Can a floor be stained via tinting polyurethane with a wood stain?


A floor refinishing company has told me they can finish our pine floor by adding what to me seems a small amount of minwax stain [something in the range of 6-12 oz] to the polyurethane they use [Ace] before applying the polyurethane. They are suggesting this rather than first applying the stain and then later going over it with the sealer, which is the way I thought this would typically be done. Any thoughts on whether their method is viable? thanks.
RL
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Assuming the materials are compatible it should work, but it won't look as good or be as durable.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bewildered wrote:

I suspect they are suggesting it because it saves on the total number of coats needed to finish the floor and thus on their labor.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And that would be a bad reason to go this route.
However, the contractor may have serious and reasonable concerns about the ability of the existing floor to accept a nice even stain. That might have to do with the type of wood and/or residues from previously applied finishes. In that case, coloring the poly might be a reasonable thing to do. However, I'd try to avoid that on a floor, especially if you're seeking a significant amount of color change.
--
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It would seem to me that adding color to the top coat would mean that as the polyurethane is worn away, the color will wear away with it. Then when you reapply polyurethane at some point down the road, you will never get the colors to match, and the high-traffic area will always stand out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BZ wrote:

Greetings,
If you add stain to the polyurethane it should be done in the first coat only (as I understand it). So long as you do not wait until you get down to the first coat of polyurethane before recoating it should never be a problem. If you were concerned you could put on three coats of polyurethane instead of two.
Hope this helps, William
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As soon as the first coat of poly dries, the wood is basically sealed. Subsequent coats of this poly/stain mix wouldn't get into the grain of the wood, so you may end up with a finish that hides the grain.
I would definitely question the flooring guys idea...ask him "You've done this a lot more than me, but I've read that the common practice back in the day was to stain the floor then apply the poly after it dries." You'll avoid a confrontational situation this way, and hopefully he'll have the ability to explain this method.
Then express your concerns with this method, and ask him if it saves YOU any money for him to save coats if that's the reason. If he's the lowest bidder in town, you'll know right away why.
btw: you can finish the floor yourself without too much trouble. Just be careful when you sand.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What you describe, adding a stain to a coat of finish, is called a glaze. It is commonly done by professional finishers because it is easier than a separate stain coat and gives much more even results. Bare pine, for example, is known for absorbing stain unevenly, giving blotchy results. This technique is also quite useful when trying to color match while doing spot repairs.
The only caveat to using a glaze is that if the glaze coat wears through, the color changes. Not really a problem if a glaze coat is the first coat, as if that coat wears through you already have problems. I would suggest that if you are starting with bare wood, you request a glaze coat plus two top coats.
Note that all coats except the topmost should be gloss; the top coat can be satin or semi-gloss if desired. The reason for this is that a deglosser weakens the coat, and a single coat of deglossed finish is sufficient, so there is no reason to weaken the base coats.
Cheers, Wayne
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for your replies. I had also emailed Minwax, and their position was that mixing their stain with a polyurethane was not going to work well in that the mixture would not dry properly. They recommended staining first then sealing.
RL
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.