Is Bona Sealer Necessary on Unfinished Hardwood Floor?

kitchenkrazed09February 8, 2011

We have unfinished Santos Mahogany floors that will be sanded and finished with Bona Traffic. I'm not sure my floor refinishers are planning to apply a Bona sealer. Is it necessary to apply a sealer after the sanding and before the Traffic is applied? Will a sealer cause any color change or other difference in appearance? Thanks in advance.

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Glennsfc, I understand you are a resident expert here. Can you help?

Must a sealer of some sort be used before the Traffic? If so, is it better to use BonaSeal or can Bona Novia be used as the sealer under the Traffic? I want to keep the natural color of the wood without adding any color or amber tone to it. I'd like the most durable finish, while showing the beauty of the mahogany with a little sheen. Any help is much appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 10:52AM
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Altough Traffic will adhere to the wood all by itself, use of a sealer may help prevent what we call 'sidebonding' of the floor boards. Also, sealer is less costly than Traffic. Ask the technical folks at Bona for advice.

Traffic of two different gloss levels can be mixed to get 'custom sheens'...the problem doing that has nothing to do with the chemistry of the product, but rather mixing the right amounts to get the desired sheen. It is tricky and can result in mixing more of that expensive product than is necessary. You may waste more product in the end attempting to do that. However, I've mixed sheens on many a job and never had a problem or had much overage.

I know nothing about the new anti-slip Traffic, however I will specify the product in situations where anti-slip properties are required.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bona Contact Information

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:10AM
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Thank you so much Glenn for your response. I'll ask my refinishers to do one coat of Bonaseal and then two coats of Traffic. Will the Bonaseal prevent the grain from showing on the mahogany, as opposed to applying the Traffic straight without a sealer? I found out that the samples they made for me just had one coat of Traffic and no sealer (and I really like the grain on the samples, but don't want side-bonding issues either).

I had asked them to mix the satin and semi-gloss, after reading about it here. They said they highly recommend against it and that it can cause streaking. They are telling me that the satin will get more sheen after the second coat. Is this true? Also, couldn't they try the mix of satin and semi-gloss on the first coat and then if it looks streaked, do the second coat with just one or the other (since they have to sand between coats anyway)? Thanks very much for your help.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 1:46PM
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I've never experienced the streaking they mentioned, but if that is their experience, then maybe you should consider their advice.

Ask them for a sample of mahogany with Bonaseal and a coat of Traffic.

Yes, it is true that satin will get more of a sheen with sucessive coats. The open grain of the wood gets filled with the product which results in a smoother surface and a perceived glossier result.

Also, if they get good success using Traffic without the sealer, then more power to them. However, I would check with the technical folks at Bona regarding that.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 11:51PM
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Thank you very much Glenn, for lending your expert advice. When I contacted Bona, they recommended what they say on their web site, which is to apply one coat of Bonaseal and two coats Traffic. The Bonaseal has since been applied. What, in your experience, does it look like when it is dry? Does it have any "shine" to it or is it dull and completely flat?

It is so helpful to get your opinion because I haven't been able to find exactly what I'm looking for after extensive searching on the internet and unfortunately, I've been given reason to double-check what has been said to me. So, thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 4:11AM
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Bonaseal will have a "shine" to it, much all depends upon the porosity of the wood itself. No way to say how "shiny" Bonaseal will be in all instances.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 3:38PM
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Thanks Glenn, you've been very helpful. I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 11:18PM
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Not at all an expert - just a homeowner with handy skills.

I am in the process of replacing carpet in a few rooms with hardwood flooring - red oak.

I found this post during my project and wanted to add to it, in case another DIYer has similar questions.

I thought that my existing floor, to which I was trying to match the new flooring color, was stained with a "natural" stain. Over the weekend (WORST TIME TO DISCOVER PROJECT ISSUES), after sanding the new wood, I realized that my "natural" stain was way too dark.

I then searched the net to see if I could put the finish down on the bare wood, as this would match the existing floor color better.

What I found is that the finish should NOT touch the bare wood. Tannin bleeding and paneling concerns worried me. Installing the floor was a lot of work and the finish that I had purchased was expensive. I did not want to ruin my project in the home stretch!

I wanted a sealer product that did not have pigment. BonaSeal, BonaAmber, Glitsa Truseal all seemed to fit the bill, but for me it was Sunday - ugh. Even if I could've talked a distributor into selling me the sealer, these places were all closed. VERY poor planning on my part.

My existing floor was finished with Bona Traffic 10 years ago. It has held up well, especially compared to wood floors that my neighbors have - same aged floor - when they did not demand a better finishing product.

I am going to finish the new floor with Glitsa Max. I prefer the matte finish better then the satin.

So, I found someone who would sell the Glitsa Max, slightly cheaper then Bona Traffic, and was determined to apply the first layer of finish ASAP.

This project has taken weeks to reach this point and we could see the end in sight!! - until this hiccup. (In my future, I will test stain a board before the last minute!!)

I disliked the thought of waiting until Monday to search for a product and was unsure if I could actually find the sealer locally. It was difficult to keep the bare wood clean in real life with family. I stopped at Lowes. They had a product called Zinsser Bulls Eye Clear Shellac.

The husband was not excited...he wanted me to look for Bona or Glitsa sealer.

I applied the shellac with a rag and although this took forever, it brought out beautiful grains and color in the wood.

I could tell immediately that the existing floor finish is going to be changed to this beautiful shellac and then matte finish.

I had planned to buff the existing floor and apply the Glitsa, but the new floor is richer and slightly more red.

We suspect that the existing floor installer troweled the wood filler and failed to adequately remove the excess. The grains are muted and lack the beauty that we created. As such, the existing floor will be sanded to bare wood and properly finished with a sealer.

Where I live, the wood floor boards shrink/separate in the winter - even with a whole house humidifier and additional humidifiers throughout the house.

I did not want to risk the install by failing to apply some sort of sealer.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:53AM
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The shellac will probably be OK. But, just to be sure, what does Glitsa say?

I have little experience with shellac and then finish.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:46PM
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