Finishing your floors, in a nutshell.

Here’s where to start learning mad skills to finish your floors.

Clean up and get ready for finish.

Here’s where to get started with cleanup and prep.

See finishing option at Pete’s.

Review your finishing options.

Let me talk you out of staining your floor.

Seriously, you shouldn’t stain your floor. But, if you must, here’s a bit of info about staining.

Bona is our favorite waterborne finish.

Find out why we love it.

Oil-based Polyurethane Finishes

Dura Seal is a great oil-modified finish.

Dura Seal is our favorite oil-modified finish. Here’s how to apply Dura Seal.

Rubio Monocoat rocks.

Rubio Monocoat is our recommended zero-VOC finish; here’s how to apply Rubio.

Try Waterlox, a tung-oil based finish.

Waterlox is a great alternaitve to polyurethane. Here’s how to apply Waterlox.

Now that your floors look great, how do you keep them looking that way?

We’ve got the best way to maintain those gorgeous floors.

Pete’s Bonus Tips

Heat, humidity and air exchange.

No matter what the season, both oil and waterborne polyurethanes need THREE conditions to cure quickly and thoroughly:
  • low humidity
  • warmth
  • air exchange

The air has to be DRY because heavy, moisture-laden air literally blocks oxygen from reaching the finish

It needs to be WARM because the chemical reaction that cross-links and cures the finish will not proceed below 65°.

And a constant but gentle source of FRESH, OUTSIDE AIR provides the oxygen that the finish must combine with in order to become a solid and fully cure .

Some tips for creating the perfect curing scenario:

If the interior temperature is likely to fall below 65° at any time during the coating or the first week after coating, turn on the heat!

Don't point a fan directly at the drying floor; it will force dust into the wet finish. Use a fan in an adjacent room like a bathroom or kitchen vent that is connected to the outside, and leave it on. In warm weather you can put a box fan in a window (blowing out!) in an adjacent room. In cold weather, box fans in windows will suck out too much heat - just gap the top a window in each affected room.

High humidity is the most difficult coating condition to deal with. Turning on the AC will bring the interior humidity down, but without opening windows, the evaporating solvents have no place to escape and fresh oxygen can't get in. But opening windows brings the humidity back up. Usually you simply have to resign yourself to longer times between coats and a longer overall curing time during the most humid months.

For oil-based polyurethanes, you should keep one window in the coated room gapped to 3” for two weeks.

Buy online, or stop by our cute store in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Pete's sells supplies online across the continental U.S., and rents equipment to Minneapolis/St. Paul DIYers. Our store at 186 Fairview Avenue North in St. Paul, MN is at the corner of Fairview and Selby.

It's just the cutest sander rental shop you'll ever visit. Call us at 651-698-5888.

Store hours during COVID:

  • Monday - Friday: 9-5
  • Saturday: 9-3
  • Sunday: Closed