We asked our Facebook and Instagram followers the above question. Here are some responses:
I buy hairnets to strain finish. Stretch them over the finish bucket.
Using proper cleaners, floor scrubbers and chemical bonding agents assures peace of mind and lets you sleep at night. The traditional "screen and coat" is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Steven Triplett Jr.
Teach your helpers to coat! I've always had the bad habit of coating the floors myself, or maybe with a lead guy, to ensure the best possible coat. Soon enough you get that large cut-up floor where a few more experienced hands would come in ... handy.
Have a helper that actually likes doing his job and is willing to stay close to you, and cut in all the walls, and has trained eyes to see anything—dust, hair, holidays—and reacts instantly to correct any situation, and communicates with you.
Be clean! Skill is nice, but if you fail to clean properly, skill is irrelevant.
Something I've learned from my boss, Doug Harvey at Classic Sport Floors: When coating sports flooring, use a 24-inch weighted T-bar with a 21⁄2-gallon pour bucket for the finish. It keeps a consistent finish thickness as opposed to when you use a container attached to the pole, which slowly will start leaving a thicker and thicker finish thickness.
When recoating, make sure you check the original floor for contaminants and adhesion issues. Always clean the floor with a proper detergent, not an everyday wood cleaner. Most guys think if they screen the floor they will be fine, but that's not true.
Wear slippers—the kind that have no backs (like clogs)—when coating so if you have to retread on something or step in a puddle, you can just slip them off and go.
Cross my fingers, close my eyes and pray. Then drink beer.
I used to coat on my hands and knees, but I'm too tired and too frickin' old to do that anymore. Roll it.
If you use waterbase in very dry conditions, cool it in a fridge or even in a snow bank before you get going. The finish has to warm up prior to drying, so you get a bit more working time. [Editor's note: Check with the manufacturer of your finish first.]
Be clean: Have a clean haircut, wear shoe covers or different shoes to avoid contamination on the floor, vac/tack before applying finish, use clean finish (if in doubt, use a strainer), wash a new applicator and make sure a used applicator is clean.
Engaging your abs while pulling finish can help reduce stress on your lower back.
See more on this topic: Wood Floor Finishing