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Worth the 90 minute drive for Duraseal vs 5 minute drive for Minwax?

last month
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Hi Pros,

I have a few questions. I am a very knowledgable DIYer with numerous projects/skills.

I live at least 90 minutes from anywhere that sells a decent floor finishing product. I just finished sanding my rental house 70 year old red oak floors for the 2nd time in 25 years (and the final refinish as the nails are starting to show) and am listing it for sale.

1. Is it worth the drive for Duraseal or is Minwax an okay alternative? I know Minwax is considered garbage by pros but how bad is it? I am looking for affordability but quality product so ruling out water based or hard oil wax for that reason.

2. There are several areas of faint black staining near the sliding door, front door and bathroom doors from water damage over the last 20 years of renters. I can't sand anymore as the nails are starting to show in those areas (we had to do A LOT of sanding 20 years ago for black pet stains throughout so this is the end of the line for these floors). What would you think is the lightest stain I can use but still cover the faint black areas?

3. The floors were previously finished with Miniwax semigloss polyurethane. It is all but impossible for me to get all the finish/stain off under the hot water radiators that span 2 walls in each room (not the tall kind). I can't reach the way back near the wall even with a scraper or mouse sander so about an half inch of finish and stain remains. As long as I scufff sand it, will the new poly stick to the bit of old finish. It is not visible once the covers are in place but I am somewhat of a perfectionist and this is bugging me.

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