How to Seal Wooden Floorboards

Written by kevin mcdermott
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How to Seal Wooden Floorboards
Wood floors should be sealed against moisture. (texture of wooden floor - can be used as background image by Elnur from Fotolia.com)

Wood floors are generally sealed with gloss (usually polyurethane or varnish), which gives them a clear, glassy shine that shows off the grain of the wood while protecting it from moisture and dirt. The sealing comes after you’ve laid, sanded and stained the floor. The gloss is applied as a liquid and dries hard. You’ll apply it in thin layers. It’s necessary to dull the shine between layers so the next layer will adhere.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Hammer
  • Counterpunch
  • Vacuum
  • Tackcloths (sticky rags)
  • Varnish or polyurethane
  • Lambswool floor gloss applicator
  • 240-grit sandpaper

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Use your hammer and counterpunch to knock down any raised nail heads on the floor. Vacuum thoroughly.

  2. 2

    Wipe the whole floor with tackcloths to take up any remaining dust.

  3. 3

    Stir your varnish or polyurethane gently (don’t shake it). Pour a narrow puddle in the corner of the room farthest from the door. The puddle should be about the size of the pad of your gloss applicator and should run perpendicular to the direction the floorboards.

  4. 4

    Place the gloss applicator into the puddle and pull it slowly backward, with the direction of the boards. Add more gloss as needed, continuing tp [ull it over the floor. Work your way across the room in courses, until you’re backing out the door.

  5. 5

    Let the gloss dry overnight. Sand it with 240-grit sandpaper, using light, fast strokes with the direction of the boards to dull the shine. This will allow the second coat of gloss to stick. Wipe up the dust with tackcloths.

  6. 6

    Add a second layer of gloss in the same manner as you did the first. Let it dry, sand it and apply a third coat. Let the third coat dry for at least 48 hours before using the floor.

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