more floors getting rehabbed...
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rncx



Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Posts: 660
Location: Little Rock, AR

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:49 pm    Post subject: more floors getting rehabbed... Reply with quote

this is my upstairs study, got the master bedroom done at the same time...

clear shellac for a sealer, garnet for color, then waterlox on top for the satin sheen and a little tougher film.

as expected, the first guy i called about getting them sanded argued with me that you can't put shellac on a floor. that's funny considering my living room floor has the original shellac on it 102 years later. also as expected, he was the one who didn't show up or call on the day he said he was going to be here to look at the floors to be sanded.

the guy who did get the job was the one who didn't come off like he thought i didn't know what i was talking about, as is usually the case when i deal with contractors ;). but he did good work, they cleaned up really well.



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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 3000
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neal, looks great!

What was the condition before you started, and your surface preparation?

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rncx



Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Posts: 660
Location: Little Rock, AR

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks john, the condition was bad, unfortunately i think i lost my "before" pics in a hard drive crash.

two layers of white carpet, staples as far as the eye can see, and the original floor had suffered a bad staining job, it looked like the people didn't know that you can't stain pine evenly, so they just got the darkest stain they could find and mopped it around until the floor was black. the staple holes and remaining dents and dings i left, i only filled very deep/large gouges (using timbermate filler).

thankfully they had only been sanded before once so there was still about 3/16 left to work on.

the guy i hired to sand went from 36 to 100 to 160, then screened the last pass with a buffer, the screen being the equivalent of ~220. after that shop vac and tack it all on hands and knees. he scraped the edges around the baseboard and the thresholds by hand.

all finishing needs to be with a lambswool mop, not those foam things (or you'll get bubbles).

i started with two coats of clear shellac (i didn't bother to mix my own just used zinsser 'seal coat'). doesn't have to be applied well on the first coat, you can just push the mop back and forth to make sure you cover it all since the floor will drink all of this anyway. on the second coat you need to be more careful to use long even strokes, since you're starting to build a film with the second coat and want an even base.

then one coat of garnet for color. if the shellac were to be left there as a top coat i would put some lacquer retarder in the shellac to slow it down and let it flow a little better and probably use a 3 pound cut to thicken it up. the above depends on conditions too, as of now in the winter with the dry air and the heater on inside the shellac dries VERY fast. if it were cooler inside and/or more humid it wouldn't be as bad. again, being more meticulous to get long/even strokes at this point.

if the floor is badly unlevel you will have to be careful and watch it as you go to make sure the shellac doesn't run, i had this on a couple of spots and had to come back the next day and knock down some runs and blend them back in. fortunately with shellac this isn't hard to do with a paintbrush. just buff the runs out with alcohol after they're cured and using a plain ole white china bristle brush, blend a few coats of the garnet into the bare spot to even it up.

if you have had to fill nail holes or gouges like i did you can also go around to those with a glue brush or artist's brushes and the garnet to darken them up at this point if you need to.

then i prefer to use the waterlox on top so that goes on last. again, checking in the glare along the way to make sure you get even coverage and use long/even strokes. the waterlox is easier to work than the shellac since it dries so slowly and flows so well. you can freely work back over it and repeat strokes to make sure you've covered everything. once it's all down, leave. this stuff sinks badly. it'll cure to the touch overnight so go to a bar, go get a hotel room, go to moms/girlfriends/whatever and don't come back until the next day. as of the next day open up windows and blow a fan outward to draw fumes away and it'll stop stinking after a couple of days, but won't be fully cured for a couple/three more weeks so be careful putting furniture back, it'll be 'rubbery' until it cures.

when it is cured it'll be a hard furniture type finish that will hold up much better than polyurethane over time, and if it does get scratched can be recoated without any sanding, just clean the floor, open a can and go.

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BlakeAronson



Joined: 14 Jul 2009
Posts: 48
Location: Long Beach, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you guys know of any waterlox alternatives in states like CA that don't allow it? seems like I can't get it here with the low VOC epa stuff.
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rncx



Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Posts: 660
Location: Little Rock, AR

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

they have a low VOC formula as of a year or so ago, call them and ask them about it.

from what i'm told the smell while curing isn't better (actually worse) but it passes the regs.

waterlox is of a class of varnishes called "phenolic resin" because they have...derp...phenolic resins.

there are several options for phenolic resin varnishes. google the term and you'll find something. they will have a gradually different finished appearance due to the base oil (waterlox has that red due to the tung oil, for instance) but otherwise should be similar.

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BenS



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 18
Location: Victoria, British Columbia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:00 pm    Post subject: Shellac retarder Reply with quote

rcnx, you mentioned using a lacquer retarder for shellac. What did you use?

I'm currently shellacking my Doug fir floors and have been having some difficulty with drips, lap marks, and the quick dry time. I've used methyl hydrate (methyl alcohol) and denatured alcohol as the solvent in different layers, with no appreciable increase in working time.

I'm using Zinnser Seal Coat, cut down to 1# cut. Tried a combo of brush and roller (pushed, not rolled via some fiddling with the roller) and found a paint pad allows me to avoid the cutting in step, which causes lap marks around the edge of the room.

I've heard of adding turpentine (1% by volume) as a retarder or using isopropyl alcohol for its slower evaporation rate. Lee Valley sells a proprietary shellac thinner with isobutyl alcohol but the price is too high for a floor.

Or does using the Seal Coat at the 2# cut out of the can provide adequate working time?

Additionally, everyone says that the next coat will fix all lap marks and drips but I find I can still see them under subsequent coats, they do not melt into the next.
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