If you haven't read part 1 of this exciting post, please do, then join me back here.
If you've already done that feel free to tag along...
So, I've left you, my dear readers, where we've sanded and stained. Due to the horrible spots that have appeared on the floor (still do NOT know why that happened), we'd had to redo the whole floor. Now we've re sanded down to bare wood AGAIN (see part 1). Yup.
I have decided to try a different stain. I'm not sure if it was the stain that was the culprit, showing those horrid white stripes, but thought, let's change everything! So this time I've decided to go with Varathane Espresso stain, another oil based stain. This is a wiping stain - you apply it, wait 10-15 minutes then wipe it off.
I've tested the stain on different samples of the same wood. As we have red Oak flooring, the grain is so pronounced that I wanted to try it on each 'type of grain'. See below - Note on the top board - left side, I did apply a second coat, as it didn't appear to have 'taken' the first time. Usually you don't need a second coat ; as the first coat almost seals the wood , not allowing the stain to penetrate.
We decide to condition the wood. There are several ways to go about doing this. One is to apply a wood conditioner. The other is to lightly mist the floor with water, wait 15 minutes for it to dry, then sand with 100 grit sandpaper - called water popping!. Note when preparing the floor to accept the stain, I recommend between 100 and 120 grit, this allows the grain to 'open up'. If you used a higher numbered grit (finer) sand paper, it would tend to 'seal' the wood and not allow the stain to penetrate. You do need to remember to very lightly sand to remove the 'hair' of the wood that will be raised up after watering.
Now Vacuum thoroughly, everywhere before applying!
Once the wood is conditioned, by lighting spraying a little water on the raw wood, then lightly sanding the wood to remove the 'hairs'; we take a pad applicator dip it into the stain, apply to the floor, in the direction of the grain or wood. Wait 5-15 minutes (we waited 10 minutes), then wipe off with a clean dry lint free cloth.
Here's my contractor Clinton Adrian working hard. Love working with him.
Yup his knees were killing him after this - poor guy!
Here's the coat of stain applied to the whole floor - now we wait for 7 days! The instructions only said 24-48 hours, but I do not want to do this again. (Note the cabinets will be painted later!).
Next step will be to apply the finish coats! Stay tuned!
Update: Click here for Part 3 on how to refinish your red oak flooring.
Being an interior designer, my home and surroundings highly affect how I feel. I have a beautiful new home, but as I did not select the finishes; they are not what I would have chosen . At all.
I have conflicting undertones everywhere and dated finishes, even though the house is just 7 years old.
What's bothered me the most is my hardwood flooring. It's orange, VERY orange, red oak solid hardwood. (And burgundy cabinets, and gold backspash, and black and PINK granite - but that's another story!)
I've decided to bite the bullet and take you on this journey with me. Pardon the dust!
1. First step is to hire someone you trust. I have a brilliant contractor who doesn't specialize in flooring, but he's done great jobs refinishing my client's floors. I trust him.
2. Determine the amount of time this will take, I budgeted 3 weeks, but I'd suggest longer.
3. Determine where you are going to live, whilst your floors are going to be sanded. We live in a large home, so we decided to take over the basement. BUT, the kitchen is among the rooms being sanded, so that will be out of commission for a while. We moved the toaster, Microwave, blender and paper plates and cups downstairs. The fridge ended up on the deck, along with the stove and dishwasher. We've had a very mild winter, so it wasn't a problem to plug in the fridge outside.
4. Next we put poly plastic sheets over everything, the cabinets, counters, railings, fireplace, lighting, stairwell, and entrance to the foyer.
5. My contractor started with a 100 grit sander, and worked about 6 hours and finished a spot only 10 ft x 4 ft. It seems every flooring finish is different, and this finish was EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to remove. To make a long story short, we ended up going with a drum roller with 36 grit paper. And the dust started to fly! We also found out the guest bed was very uncomfortable. Karma I guess.
It took him 4 days to remove 600 sq. ft of finishing and get the wood down to bare wood. We selected the perfect stain colour - not too dark, no red and NO ORANGE undertones. Varathane wood stain in Espresso We applied it, looked great, did the second coat the next day, then were told to wait 24 hours, but waited 72 hours and applied the top coat. Everything looked good, so after 2 days we applied the second top coat and left it to dry overnight.
The next morning the flooring looked good but a little different. That night I noticed white patches appearing on top of certain boards. We left it another day and yup... it looked worse.
I went on every online site, talked to all sorts of professionals that I could find, to research the cause of these random white patches. It looked like someone had poured milk on the wood and let it dry, leaving a dry powdery white coating on about 25% of the boards. No one knew what to do so we....... resanded the whole bloody thing again!
4 more days of sanding - and dust. Aggh...
We vacuumed the walls, windows, floors and everything else again - and started all over....
To be continued in Part 2 of 3 refinishing your Red Oak hardwood floor.
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.