Today’s post contains more information than you ever wanted to know about different sealers. Seriously…feel free to skim. Although this particular part of the paper bag floor experiment is the one I have the most interest in, since my floor is having some sealer problems, not to mention that and most of the questions I get about paper flooring have to do with sealer. Not for long though!
At this point in the experiment all the combinations are getting a little crazy and my brain is turning into mush… I’m going to need a good creative project soon to balance out all this science. I’m not used to over analyzing things…for this project I had my scientific notebook near and madly scribbled notes as I worked, took way too many pictures, and labeled everything with permanent markers to try and keep everything straight. Suffice it to say that I’m glad this project is behind me, and I’m glad to have a sealer solution for everyone!
So here are the contestants…
What I did was try each sealer with a water based and an oil based stain, and applied two coats. This experiment (unlike the others) is really hard to describe with photos….all the products in this post are clear, and while could tell a difference in person those differences are hard to photograph. So bear with me.
To test the durability I applied two coats of sealer to my sample boards and let it cure for a few days. Then I grabbed a couple of items and gave them a years worth of abuse in about 30 seconds.
I scratched them with a fork, beat them with a rock, tried to pull up the sealer with tape, and poured water of them. Some of the sealers really impressed me….some not so much. Also, in order to keep your sanity please don’t think about the different kinds of paper or horrid looking stain…all we are worried about here is the sealer and oil based and water based stain. Don’t make it more complicated than that. Your brain thanks you.
Lets get right to the results, starting with the ones you should avoid.
Parks (RustOleum) Water based Poly for Floors – $40 a gallon
Look familiar? That’s because it is…this is the sealer that I used to seal my boys floor. It finished dead last, much to my horror. Although there is a silver lining – I was somewhat impressed with it after a year of use, so if the worst performer held up alright then you really can’t go too wrong when you pick a sealer. And in its defense this bottle is a year old, so that may have affected its performance a bit (though some of the others are old as well). Basically it scratched really easily, came up with tape, and is cloudy.