New floor will be finished with Waterlox sealer/finish but I want to
change the color a bit. I can either stain the floor first or mix up
to 32 fluid ounces of die or stain per gallon of Waterlox (oil-based
only). Two questions:
1. What brand stain would you recommend?
2. Which method of application (stain first or mix?)
Personally, I would go to the local paint store, not the big box, and
have them mix up some colored polyurethane. My experience with pine
(unless you stain it all really dark) is that all the imperfections,
the tear out and tiny little cracks really soak up the stain and make
the surface look cheap.
I would take a piece of the same pine or as similar as I could find and
experiment on that first. You might try conditioning the wood with a
wash coat of shellac, or a colored wash coat of shellac to partially
seal the grain first.
The guys that manufacture flooring though, all use colored finishes to
make sure they keep the color/appearance/finish consistent.
The oil will help the pine oxidize to a mellow amber. Thin the first coat
even up and soak the snot out of the floor before you use a coat of high
solids, and resinous irregularities will be minimized.
If you've got knots and lots, seal 'em with shellac prior to the wash.
Don't believe the folks who say they can resin-set in the kiln.
Look at what you have after the wash, and take it about 25-50% darker in
your mind. Is that what you wanted? If so, press on. If not, mix stain
with the next coat.
Prep the pine first with a coat of wood conditioner (e.g. Minwax) or 1#
shellac. Soft woods have varying densities throughout which means that
whatever stain you put on will soak in at different rates giving a
blotchy appearance. And be sure to test everything you do on scrap first.
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