Need help with Waterlox

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

Moderators: oldhouse, TinaB, Don M, Schag

chadzeilenga
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:42 am
Location: Crete, IL 60417

Need help with Waterlox

Post by chadzeilenga »

Hello,
I'm calling upon those with experience with Waterlox floor finish. We're having the 100 yr old pine & maple floors in our house sanded and plan on applying the finish on our own. Any advice or tips from the group would be great. I'm not sure if we want to go with the satin or semi-gloss that they offer. Does anyone have pictures of either? Also, what is the best method of application?
I'm looking for any info start to finish on applying this.
We have ~1200 sf that we are having done. This is one bedroom upstairs (painted floor) and then the whole 1st floor which includes the living room & office (1x5 pine) and then the dining room and kitchen (basketweave maple).
We have 2 bedrooms upstairs and the small hallway with stairs that are in pretty good shape and the color matches in all of them so we are probably going to leave them. I figure if we start doing the stairs then we have to do the hallway and so on. We can do those later since we don't need them to live in the house and can live on the 1st floor while they are being done later.

whispertalos
Posts: 916
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 6:40 pm
Location: Beavercreek, OR
Contact:

Re: Need help with Waterlox

Post by whispertalos »

We are going to be using the waterlox in the near future ( next week) I watched a video on the waterlox website, it seemed pretty good. .easy to apply.. etc..

We plan on using the original sealer finish...

Good luck!
Kassandra
Image

1907 Modified foursquare
Farm House

mgs
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Re: Need help with Waterlox

Post by mgs »

I just finished applying the first two coats of Waterlox original semi-gloss to my floors. It is very easy to apply. Watch the video at the Waterlox website and read any other information you may find there. I would recommend that you use the tools that they suggest (lambswool applicator, etc.). I have found that I am using more of the product per square foot than I expected, so you might want to get a bit more than you think you will need. Also, the sanders finished with 80 grit paper, and I find the floors have some whiskering/ roughness. Have your sanders finish with 100-150 grit as Waterlox suggests. I am planning to pole sand the floors with 180 or 220 grit before applying the third coat. I suspect that I may have to apply a fourth coat, too. The pictures below show the floors in various stages of drying after the first coat (from immediately after applying to 24 hours after). You can see that, when dry, it is almost completely absorbed into the wood. The second coat (not pictured) has begun to display some surface gloss, with matte patches over approximately 30% of the floors.

Mark (1921 foursquare)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

http://mark-myoldhouse.blogspot.com/

rncx
Posts: 607
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:44 pm
Location: Little Rock, AR

Re: Need help with Waterlox

Post by rncx »

the "original" stuff has a darker hue to it, that's pretty uniform no matter what kinda wood you put it on. the satin/semi-gloss stuff will have a more natural finish like what mark has above.

and yes i would plan on 4 coats. it goes on like shellac does, first two coats are almost entirely absorbed, third and fourth build up.

chadzeilenga
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:42 am
Location: Crete, IL 60417

Re: Need help with Waterlox

Post by chadzeilenga »

Thanks for the tips,
The sander is going to cut the floor with 40, 80 & 100 and then screen with 120 grit. He's a pretty big perfectionist and I've seen some of his work so it should be pretty good. Should I do anything to the surface or inbetween finishes like scuffing the floor?
All of my baseboards are finished and not painted, should I just tape the bottoms of them to prevent from getting the Waterlox on them?
What do I walk on the floor with after the sanding has been done and inbetween coats?
The living room was refinished at one time and they filled the gaps in the floor. Do I need to get this stuff out or can I put the waterlox on it? I'm worried about it not sticking like it does to the rest of the floor.

So the "original" waterlox has a tint to it that would make my wood look darker? That is good to know since I was planning on going with a natural/clear color for the pine & maple floors.

