Interior design help for everyone.
If you haven't read Part One or Part Two, then please do so :)
If you're all up to date, let's continue, as we're onto the finishing coats!
Well, we've sanded and re-stained and now we needed to select the perfect finish coat.
Basically, there are 2 main types of finish coats. Oil based and water based. Each of them usually come in matte, satin or gloss. I wanted a matte look so I tried the water based matte formulas on a test piece of wood. I noticed it came out very matte looking which was great, but it looked like it was a plastic finish, with an almost gray/white look - not the look I'm going for. It didn't let the beauty of the wood shine through.
I also tried the satin finish, in both the water and oil based finishes. It showed the stain of the wood a little better, but it was very glossy. The Satin was so glossy in fact - that I knew not to even try the Gloss finish!
Can you see the original unfinished stain on the left, and the water based matte on the right above?
I wanted a warm rich, but still matte look - as we have so many huge floor to ceiling windows - I didn't want more glare from the sun showing up on our floor. Here's the oil based matte stain above on the left with unfinished wood on the right. I still wasn't loving that plastic sheen look in either the water or oil finishes.
I learnt that tiny particles of sand are added into the matte finish coats in both oil and water based finishes. Hence the dull, whitish look on the left.
So I decided, after about 6 hours of research online to try out a 3rd option - an oil rubbed finish. I did a sample on one board, and loved it, so decided to try it on a larger area of the actual floor, and finally had the tradesman (a different man this time, as Clinton had no expertise with the oil rubbed finish) apply the oil to the whole floor. See below. My flooring re-finisher brought in a $7,500 machine that had a Scotch Brite type pad on the bottom, it applied the oil beautifully, heated up the oil and almost burnished it into the wood. We let it dry for 2 days then applied another coat of the hardwax oil. This oil goes on as a liquid, then dries to a rock hard wax finish. This is why I always hire professionals, they put the money into the top notch machines/tools that really make a difference.
It looks absolutely stunning and is exactly what I wanted! Yipee!
I used Eukula Hard Wax Oil. Read on for the application procedures.
Now, we've finally finished our floors and after a few days, we've been able to walk on them, one week later, we've moved the furniture back in.
Just to be safe, I'll leave the area rug off for a month or so, to ensure the finish really hardens. I'm absolutely thrilled with it. Look below to see the old original orange shiny floors on the left, and my new neutral brown oil rubbed floors on the right. It was a LOT of work, but was certainly worthwhile!
We finally found out what went wrong with the first staining. The flooring should have been sanded with a screen sander, it's a large square sander that gives a very even finish, but not too smooth of a finish, as you want the stain to penetrate the wood! It was sanded very smooth, to our feel, but this special machine had a screen on it which gives a different sort of sanding, which worked on the different grain patterns in our red oak.
Now the floors look so great, (thank you God!).
So the next step that I'm onto is refinishing my kitchen cabinets, and new quartz counter tops and maybe a new sectional, and maybe a rug, and lighting, don't forget the lighting....
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Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.