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Resene DIY project #11
From how to paint like a professional - training videos and project sheets


How to polyurethane a floor

Applying Resene Qristal ClearFloor 2K

The Resene Qristal ClearFloor range (see Data Sheet D506 and D506a) includes both single pack (1K) and two pack (2K) polyurethanes. However while the application techniques are the same for both products additional care needs to be taken when mixing and using the two pack version.

Resene Qristal ClearFloor 1K and 2K have been developed for timber, MDF, Strandboard and cork tile flooring and can be applied over Resene Colorwood, Resene Colorwood Whitewash and most NGR stains.

Resene Qristal ClearFloor has excellent flow and levelling characteristics, ideal for flooring. If used on stair risers or other vertical edging it can run or slump. To overcome this, thinner and possibly additional coats may be needed in these areas.

Resene Qristal ClearFloor 2K will dry to a harder more durable film that is the equal of traditional moisture-cured polyurethanes, without the use of dangerous solvents.

Resene Qristal ClearFloor 1K is tougher and more suited to flooring than traditional varnishes and polyurethanes, including Resene Aquaclear, and is ideal for residential floors with low to medium foot traffic.

Provided all surface contaminants are removed and the old polyurethaned surface is thoroughly sanded without exposing any timber both Resene Qristal ClearFloor 1K and 2K can be re-applied as a maintenance coat. Resene Qristal ClearFloor 1K, while not as hardwearing, can be recoated more easily than traditional systems including Resene Polythane.

Before starting

  1. Sand floors to bare timber or if overcoating a previously applied polyurethane sand it thoroughly to remove any gloss from the surface to ensure a good key is achieved.

    Floor waxes and other contaminants need to be removed before sanding. This can be complex – and is why it is generally easier to sand back to bare timber. Some floor waxes use silicone, which is notoriously difficult to remove, and if present will compromise the adhesion of the Resene Qristal ClearFloor. To remove, use two applications of Wax and Grease Remover available from Resene Automotive and Light Industrial (RALI) before and after sanding.

    We recommend all floors, both new and those being refurbished, are professionally sanded to bare timber.

  1. Follow the mixing instructions carefully. Failure to do so can result in surface bubbling and reduced durability. You will need a variable speed power drill and a mixing attachment. Your Resene ColorShop stocks the stirrer shown. It is effective and relatively inexpensive.

Mini mixer

  1. Use the PAL No.10 Waterborne roller sleeve, a PAL 50mm or 63mm Legend brush, a roller tray, handle and extension pole. Use an aluminium extension pole if the floor is large and/or you have additional painting projects planned requiring a roller. Aluminium extension handles are also ideal for attaching to sanding pads – see photo overleaf.

    Take care to minimise dust on the floor surface by vacuuming between coats and minimising activity and airflow in the area. A final wipe with a tack cloth is a good idea especially for smaller areas

  2. Wear two pairs of thick cotton socks, without shoes, to prevent perspiration and shoe marks on the surface.

  3. Ensure there is adequate ventilation and that safety information is followed.

Vacuuming before refinishing the floor


It is very important the instructions for mixing the two parts of the Resene Qristal ClearFloor 2k are carefully followed.

Adding the base
  1. Shake the can of Resene Qristal ClearFloor base, open and tip into a larger container, such as a 2 litre paint pot. The mix ratio is 10 parts of Resene Qristal ClearFloor base to 1 part of Resene Qristal ClearFloor hardener. The Resene Qristal ClearFloor will appear milky in the can but will dry to a clear finish.
Adding the hardener
  1. Shake the Resene Qristal ClearFloor hardener, open and tip into the paint pot.
  1. Attach the stirrer to the variable speed power drill and mix for 60 seconds. Use a low speed to reduce air entrapment and prevent the coating from ‘spraying’ around.
  2. Tip approx 100ml of the partially mixed product back into the hardener can, firmly replace the lid and thoroughly shake.