I wish the pics on the Waterlox site were like Marks, some of them just don't show much and Marks are excellent pics.

mgs
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Re: Need help with Waterlox

Post by mgs »

The only thing you might want to do between coats is tack the floor with a terry cloth dampened with paint thinner to remove dust. I actually vacuumed the floor between the first two coats because I did some additional sanding around the rads after the first coat revealed some debris that I missed before the first coat was applied. If you notice any whiskering or imperfections after the first coat, you could sand locally, but you certainly don't have to sand the entire floor between coats. I'm only doing that now because my sanders only went to 80 grit :( . Use a bristle brush to cut in around the baseboards. After the sanding has been done you can walk on the floors with soft-soled shoes (you'll need to when applying Waterlox!), just try not to scuff the floors. Make sure your shoes are clean when walking on the sanded floors. You should actually have a pair just for this purpose. I wiped my "floor shoes" with a cloth dampened with paint thinner before walking on the floors. Change to normal shoes when stepping off the floors, and so forth. Any oily/ wet substance that may be on the soles of your shoes will be readily absorbed into the freshly sanded floors and may be difficult to remove. In between coats, you can walk on the floors with sock feet after 24 hours, but I would wait 48 hours before wearing shoes (clean ones) and applying the second coat. I applied my second coat after 24 hours but felt that I should have given it more time. With regard to the gaps that were filled, it depends on what they were filled with. If the previous refinish involved staining, you should be able to see how well the stain was absorbed by the filler. If stain was absorbed, Waterlox will be absorbed also. I believe all three Waterlox finishes have the same amber hue to them, like in my previously posted pics. It's just a matter of what sheen you prefer. Semi-gloss is the original finish that Waterlox produced. They added the satin and high gloss later, as far as I know. Below, I have included some pics of my floors after sanding and before the first coat of Waterlox so you can see how the colour changed.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

rncx
Posts: 607
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:44 pm
Location: Little Rock, AR

Re: Need help with Waterlox

Post by rncx »

maybe it's just the difference in pics between mark's camera and my eyes. the 'original' stuff that i've been putting on old growth pine seems darker than what mark's floor result turned out to be. or maybe a reaction with the pine sap?

dunno.

but either way, yes it has its own tint to it. so if you're putting it on different types of wood the result will be at least semi-uniform.

you can also mix plain ole oil-based stains with the first coat to vary the end result if you like. i find that mixing minwax red mahogany brings out the red in pine grain a bit more.

chadzeilenga
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:42 am
Location: Crete, IL 60417

Re: Need help with Waterlox

Post by chadzeilenga »

Thanks for the info Mark.
Did you "cut-in" around the edges of the room before you put the finish on or after?
It looks like the gaps in my floors were filled with a combination of sawdust & glue, but I'm not sure. The previous finish on the first floor looks just like a clear poly on the first floor and then nice brown paint on 2nd...ha ha
I'm going to place an order for my Waterlox tonight. Since I have nice dry pine how much extra should I order to make sure I have enough. I have ~1300sq. ft.
The sander is going to start on the painted bedroom tomorrow since that is the one he says will probably take him the longest. Real nice guy and really seems to know his floors, which is good.

Also, does anyone know what I can get this ugly black mastic off my wood floors under where my cabinets are? Looks like PO way back when had asphalt floor tiles on kit floor and they were hidden under cabinets. I got all of the tiles up, but I checked and the mastic isn't water soluble so I'm guessing that it is oil based. Will paint thinner work for this or maybe mineral spirits?

rncx
Posts: 607
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:44 pm
Location: Little Rock, AR

Re: Need help with Waterlox

Post by rncx »

try mineral spirits and/or turpentine, yeah. the mineral spirits will stink less, but if it doesn't work the turpentine will.

plan on doing 4 coats, whatever waterlox says the coverage per gallon is, multiply that times 4 to calculate how much you need.

mgs
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Re: Need help with Waterlox

Post by mgs »

Cut-in first, then apply with the lambswool applicator. Do one room at a time. You might be able to get away with 3 coats on the maple, but the pine will need 4 coats for sure. Based on your square footage, you should order 12 gallons of Waterlox. You might only need 10, but it comes in cases of 4 gallons and you might get a discount if you order 3 complete cases. Besides, it's better to be safe than sorry. Waterlox covers about 500 square feet per gallon per coat. As for the mastic, there are adhesive removers that you could try, but if it's not too bad, the sanders might be able to remove it. It will clog up their paper quite readily in those areas, though.

Post Reply