Cat-a-lyst / katl-ist (noun) 1.) A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.
Adding catalyst is a great choice when using a hardwood finish. While you may not “need” a catalyst, it is recommended to avoid excessive scuffing and scratching. If done correctly, your floor finish in conjunction with a catalyst will leave your floors aesthetically appealing and tough as nails.
We recommend using catalyst in Basic Coatings’ StreetShoe® 275 and Hydroline®Plus. Catalyst is optional in Emulsion PRO™, click here to read about the benefits of catalyst in Emulsion PRO. Once catalyzed wood floor finishes have a pot life of 24 hours. After that, the catalyst slowly becomes less effective because it reacts with the water in the system. Re-dosing or re-catalyzing unused portions of finish after 24 hours restores the mar and chemical resistance properties of the dried film.
When working with unused portions of catalyzed finish, it is important to keep in mind that the un-reacted catalyst remains in the film and tends to act as a plasticizer, thus resulting in a slightly softer film. Therefore, we recommend that catalyzed products only be re-catalyzed one time and that re-catalyzed finish be reserved for lower coats, rather than finish topcoats.
General Reminders When Using Catalyst
- Add catalyst slowly while stirring the finish with a clean stir-stick
- Never add catalyst to hot finish – allow finish to come to room temperature
- Never store catalyzed finish in hot temperatures as it will solidify
- Wear proper protection – can irritate skin and eyes upon contact
Micah Petersen, Product Manager for Basic Coatings, spent the first 15 years of his career as a Research and Development Chemist before becoming Product Manager. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and a multitude of outdoor activities. For further questions regarding hardwood floor care and Basic Coatings, please email Micah at Micahblog@basiccoatings.com