We're refinishing our approximately 90 year old hardwood floors, we
want them to be very dark when finished. We have completed two rooms
using dark tinted tung oil finish and a urethane topcoat. The floors
look spectacular, but are already showing wear from our dog. The
floors seem to be easily scratched, and then the urethan flakes off,
it doesn't seem to be adhering well.
My question is this: Is there a good solution to darken floors and
apply a very durable finish?
Any knowledgeable suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance
First of all, poly varnish will not stick well to an oil base, as you
In my experience I know of no way to darken floors outside of removing the
existing finish by power sanding, then solvent (non-oil, non-rubbing)
staining, followed, after days of drying and fine sanding, by a hard
modern clear varnish, such as polyurethane. Relying on varnish stains is a
very short term approach, as the wear surface quickly abrades, exposing the
original wood color, whereas solvent ( low viscosity) stains penetrate into
the wood, while the poly finish preserves the wood. Then, touching up damage
is a matter of brushing on varnish where needed.
Tung oil is not an accepted product under polyurethane on a floor. You
should be using a stain specfic for the products you use. That product
should be specific for floor use. All the problems you mention are a direct
result of that tung oil. Any penetrating floor stain will give you the color
you want, they are available in any color of the rainbow.
You will need to shop for a retailer who will sell the good stuff. Bona Kemi
or Basic Coatings are by far the best floor finish manufacturers. You should
buy the top of the line, about $80/gal. Bona makes a very good, fast dry
stain. Dura Seal (Minwax) makes an excellant stain but they require long dry
time under a water base finish. A very dark color such as Coffee Brown or
Ebony is pigmented which lays on the surface rather than penetratring.
Longer to dry and they generally won't last as long. You will also need to
pop the grain before staining for more penetration, darker color and better
If you had used oilbase poly as the topcoat (at least 4 coats for
durability) it probably would have worked ok assuming the tung oil stuff was
dry. If it was water-base poly, you are SOL. This is sad. You are going
to have to sand the whole floor again, and then either stay with a complete
water-based system as other posters have suggested, or use oil-based stain
and oil-based poly.
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.