Tipping partially mixed product

  1. Remove the lid and tip the contents back into the paint pot. Use your brush to remove the excess from the can and the lid. Once the hardener can is as empty as possible dip the brush into the mixing can and wipe on the side to ensure all the hardener is discharged. If you are unsure if the hardener has been mixed and discharged from the can repeat this step.

    The amount of the hardener to the base is comparatively small so it is important to get the maximum amount of the hardener into the mixing can or the durability of the coating will be compromised.

  2. Continue power mixing for a further two minutes, before setting the mixer aside and allowing the mixed coating to sit for 15 minutes to allow entrapped air from the mixing process to escape.

You are now ready to apply the Resene Qristal ClearFloor 2K.


Decanting Resene Qristal ClearFloor

Tip three quarters of the mixed Resene Qristal ClearFloor into the roller tray and work the roller well into the coating. (Note we are using a mixed litre of Resene Qristal ClearFloor. The amount will vary if using larger pack sizes).

Cutting in the polyurethane around the corners of the timber floor

Remember to plan the application sequence to avoid polyurethaning yourself into a corner!

Using your brush, cut in around the edges, working to logical start and finish points on the floor. Bring the coating out from the edge by approx 50mm.

Applying the polyurethane coating to the floor
Rolling out the polyurethane coating to the floor

Once done attach an extension pole to the roller handle and carefully apply the coating to the floorboards working up and down the length of the boards ensuring an even finish and taking care to lay-off to eliminate any air bubbles.

Allow two to three hours to dry and apply a second coat. The surface is ready to recoat if the coating does not leave a print when pressed with the thumb.

A third coat and possibly fourth coat will be needed.

Resene Qristal ClearFloor has a four hour pot life at 18 degrees before the mixed product becomes unusable; this means that two coats can be applied from the mixed batch provided the application window is not breached.

Two pack products have a limited life once the components are mixed together, this is called the pot life. As the product approaches the end of its pot life the adhesion properties are highly compromised and will result in system failure. Do not be tempted to apply the product after its stated pot life has expired, even if the product still looks fine.

It is important to determine quantities required for each coat, allowing a 15 to 20% margin for error and to plan your project accordingly.

Lightly sand before the final coat of polyurethane on the floor

Lightly sand the surface using 220 grit sandpaper to remove dust and resin nodules before the application of the final coat. Sanding after the penultimate coat (second to last coat) ensures the coating’s film build is maximised. This rule applies to most clear finishes.

Too often paint films and clear finishes are over-sanded either by being aggressively sanded or sanding after each coat in a multiple coat system.

Ensure the surface is dust and contaminant free before applying additional coats.

Resene Qristal ClearFloor is a significant advance in floor finishing. It is relatively straightforward to apply and does not have the dangerous solvents associated with older technology flooring systems. It is a safer option than traditional solventborne systems for both DIY and professional flooring applicators and can be applied over Resene Colorwood.

Resene Colorwood Enhance can also be added to Resene Qristal ClearFloor 1K and brush applied. It is not suitable for roller application.

Please take the time to carefully read through the instructions on the label. More information including Data Sheets for the Resene products mentioned and Safety Data Sheet/s (SDS) can be found on the Resene website and please note the following:


It is important that after use any leftover quantities of mixed product are not sealed in the can – i.e. with the lid pressed back into place. The mixed product generates carbon dioxide gas which can cause the lid of a tightly sealed can to pop with force. The volume of gas produced is directly related to the volume of left over paint.

Leave the mixed material uncovered in a safe place for at least 48 hours for outgassing to be completed. After this the cans can be sealed up and disposed of through a Resene PaintWise location or an approved hazard waste site.

Key accessories

  • Variable speed power drill and mixing attachment
  • PAL No 10 waterborne roller sleeve
  • Roller tray and handle
  • PAL 50mm or 63mm Legend brush
  • Extension pole (aluminium if more work planned)
  • Painters gloves
  • Tack cloths
  • Sandpaper

Add ons

  • Resene Colorwood Enhance
  • Wood filler
  • Sanding pad 

How to polyurethane a floor by applying Resene Qristal ClearFloor 2k waterborne flooring urethane

Download this project sheet as a PDF

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