CLEAR hardwood finishes? -- moisture cure, etc.

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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Apparently you are not familiar with paste wood filler. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grain_filler
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dadiOH
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dadiOH wrote:

I've used wood filler to fill in rotted wood storm window frames. Tried it on furniture, but the oak furniture I tried it on really didn't need it....the finish, in two or three coats, filled the grain just fine. The OP sounds like a relative newby, and getting wood filler in the right color for an entire floor is not, IMO, a task for a newby.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Uhhh...OK. Didn't work very well, did it?

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dadiOH
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dadiOH wrote:

Not the same kind used for furniture, I'm sure, but it served the purpose. My daughter has a nice little bungalow and it was obvious the storms hadn't been used for years....standing on garage floor, the bottoms of the worst ones had rotted away to the extent they were just ragged along bottom edges. I stripped old alligatored paint from exterior trim for most of the regular windows and repainted. Recaulked around windows, of course. When it came time to consider the storms, I figured that with careful handling the filler would make them fit well enough to keep the weather out of the house :o) Slapped on the wood filler, repainted, reglazed some and put them up. My daughter replaced all of her windows last year, and the storms were probably still up :o)

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Maybe that's the problem. I was hoping to be able to apply a completely clear finish and have it look pretty much the way it looks now unfinished, but with a clear finsih on top. I guess that won't happen.
In my original post, I was also asking about clear Moisture Cure Urethane. The impression I got is that when it goes on it doesn't really change the color or look of the wood. I think they said that is what is used on bowling alleys. I don't know if all of that is true, but it doesn't matter anyway because I can't find any places to buy the stuff other than online.

Replacing boards won't be a realsitic option at this point. And, I don't think I'll get to do the picture idea. Since today is Saturday, I need to figure out something and get this done this weekend.
I have a hunch that what I am going to end up doing is picking one of the stains that I already tested and go with that. The stains all darken and even out the color variations, and some of them look okay enough to go with (I'm leaning toward Colonial Maple or Golden Pecan). Maybe it won't be exactly what I was hoping for -- just a clear finish over the unfinished wood -- but it will be done.

Yes, I did do what the instructions said about applying the stain, leaving it there for a certain amount of time, and then wiping it. I thought it was fairly interesting the way the stains worked and looked by doing that. Earlier I had tried MinWax "Polyshades" which is a combination of stain and polyurethane in one. That was okay, and it would be a lot easier, but then I read that Polyshades is not supposed to be used on floors -- I am not sure why -- so I guess that's out.
Thanks for all of your help and suggestions. It does appear that you know a lot about all of this and have a lot of experience with it.
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JayB wrote:

Most good paint stores ... Sherwin Williams, Ben Moore...carry Minwax products. A real paint store is a good place to make friends:o) The issue you are dealing with is a less than ideal selection of wood....if you read the details of each type of red oak on the website, you will see that. The "rustic" grade is the leftovers, with knots, less-than-desireable grain, etc. Always a good learning experience :o) You still have a good solid floor that will take lots of wear and tear - unless there is a flood or animals toileting on oak floors, it is hard to damage it. Done properly, it is also pretty easy to maintain. Taking off shoes at the door will help :o) I'd take solid oak before pergo-type c=== any day.
I stripped oak kitchen cabinets for a friend once because I was out of work and needed money. Only after I slathered on paint remover did I realize the end panels of the cabinets were not solid oak like rest of the cabinet...they were particle board with printed grain. I was already on the verge of nervous breakdown and that almost put me over the edge. I got out my art stuff and between wood stain and a few brush strokes with oil paint I was able to fake the grain pretty well. Not obvious. I also painted fake woodgrain on floor boards for a doll house. If you have spots that really stick out like a sore thumb, you can paint in - with a light touch - enough grain to camouflage the spots before you do final finish.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Yep, that and few other stupid choices on my part turned this whole thing into a big mess. So, for now, I am just going to slog my way through this and chalk it up as an expensive and seemingly neverending learning experience. Next time, prefinished hardwood for sure -- just install it and walk out the door with nothing to finish. Plus, by buying unfinished wood, and too low of a grade of wood to boot, I ended up with way more wasted wood than I would have had with prefinished wood. Oh well.
:o) You still have a good solid floor that will take lots

I like the story about the cabinets and it almost putting you over the edge. I know the feeling.
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JayB wrote:

Not a stupid choice at all...until one has a good amount of experience they are not likely to realize there are "grades" of unfinished woods. I'd be willing to bet the floor will look beautiful and very few people will notice what you have concerns with about the appearance of the wood grain. Red oak is still gorgeous stuff....hell, just advertise the rental as "rustic red oak flooring throughout" and charge an extra $100/month :o)

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I cant understand how clear over new wood can look bad, ive seen to much red oak that never looks bad after a light sanding, Unless its Water Damaged and old and oxidised. Give it a light sanding and think about water damage and getting your money back if it still looks bad. There has been alot of flood damaged wood from southern floods, I can imagine it was purchased cheap from insurance companies and reboxed, that stuff doesnt just get junked. Pay a pro floor guy to come over and get his opinion. New lightly sanded red oak looks great with any clear finish that ive seen over the last 35 years. The wood and finish will darken over time a shade or two, I would go clear with only the last coat being a lower sheen if thats what you want in a finish.
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JayB wrote:

They are amber because they are oil based. They don't stain the wood, they wet it. Most people like that because it accentuates the grain. If you put oil base poly (3-4 coats) on a light wood the wood will be noticeably yellower.
Water base polys are white when liquid, clear when dry; however, they too wet the wood just much less than oil poly.
Someone told you about using a wiped off wash of white paint to avoid the penetration of the clear top coat. That works and will give you an appearance pretty close to the raw wood. Best to dilute the oil paint about 50/50 with thinner. The downside is that the non-penetration of the top coat means it is stuck to the residual paint, not the wood; however, I have never had any problem doing it...all my now 14 year old butternut kitchen cabinets are white washed.
You should be aware that regardless of what clear top coat you use the wood is going to change color over time and exposure to light. Generally, that change is darker.
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Lots of luck with that. What happens if the wood has no tannins? Many don't.
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Yes
Yes
None I know of. Most important thing is to keep grit swept up. Polys resist scratches well but grit will eventually get them too. Especially if you used glossy rather than semi-gloss (more noticeable on gloss).

Yes. And vice versa assuming the one being covered is totally dry and/or fully cured. However, unless the old surface is pretty worn it needs to be lightly sanded to promote adhesion.
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dadiOH
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My latest frustration is that I went to 3 stores (Home Depot, Lowes, and Ace Hardware) to find Minwax Water Based Polyurethane for Floors Professional Formula and Minwax Water Based Polyurethane for Floors Base Coat, and none of the 3 stores had it.
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Whatever you do, don't go to a PAINT store!
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use a matt finish, the best wat to get an almost in visible finish Check out http://www.brierleymills.co.uk/index.php
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