Angie's Roost Logo

Mayday Mayday

I’m sending out an international radiotelephone…errrrr…blog signal announcing our distress!  Our floor is peeeeeeeeling!  Our beautiful just finished floor that used to look like this just weeks ago:

Is doing this:

Those are dog scratches large sections of poly peeling up.  See:

Floor poly film in hand.  Oh and did anyone else pick up that I called Mayday on May Day?!  What a coincidence?!  She said sarcastically as she knew that she had this post planned for well over a week.  Doh!  But back to the floor.  Honestly, we kind of feared this.  But not until Colby uttered “hopefully it doesn’t peel up” as I was laying down the LAST coat of poly on the LAST section of the hall floor which had given me so much trouble (read about it here and here).  Apparently there was a reason the water based floor poly wasn’t truly adhering to my make-it-work, slightly tacky, let’s stain maple even though you shouldn’t experiment.  Epic fail!  I have a theory that if we had used an oil based poly on top of the freshly stained floor that it would have worked better.

The water based stain did work on other floors in our home but the stain on those floors was applied much more traditionally (ie…thin coat applied, stain soaked in, rubbed excess off…when we stained the hall floor it didn’t soak in…at all…so we just left it there).  However, those floors are getting exceptionally scratched thanks to our over-exuberant pup.  The parlor floor is exceptionally scratched after just a few months:

And so is the dining room floor:

I expected some scratches but not to this extent.  Considering these floors are temporary floors to us (we’re planning on installing wide pine flooring throughout the whole house within the next couple of years), I’ve been using these floors kind of like a warmup for the big show!  Or as practice floors so we know exactly what to do when we lay down the flooring for real.  It gives me an opportunity to try products out and see what I like and what I don’t like.  The poly we’ve been using is the Varathane Water Based Floor Poly in a semi-gloss:

It had gotten pretty good reviews except for one really bad one.  It’s been a good poly for us, I just question it’s durability and I’m thinking of trying a different one, especially since I’ve used up pretty much all of the gallon size Varathane floor poly I had bought.  Here is what I’m considering trying out on the hall floor:

It’s the Minwax oil-based semi-gloss polyurethane.  It only has one review so far (via the Lowes website) but at least it’s a good one.  Have any of you tried it?  Or have another floor poly that you just love?  I’m curious what you all think.

So of course I have grand plans to refinish the hallway floor…again…this weekend.  I’m thinking sand it back down (fingers crossed that goes okay…I’m a little worried the stain hasn’t completely soaked in) until I can smooth out the scratches and peeling poly areas.  Then I’ll start applying coats of the Minwax.

It’s a pain to re-do the floor again but I can chalk it up to live and learn.  At least I now have a weekend project. 

Pssst…Why is it that when you set out to do one little project that you think will only take you a short time it almost always turns into something way more complicated?  And when you think something will take forever it’s usually quick and painless?  It’s like the how many licks until you get to the center of the tootsie-pop commercial…some things the world may never know!


  1. Have you thought about shellacking (not sure if that’s the right spelling) the floors? All the old wood floors in our house have been shellacked… and after about 20 years had another coat put on them last year. We did have dogs about 15 years ago, but they weren’t allowed in the main part of the house as much, so not sure how that would hold up. House looks great though!

    1. I hadn’t even thought about shellack…thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely have to look into it. I have a hot date with my laptop tomorrow night to try and figure out the game plan. That’s awesome that your wood floors lasted so long with the shellack!

  2. My mother in law sanded and refinished ALL of the floors in her new (to her) house when she bought it with an oil poly. It stank to high heavens even with the house empty and all the windows open for days. It took a really long time to dry. I hope that doesn’t deter you, just be ready and do it on a day when its nice so you can get proper ventilation 🙂 The oil-based poly gave the floor a kind of yellow-y look, but thats because she didn’t restain hers. That probably won’t be an issue for you since your stain is dark.

    She used minwax I believe and I know they get really good reviews. I had a guy come out and look at our hardwoods to refinish (which are nicely slathered in ancient black carpet mastic from some owners of yore otherwise we’d attempt it ourselves) and his company only uses minwax products. Keep us updated!

    1. That’s EXACTLY why I chose water based instead of oil based…the stank factor is awful! I’m glad you’ve heard good things about Minwax because I’m kind of leaning that way. We’ll see how it goes…I’ll definitely keep y’all posted! Good luck with your floors too! That sounds like a mess!

  3. Hi Angie, the link below is to the website of a company in Ohio, they specialize in varnishes, shellac, and other finishes. I’m not suggesting that you buy from them, I know nothing about them. They do however have a lot of very informative articles about different finishes and what they should be used for. Hope all is well with you guys. Clayt

Add A Comment

We're glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our privacy policy, and all links are nofollow. Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.

Angie's Roost Campbell Family in front of home in 2021

Hi there! We're the Campbells. We traded in Maine city living for the country life in Vermont. You'll find us here fixing up a circa 1781 historic home, growing our own food, and filling this home with the memories and things that matter. Read more about us...

Follow us

Want a behind the scenes look?

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter where we share real-time updates, confessions, life lately, and a recap of the week's posts.

Unsubscribe anytime. More info in our Privacy Policy.

Copyright ©Angie's Roost 2023