How to apply one coat of Quick Dry DuraSeal sealer plus two coats of DuraSeal polyurethane.
Here’s our YouTube video to see our t-bar application technique, but read these directions first because they contain the specific timing directions for DuraSeal.
- Use a good vacuum to make absolutely sure there is no dust, debris, or foreign matter of any kind left on the floor. It’s best to use a shop vac or canister-style vacuum that uses a wand with a soft bristle brush attachment rather than the upright vacuum you use for carpet.After you vacuum, wipe the raw wood with a soft, DRY rag (old t-shirts are perfect) to get up the last specks of dust that the vacuum left behind. Then run the vacuum over your dry applicators to eliminate loose fibers. If the room you are about to coat is adjacent to a floor where you don’t want spills or drips, use blue tape to protect it. Tape down some cardboard at your exit door so you have a safe zone to place your sticky mop and paint pad as you back out of the freshly coated area.
- Make sure that at least one window in the room to be coated is open 3" or more and that you can maintain a temperature of at least 60 degrees Farenheit for the duration of the coating and drying process. You will improve air exchange and maximize your cure rate if you turn on a fan (like a bathroom vent fan) in an adjacent room to make sure that the coated rooms are emptied of air four to five times an hour.
- Open your container of DuraSeal Quick-Dry Sealer (careful - this is a different substance than the DuraSeal polyurethane - check the can!) and decant it into a watering can or other pouring device with a spout. Dampen your coater cover and your paint pad with paint thinner. Slide the coater cover onto the metal t-bar and make sure the t-bar is securely attached to your threaded pole. Stick a clean, dry rag in your pocket so you are ready to deal with drips.
- Start at the wall that is furthest from your exit and runs parallel to the wood grain. Pour a 5-inch-wide puddle that runs the entire length of your starting wall, about 3 inches from the wall. Begin cutting in with the pad painter, but don’t cut in the entire room! Coat a 6-inch border along your entire starting wall and 3 feet along the walls that abut your starting wall. It should look like this:
- Charge up your t-bar with polyurethane by dipping the applicator end in the puddle and then pressing lightly against the floor. Do this several times, until the applicator appears evenly filled with finish, but not drippy (similar to how a paint roller feels as it leaves the roller tray).
- Begin at the top corner of your cut-in zone and gently drag your t-bar at a 30º angle, aiming the center of your 18-inch coater at the center of your puddle of polyurethane, effectively “snow-plowing” the finish in front of the applicator head. Walk in a straight line, parallel to the wall and without stopping, until your t-bar reaches the cut-in section at the far wall. Don’t lean your body weight on the stick; the weight of your two hands on the t-bar is all the pressure you need to lay down the correct amount of polyurethane.
- Lift your t-bar and gently wring it out by pressing it against the floor that is already wet with polyurethane. Start from the cut-in zone and overlap your last pass, again dragging the puddle parallel to your starting wall all the way to the wall at the top. If you’re coating correctly, the puddle will slowly shrink because each pass with the t-bar applicator will leave behind an even film of polyurethane.
- When you reach the end of the area of the original cut-in zone, rest the t-bar with the applicator in the wet polyurethane (leaving it on the dry wood leaves a permanent mark), and cut in another 3 to 4 feet along the walls at the top and bottom of your next coating zone. Pour a fresh line of polyurethane if necessary. Continue alternating t-bar and pad painter until you are 3 feet from your final wall.
- Use your pad painter to cut in along every wall you have left, except for your exit. Starting at the corner furthest from your exit and working a 5-foot section at a time, gently mop the polyurethane on with a back-and-forth motion. Scrape the excess finish down into a puddle at your feet, then go back and blend your coated section into the cut-in zone by pushing the t-bar away from you while you gradually lift it off the ground. Work backward, blending each section into the last, until you reach your exit door. Switch to the pad painter for the last few strokes.
- Allow this layer of sealer to dry undisturbed until it is safe to walk on (approximately 4 hours.) Then, repeat steps 3 to 9, substituting DuraSeal polyurethane for the Quick-Dry Sealer.
- WARNING: If more than eight hours has passed since you applied your Dura-Seal Quick Dry sealer, you must wait overnight, lightly abrade the sealer and remove the dust before applying your first layer of polyurethane.
- Allow the first layer of full-strength polyurethane to dry at least overnight. Use a buffer and screen (180grit) or a pole sander and drywall screen (120grit) to lightly etch up the layer of dry finish and create a bonding surface. Cut up the used screens and lightly hand-screen edges and corners. Vacuum up the fine dust caused by the screening, and then tack with a small rag sprinkled with paint thinner (not water!). Repeat steps 3 to 9 to apply your final coat of polyurethane. Be aware that humidity and limited airflow (read: closed windows) can affect the dry time of your polyurethane. If you begin to screen your floor with the buffer and the screen starts to "build" or "glaze" like the photo at right, stop screening! It means that your previous coat of finish isn't ready to be recoated yet. Leave it for a few hours and try again.
Wait 24 hours after your final coat of polyurethane before allowing foot traffic or furniture back on your floors and wait at least two weeks to replace large area rugs.