Being actively involved in the hardwood flooring industry I get kept abreast with newer finish technologies. General Finishes Pro Image water based floor finish is a newer single component floor finish.
It is a urethane/acrylic finish using higher quality ingredients to give it superior scratch, scuff and heel mark resistance. It is a clear finish that won’t amber over time and doesn’t have that plastic look that some more popular water based finishes have. Since it is 90% urethane by solid content, it won’t suffer from a phenomenon known in the trade as White Line Syndrome or WLS. WLS is a problem with most water based finishes and is caused by the wood moving during change in climate and stretching the finish causing the appearance of white lines along board lines.
Pro Image is the first single component water based finish to achieve such a high urethane content. This helps the finish to achieve better scratch, chemical and water resistance, gives the finish more give to conform to dents caused by things being dropped,
Being a water based finish it has lower VOC’s as compared to traditional oil or “Swedish” finishes. Which translates into lower odors in the home and quicker dissipation of the solvents. Once dry there is no further “off gassing” that is usually experienced for a few days with a “Swedish” finish. The Pro Image has higher slip resistance than most other water based finishes, which is an important point to consider if you have people or pets around that have a difficult time walking or if you want to finish the stairs.
After the floor is sanded and stained, if applicable, a sealer is first applied then 2 coats of Pro Image in your choice of sheen with satin being the most popular option. We offer an additional coat of finish if you have a more heavily used floor and want a little extra protection.
After the finish is applied the floor may be used with socks only in six hours, furniture in three days, and rugs in ten days. Be careful during the first ten days as the finish is more susceptible to scratching and scuff marks.
Since I like to personally use and test the products I sell, I recently installed a Northern Red Oak floor in my kitchen and hall. I then stained it with Dura Seal Spice Brown, our most popular color. I applied one coat of sealer then 3 coats of Pro Image in a satin sheen because I have 6 kids and we entertain frequently so I wanted the extra protection of an additional coat of finish. My wife and I absolutely love the look of the finish. It is really clear like you would find with the Glitsa Gold Seal Swedish finish. So far it is holding up very well and looks like it will definitely stand the test of time.
Most people in this part of the country have not heard of General Finishes. Being one of the first companies in this area to use this product extensively I’m sure it won’t be long before most of my higher quality competition follows suit once people see the benefits of using their products. I love to give General Finishes my support because it is an American company located in Wisconsin with a long tradition of making excellent paints, stains, and finishes for different industries. They build their business on seeking the best quality instead of highest volume of sales thus you won’t see their products in big box stores.