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3 Steps for Removing Bubbles in your Wood Finish

May 15, 2015 by | David | There have been 0 comments

Bubbles belong in plenty of places: bathtubs, champagne, ocean foam to name a few. One place you should never find bubbles is in your hardwood floors. To keep your floors looking their best, follow these DIY tips from Altrufir.

You’ll sometimes hear people refer to bubbling as ‘alligatoring’, due to the ridged, scaly effect that it has on flooring. ‘Alligatoring’ occurs when a water or oil-based finish lifts away from the wood surface. It can be caused by three main factors:

  1. Contaminated finish
  2. Application in cold or wet conditions
  3. Expansion and contraction of the wood due to temperature changes


Luckily, even if your floor falls victim to bubbling, it’s easy to improve the appearance of your floors. These tips should make restoring the quality of your floors easier.

Hand Sanding or Scraping works well if bubbling has affected just a small portion of your Douglas fir flooring. Carefully remove the finish, clean the space, let it dry, then apply two to three new coats of finish until the color of the finish matches the rest of your floor. 

Screening is another option. This method gets rid of the finish without removing any of the wood beneath. As such, it is only effective with polyurethane finishes. Using this method, buffer to “screen” the existing finish, which will give it texture and allows a new layer of finish to stick to it.

Sanding Machines provide the most effective but also most permanent hardwood floor restoration technique. Thus, it should only be used if entire rooms are plagued with ‘alligatoring’.

This method completely removes the finish and leaves you with a clean slate to correctly apply a new clean and even coat. Before you dive into this solution, it’s important to know how to sand hardwood floors. Save your investment from damage and watch a tutorial online before you head out and rent a power sander. Bob Villa offers some good advice on how to get started.

The beauty of wood flooring is in its adaptability. If you notice an imperfection, it can generally be remedied with the help of some handyman skills and a few hours of your weekend. Restore your floors to their original state with the help of Altrufir. If you’re looking to re-floor your space entirely, we offer a comprehensive selection of reclaimed,FSC certifiedCVG, and wide plank Douglas fir flooring.


Image source: bit.ly/1y4BmTm


This post was posted in Douglas Fir Flooring, Care & Maintenance and was tagged with Douglas fir flooring, hardwood floors, hardwood bubbling

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