floor guys don’t get. I’ll probably write two companion short articles in that Sanding w/o machine marks dealing with the buffer and the dreaded edger. But that’s for next year. Save the URL as you will have access to any updates at no cost, and save your Paypal receipt in case we change the URL. Only on the web could we do this.

You just cannot these days mix old (penetrating sealers) and modern oil modified poly’s. You can see the results. If you are curious as to all the details that I use to apply 3 coats of oil poly to my floors buy and read the “Poly w/o Bubbles” article, on the Home page. Offer to split the cost with the contractor, so he can read how it’s done, so no complaints will ever come about.

I try to take the best from old methods and use modern products, to create great looking but durable floors.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.