Floor Care

Five Secrets to Successful Floor Finish Stripping

By Ed Thomas

2 min read
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Complete removal of all the old floor finish (stripping) is the first key to a great refinishing job, but it can also be one of the hardest steps. Here are our "Five Secrets" to achieving great results:

1. Product Concentration

Mix P&G Pro Line Stripper at 1:8 dilution for normal situations. For light finish build-up removal, you can dilute a bit more (1:10). If removing many layers, sealer, or hard-to-remove finishes (or finishes with unknown history), still dilute at 1:8 but allow more dwell time and more stripping pad time/work. Do not dilute stronger than 1:8.

2. Dwell Time / Evenly Wet

Spread the stripper evenly over the floor and give it at least 10 minutes to work. Don't work harder than you have to—let the product do the work. Just keep the floor evenly wet with stripper so it doesn't "dry back" by spreading or adding more stripper when needed.

3. Agitation

Use an aggressive scrubbing pad (e.g. a black stripping pad) and take several passes over the finish to completely remove and emulsify the old finish. If using an autoscrubber, turn vacuum off and do not pick up solution until finish is thoroughly liquefied. NOTE: Be very careful working on a wet floor because it will be slippery as the finish liquefies.

4. Complete Pickup

Use a wet vac or auto scrubber to remove all the liquefied finish. Then, rinse with clear water to ensure 100% removal.

5. Finish Removal

Floor should look evenly dull with no shiny areas. If necessary, repeat on the shiny areas. Do not apply finish over unevenly stripped floors, as the poorly stripped areas will never look right.

Once you have completely refinished your floors, it is important to implement a floor maintenance schedule and process to protect your hard work and keep your floors looking shiny and clean!

About Ed Thomas

Ed Thomas is a principal researcher and a 31-year veteran at Procter & Gamble Professional. He helped develop the P&G ProLine brand of commercial floor finishes, hard surface cleaners, and products for the foodservice industry. Ed is a ServSafe® certified professional and is an alumnus of the University of Cincinnati, College of Engineering and Applied Science.

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