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Cat-a-lyst

Oct 11, 2013

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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® NX and PureMatte™. Catalyst is optional in Emulsion PRO™, and you can read about the benefits of catalyst in Emulsion PRO on its Technical Data Sheet.   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; catalyst can irritate skin and eyes upon contact

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