Liquid Floors, How To And Why
PREPARING YOUR SPACE
The first step as with any project is to get your work space set up. Start by removing the furniture in the room so you have a blank canvas. If the flooring extends into any closets be sure to empty them as well. Once the room is cleared, take a vacuum to your floor and then wipe it down with a damp cloth. Any dirt left on the floors can cause uneven application of the finisher, creating bubbles in the finish. Use the painters tape on the baseboards of your walls so the refinisher and new finish don’t harm them. Any removable vents should be taken out and stuffed with old towels, vents built into the floor should be covered with plastic that is taped down.
APPLYING THE REFINISHER
The first step is to strip away any finish remaining from the previous finish. For this we’ll a small synthetic pad and hand scrub the refinisher into the edges of the room (Make sure you wear gloves!), and a mop head with a coarse pad over the top to get the bulk of the room.
Start by pouring your refinisher into a paint tray and dip your applicator into it, then use the dry section of the paint tray to squeeze out any excess refinisher.
Using your applicator, pick a small section of floor and (with force) apply the refinisher to the floor in a long, stroking motion going with the grain of the wood. The trick is to pick an area of floor that you can reasonably complete in about 5 minutes (think a 4’x4′ section). Pass over each section several times to allow the applicator and refinisher to work out the existing finish each time, which will make your next coat of finisher smoother.When applying the refinisher only treat small areas and then wipe away the excess with and old towel. Refinisher can be damaging to the actual wood flooring that is beneath the current layer of finish so you don’t want to leave any extra on it! When you’re done there should be a thin film left of your floor.
PREPARING YOUR SPACE: ROUND 2
Remember back in the first step when you mopped your floor? Well here we are again. Let the refinisher dry and then bring your mop back out. Put on your shoe covers to avoid contamination to the floor and begin to mop the floor clean. Make sure you don’t leave puddles on the floor or use too much water. Your floor is vulnerable now that the finish has been removed and is prone to water damage!
Now is also the time to fix any deep grooves or scratches that are through the finish and into the wood. Dab on some matching stain using a thin paintbrush and then use a hand drier to dry the stain. Then take your floor finish and, using the a very fine brush, apply it over the stain. Dry this using the same hand drier and your scratch is gone! It’s not the perfect solution, but if done properly no one will ever know that there was a scratch there in the first place.
Allow everything to dry for a half hour.
APPLYING THE FINISH
Now is the part you’ve been waiting for. Get a fresh paint tray and a fresh, smooth applicator such as a paint roller and get ready to roll (literally..Get it?). This part is best done with a helper following you as the finish can dry within 5-10 minutes. As you apply the finish have them come behind with a paintbrush and smooth out any bumps or puddles. In long sweeping motions apply the finish to the floor, angling the applicator to the outside of your finished area on every pass to move any puddled finish to the outside. Continue for the entire floor with your helper. If the finish appears to be a milky color or the colors seem uneven that is 100% okay. The finish will clear up and settle as it dries. If you don’t have a buddy helping you then simply cover a smaller areas with the main applicator then quickly touch up the small area yourself. It takes longer this way but doing smaller sections at a time will improve consistency and results.
If you made any mistakes while applying don’t worry about them while the finish is drying. Any bubbles on the surface can easily be cut off later with a razor blade. If you’re applying a second coat, give it a half hour to rest before application. Your floor should be ready for “sock traffic” in about 8 hours, and ready for furniture in 24! Be careful with area rugs though, two to three weeks is recommended before putting those back on.