Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Can I Touch Up a Swedish Finish Floor?

Many people have what is typically called a 'swedish finish' on their floor; it is known to be very durable and beautiful. But sometimes that floor starts to show wear and in the past there weren't many options - except refinishing the entire thing. This has been one of the biggest drawbacks to the swedish finish approach, it is an all-or-nothing proposition. Also, the chemicals used to make the finish are very strong and for safety reasons only contractors are supposed to apply it.

Today I was working with a customer who has a kitchen floor that desperately needs attention, but refinishing wasn't an option. Luckily, we have a good solution, and I want to share it with you, too.

The product we recommend is Daly's Satinthane. Satinthane is a ure-alkyd, meaning its a combination of urethane and alkyd (modified with oil), instead of the typical straight alkyd. This allows the product to adhere to the existing finish where others can't. All urethanes are not created equal.

You must open up the existing finish first. This is where most people make mistakes, and this can result in failure, regardless of the top coat product.

We suggest 220 sandpaper or screening paper to 'scratch the back' of the Swedish finish. This gives the new product something to grab onto and helps to keep it from peeling or blistering off. Make sure to vacuum and damp mop any dusty residue. You want your surface to be as dust-free as possible for the best possible finish.

The Daly's Satinthane is applied with an pad applicator, and then you can tip it off with a brush on the edges. 2 coats is best, 6-8 hours between coats, 24 hours to walk on and a couple weeks for full cure. Don't forget to work in a well-ventilated space.

Like any oil finish, Satinthane may amber over time.

The best thing about switching to Satinthane is that going forward maintenance is much easier and it can be refreshed with more Satinthane or Daly's FloorFin. When you get to that point, scuff it up, dust off and apply a thin coat of finish. Done!


Rummy the tuxey kitty! said...

6-8 hours a coat sounds more appropriate for Profin. We tell our customers (and it has been my experience with using the product) that 12-24 hours per coat is more true. At 6 hours the finish is still quite tacky.

Another thing is that there IS a water based 'Swedish' which is very similar to our Crystal Fin.

You can also tell your clients that in older homes where a more traditional look is desired, they should use the Floorfin. Being a penetrating oil finish, it's easy to recoat, never cracks and chips and really enhances the beauty of open grained woods like oak, mahogany and hickory. It's what I'd use in my parent's 1909 Cap Hill home (were they ever to let me redo their floors).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. We are pretty rough on our floors and, the cost of a professional finish is ghastly, so I have been looking into Floorfin for some of the reasons Sara mentions: no chipping and easy to recoat.

Qx: since it is oil, is there a need to sand a Floorfin-treated floor? Our house is pretty old, and the wood it getting awfully thin ...

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