A reader recently reached to me saying: “I keep having problems with my “wax jobs” due to powdering and needing to be re-stripped way too often. What am I doing wrong?”

Note that I do not necessarily have all the facts and might change some of my suggestions if I could be physically present to observe and inspect your work. Feel free to disagree with my observations and suggestions.

1. You may not be using the correct mix of stripper and water to truly emulsify the floor being stripped. The floor does not appear to be completely and thoroughly stripped before you start applying finish.

2. Remember that two primary differences between stripping and scrubbing is the chemical being used and the pads being used.

3. Stripping requires a high (10-13) product that will emulsify the finish/seal (water based only) that is on the floor. A black pad is usually required after the product has had the recommended contact time (usually five minutes so read the label) with it staying wet the entire time.

4. The slurry must then be removed (preferably a wet vacuum) completely.

5. The next step is to test (visual and with you hand) to determine if all the finish has been removed. Remember that many floors have dips/depressions that may need hand work.

6. If necessary, re-strip the floor making note of how strong to mix the product. The ratio may be 4 to 1 and you may need 3 to 1 due to water hardness or other factors.

7. The next step is to neutralize the floor using a neutralizing product (think mild acid) mixed in water which is flooded onto the floor and promptly removed with the wet vacuum.

8. Inspect and DO NOT apply any finish or seal if the floor shows any powdering or incomplete finish removal.

We will continue this discussion in a future article, but in the meantime, does anyone have other thoughts on this subject?

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net