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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

For the most part, I'm new to any woodworking/finishing so I may have taken on a bit of an ambitious job.

I just bought a house with red oak floors almost throughout, that were concealed under carpet. So I'm re-finishing the hallway and living room, and added some new unfinished flooring to the dining room.

Up to a point, everything went well (labor aside). After all the sanding and staining, I had a very nice floor that was perfectly matched between old and new.

Then I went to finish it and this is where I'm having problems.

My first coat went on beautifully. I used Minwax super-fast poly for floors. I applied with a roller. I know other methods are preferred, but this worked. Per the instructions on the can, I decided I could get away with putting another coat on about 5 hours later without sanding.

Two problems: Home Depot was closed, so I couldn't get the "for floors" poly. And I put it on right when I got home, so the car ride kind of shook the cans.

I wanted it done, so as I'm putting it on all bumpy, I'm thinking (foolishly) "Polyurethane has self leveling properties...."

The next day I woke up to a floor full of goosebumps:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByG9diyqr95-NU9ZMG5yU2Njems/edit?usp=sharing

So I sanded down with 220, cleaned and tacked but I'm still left with little pits (they're hard to see in the pic, more visible in real life):

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByG9diyqr95-NnlQczVPNkpKRFk/edit?usp=sharing

So what am I to do? Will my next coat of (the correct) poly cover up the pits? Should I try wiping on some poly thinned out with mineral spirits? I'd really hate to have to do some more sanding and end up taking the first coat off.

Sorry for the long post, wanted to make sure all the info was there.

Thanks for any help. I'll be back on later to provide any details, if needed.
 

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It sounds like you air in the finish by rolling it. A better method of applying the floor finish would have been with a applicator pad. You have two options now which neither is easy. You could keep applying floor finish sanding it between coats until you fill the voids or you could take the finish off and start over. It's possible that another coat would do it if the spots are minor. You might give it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think you're right that it was because of the roller. Like I said, the first coat went on beautifully, but that was made for floors which, which I understand flows better so maybe that's why I didn't have bubbles on the first coat.

I plan on doing two more coats and sanding in between this time instead of going the lazy route. The pits can't even really be felt, just seen when the light hits, so I imagine they are quite shallow and will fill in with more coats.

Thanks for the advice!
 

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I think you're right that it was because of the roller. Like I said, the first coat went on beautifully, but that was made for floors which, which I understand flows better so maybe that's why I didn't have bubbles on the first coat.

I plan on doing two more coats and sanding in between this time instead of going the lazy route. The pits can't even really be felt, just seen when the light hits, so I imagine they are quite shallow and will fill in with more coats.

Thanks for the advice!
Normally with a first coat of almost anything on wood, nearly all the finish is absorbed into the wood so there wasn't enough finish to get bubbles in it. I think the problem you had was the roller. I've never attempted to put a clear finish on with a roller before. I started to roll some enamel one time and quickly stopped.

Whenever I finish a floor I use a applicator similar to this one. A roller not only gets air in the finish the nap pulls at the finish as it lets go.
 

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