I received an avalanche of reader e-mail when I wrote about my unconventional application for Home Hardware’s Beauti-Tone HardRock clear-coat driveway sealer a few columns ago (I use HardRock to provide a lovely, tough finish on the furniture I build).
I’m including a small sample of letters here. If your question isn’t answered, you can find more info at techstone.ca, or call the customer service number at 1-877-279-0694.
In your article you described applying Beauti-Tone HardRock to a square of plywood that is under you desk chair. I wasn’t bright enough to use a pad under my chair and, as a result, I have made a total mess of the hardwood floor. If I were to use the product, would you suggest sanding the affected area first, or should I treat it in some way before applying the driveway sealer? I am anxious to repair the floor – and if I mess up, I won’t hold you accountable.
Ruth, you might not hold me accountable, but I would feel like a slug if I gave you crummy advice, so here goes.
Hardwood floors are funny. It’s impossible to spot-treat damaged sections and have it end well, although you could try a product like Minwax’s Hardwood Floor Reviver, which refreshes hardwood floors that are worn, scratched or dull. It comes in both high-gloss and low-gloss sheens, and applying it requires no sanding or special preparation; just squirt it onto the floor, spread and let dry. Repeat every 3-6 months (less frequently if you lack dogs, kids, high heels or pre-occupied relatives who track guck).
For badly damaged hardwood, you normally need to sand the entire floor with a disc sander and then refinish it. Running a disc sander is dead-tricky. An inexperienced operator can trash a floor with the disastrous awkwardness of an I Love Lucy episode.
If you were to sand only the scuffed-up section where your chair marred the finish, you’d never get a proper match using a different kind of finish and it’ll likely look way worse than it does now.
So the best options are to cover the damage with a floor mat, try the Minwax Reviver product or hire someone to refinish the floor.
I want to put a clear coat on my back deck. Would this product be suitable, or is the finish too slippery when wet?
HardRock is definitely designed to be an outdoor finish, but it’s meant to go over concrete and faux-stone surfaces, which have a naturally gritty, slip-resistant texture. HardRock builds with each coat to a smooth, slick finish that, on already-smooth wood, would definitely be slippery when wet.
My husband and I were wondering if this product would work well on our cedar deck. Thanks!
The problem with applying a waterproof sealer to only the top surface of a board is that humidity will still penetrate the other surfaces. Then the board will “cup,” meaning you’ll have a really ugly deck with weird concave gutters running along the length of each board.
If you were building a new deck, you could coat all six surfaces (the four faces of each board and the two ends) with a water-resistant finish like HardRock and you wouldn’t create cupping, but you would end up with a slippery-when-wet surface, and the finish might not endure well because exterior wood expands and contracts so much during freeze/thaw cycles and with changes in humidity.
All of the recommended deck finishes I can find are oil-based (like Wood Defender or Australian Timber Oil).
Hope that helps, and thanks to all those who wrote with similar questions.
Mag Ruffman appears weekdays on Real Life on CTS. Visit her online at ToolGirl.com.