Water Based Coating for Timber Floors

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Water Based Coatings

Water based coatings for timber floors have come a long way over the last decade or so. As technology has advanced so too has the user friendliness and durability of the coatings. In the early days a lot of the water base coatings had to be applied with an applicator and you had to be very careful to avoid lap lines and the like on your floor. Many were also acrylic based and did not wear as well as some of the other solvent based coatings on the market.

As today’s consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, water based coatings are becoming a more viable option. Today there is number of great water based products on the market that are not only easy to apply but also have high chemical and wear resistance. Most of these finishes are “UV Resistant” meaning they will not yellow or change colour to the extent of some other finishes on the market. Water base cooatings also provide a very natural looking finish.

Generally speaking most water based coatings are a three coat system. They come in a range of sheen levels to suit all tastes from gloss all the way through to extra matt. Most manufacturers make both single and two pack finishes.

How to apply Water Base coatings

Using either a 10mm nap roller or applicator apply your first coat of primer. This coat is a fast drying sealer. This will dry in an hour or so depending on the drying conditions. There is no need to cut back or screen this coat and you just apply you first coat of your preferred finish. Whatever finish you choose you will achieve a better result if you use the same gloss level coating for these last two coats. For example after you have applied the primer coat and you if want a satin finish, use two coats of satin, if you want a gloss use two coats of gloss and so it goes. Once your second coat has dried, (usually overnight or 4-5 hours) you must cut it back or screen it to provide a good adhesive bond between the two coats. If you do not cut back between coats there is a chance that the coatings may delaminate in the future.

After your last coat has been applied it is better to leave it at least 24 to 48 hours before moving any furniture back on the floor. This just allows the floor to cure properly so the is no undue wear and tear before it hardens properly.


The best way to keep your floor in good condition is to keep the floor clean of dirt etc. with a static mop and when needed mop using a “Neutral PH” floor cleaning solution mixed with water.