How Much Stripper & Finish Do I Need?

A general rule of thumb for stripper is 1 gallon of diluted stripper per 100 square feet of floor needing stripping.
If a stripper has a dilution ration of 1:5, that is stating to add 1 gallon of the concentrate to 5 gallons of water making 6 total gallons of liquid.  Those 6 gallons of stripper could strip about 600 square feet of flooring with a "normal" amount of finish needing removal.  This estimate is totally a general rule of thumb and can widely vary.  Obviously if you have 15 coats of finish, then you are going to need a lot more than 1 gallon per 100 square feet to complete the stripping job.  If you have almost no finish on the floor, then it will go farther.

As a side note, please use a no-rinse required stripper and save yourself tons of time.  Modern strippers like Mighty Mac Hellcat, Betco Extreme, or Betco Unlock do not need a rinse after the stripping process.  Just allow the floor to dry completely, and start application of the finish.  Also a major mistake when using strippers is not using the correct water temperature.  Read the label.  If the label says to use cold water--- they mean it.  Hot water causes the active ingredients in strippers to evaporate before the stripper has done the job.  I cannot express how many times I've gone out to an upset customer using our best stripper to walk through the process they used. Two minutes into the review process, they are filling their stripper bucket with the hottest water they have in the building.  "Hotter makes it work faster" WAS true with old strippers, but new modern strippers are dead before they hit the floor when you use hot water.  Please read the label for the correct water temps.

Finish manufacturers like to say the coverage rate of most finishes is about 3,000 to 3,500 square feet per gallon.  In an ideal world maybe that's true.  I generally recommend people use 2,000 square feet per gallon as a good coverage value.  Why?  Manufacturers don't take into account the following real life factors that lower the coverage rate: finished used to "load up" the applicator that will never be used, the first coat soaks in, film thickness variations in application, the person's application skill level, waste of unused product, solid content of the finish, etc.  So I plan for 5 coats of finish on a new freshly stripped floor, 2,000 square feet works out as a good coverage rate factor.  If you are doing a scrub and a re-coat, then 3,000 square feet per gallon works better.

Now you are on your way to a great looking floor.

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