How to Fix? Wood floors faded during 7 month remodel!

honey333August 7, 2011

Need Help! We are at the end of our remodel. One coat of semi-gloss polyeurethane was applied 7 months ago. We are now ready for the 2nd & 3rd coats. So we took up the paper that we had down for construction, and was surprised to see that where the paper was is lighter than the uncovered areas, & you can see the lines of where the paper was! We had all the windows covered TOTALLY with plastic, so that sunlight would NOT hit the floors!

We have a combination of unstained pine floors (original to the house) and 3 rooms of newly installed red oak hardwood. The fading seems to be just on the pine floors (before we bought the house the pine floors were covered with carpet).

Does anyone know if the screening, that will be done before the 2nd and 3rd coats of polyeurethane are applied, will help lessen the fading lines?

If not, is satin finish or a semi-gloss finish better for lessening the look of faded spots? ...Please Help!

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You should be able to sand the affected flooring to get it an even color.

There is a rentable sander that is easy for DIYers to use that will not easily damage the floors like a rotary sander used by an inexperienced operator.

It is called U-Sand and can be rented from Home Depot or most large rental companies.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 1:44AM
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Handymac, thanks for answering. Can you tell me if it has to be a heavy sanding to get rid of it, or will the screening that they do for the 2nd coat of polyeurothene be enough to camouflage the fading? We had a heavy sanding 7 months ago, when they put the 1st coat of poly on them. (we hired a floor guy), and I think for the 2nd coat of poly they do a screening, which is not a heavy sanding like for the 1st coat of poly. So, would this lighter sanding that they do before the 2nd coat be enough to camouflage the fading? .....Let me know, Thanks

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 10:41AM
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Best idea is to have the floor guy determine what is needed. The poly may be the cause, meaning removing all or part of it will suffice.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 1:57PM
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We had a hard time communicating with the floor guy. He is foreign, and he was hired by a Contractor that we had working at our house for a short while and which ended badly because he just didn't care about any of the work he did for us. We caught all kinds of errors in his haste to finish and get out quick.(now he just has to finish the 2 final coats of polyeurethene as the only pending part of the contract). So he won't give us the right advise...only the fastest way that he can come, finish and make his exit.

So we need to find out the best way to fix the fading on our own before they get to our house later this week.

Was also wondering if they don't correct the fading lines, would semi gloss hide them more than satin. I was preferring satin? I'm so worried. We have spent a fortune on all of our renovations and don't want this unexpected fading in the floors to ruin everything we have worked so hard for. Any advise or help would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 9:34PM
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Adding translucent material will not fix the problem. You will have to sand the problem away.

Since this is the last and most visible step, I'd really suggest just finding a flooring specialist and ditching the current guy. You will need to remove most of the first coat, making the second coat literally the first. The three coat total is the minimum recommended number of coats.

As it stands, if you rent the U-Sand and resolve the color difference, the current guy will only apply two coats(contract specifications) and you will still need the third coat.

If you find a competent company/person to install three coats, renting the U-Sand (total cost less than $200 as a rule) and spending a day or two(depending on the area) gives the new guy(s) the starting point they need for a good job, in about 3 days or less(depending on product used).

Skimping now ruins the entire remodel, IMHO.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 12:01PM
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Our oak floors (not pine) change color with sun/UV exposure. They even back out in time, once whatever was covered is uncovered. If the plastic over your windows did not block UV rays, the same might be the case with your floors.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 9:49AM
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Get a couple of aerisol cans of mohawk ultra classic toner, pine natural, and spray the light area lightly, a very fine mist, stopping frenquently to check the color. Do this before your next coat of clear finish. Remember, a fine mist, shot from about waste high. Should float down.
You can apply more to make it darker, but you can't apply more to make it lighter.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 7:21PM
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someone2010, have you used this product yourself to know if it goes on evenly? it's in an aerosol, so if the pressure used isn't consistent, could it look spotty, and what if more has to be applied to even it out, and then looks too dark in spots? Also, do you know if the product can change color over time? ...Also, should that be used between the 2nd and 3rd coat, so it doesn't get sanded off? But I imagine, that if a floor company hasn't used this particular product before, that they may not want to experiment with it on a real job that they would be responsible for if it goes wrong.

I read an older GW thread about this, and many people said (like northcarolina, above)that it will even out with the whole floor exposed. I'm tempted to go this route of waiting. I hate to go through another heavy sanding. Good news: the floor company is coming themselves now,... without that horrible contractor, so I'll be able to deal much better with them.

I wonder if the light sanding for the 2nd & 3rd coats will help the appearance of the line, and then, after finished, covering the exposed parts (that are darker) with paper, or a rug, and keeping the lighter parts exposed, to hasten the evening out process? Does anyone think they would do the same?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 2:17AM
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Maybe you should post your question on the Floor forum.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 5:28PM
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okay, thanks.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 9:21AM
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I was cringing when I read this post. To put it blunty.. ya been shafted. Some of the quick fixes mentioned though (especially the aerosol toner) I think you would really come to regret. It may be doable, and you may be able to live with it, but there's really no short cut around doing a fresh sand off and start over.

The "aging" is actually a chemical process that has already been accelerated in portions of your floor. Even with a toner application I'm afraid that in just a very few short months, you'll begin to notice your lines reappearing.

Bleaching is a tricky business. If not done properly, you may end up with excessive checking issues, which could lead to unattractice discolorations, and squeaky floors. :-) Not to mention the additional expense.

Budgets count, and to each his own, but for a less than a $200 investment on a floor sander.. and even if you have to do a third coat coat out of pocket (which is actually the easiest coat)... 5-10 years from now I would bet dollars to ashes you'll be glad you did.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 8:08PM
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To the OP if you are still there. A common source of damage to a finish is putting plastic on it. Particularly, plastic over a finish that has not fully cured. You can verify this by checking posts in the Furniture forum. This is for your information, so you won't use plastic again. Finishers rountinely tell their customers this so they won't have to repair the damage. You can check this out on any of the many refinishing fourms. You can use plastic drop cloths for a short period of time, but not more than a couple of days.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 3:59PM
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