What type of finish for hardwood floors?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Earthbound, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    Our house was built in 1951 and has Fir hardwood flooring. Don't imagine it has been refinished since then either and is pretty dull, and well ugly..... I've been putting off refinishing it as our house is very high traffic and we live on a working farm, boots in house, 3 dogs, hauling in firewood for the winter,......We just painted the livingroom and "redecorated" a la, new second hand couch...lol! And the floors need doing.
    question, what type of finish will hold up REALLY well??
    corry
     
  2. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    • Sand down to nice bare wood, or a smooth surface -- this is the most important step in getting a good finish
    • Dilute first coat 10% with paint thinner
    • LIGHTLY sand between EACH coat, max #220 sandpaper between coats, could go lighter later
    • Vacuum
    • Wipe entire surface with a rag with paint thinner on it
    • 6 to 10 coats is great
    • NO shoes, boots, no scuffling along -- pick up feet -- socks, slippers, or soft INSIDE shoes, or barefoot, only
    • Sweeping and occasional mop with little water.
    • Felt on bottom of chairs, etc.
    • Make some braided wool rugs from old blankets, like Nancy does

    [​IMG]
    These floors are 34 year-old Pine, with 8 coats of varnish (5 years old now,) and Nancy’s rugs, on them.

    Good Luck,

    Alex
     

  3. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    Man those are beautiful!!!! Shoes not in the house are not an option unfortuately, I wear gum boots most of the year and we are constantly running into the house for change for the farm stand, to wash eggs with customers waiting, to go to the washroom....... I also have 3 dogs that are inside outside so their nails can do damage especially when playing. I must sound like a total slob, which I'm not, house is swept and floors washed EVERY day. Im wondering which would show up the wear more, a shiney surface or a duller finish like a satin or such?? I lived in an apartment many years back that had the floors re-done just before we moved in, it was a total nightmare as we were walking on eggshells trying not to mark it up, I can't live like that......
    We run a farm and live as such.
    corry
     
  4. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    We have farm type things to do and;
    • Two dogs (most of the time -- from the neighbours -- stay with us while they are not working during the day with the cows.) NO damages from the dogs, except one night when they stayed in, there was a little surprise pile near the back door in the morning. That didn't hurt the floors -- sort of blended in -- and it was too early for me to recognize the difference until I FELT the texture with by barefoot. Upsetting, but the floors were fine. There was some disappointment on my part, and some comments as I let them out.
    • A lot of in out traffic by two to four and visits by neighbours
    • Working clothes from; Tractors, construction, repairs, land clearing development and farming
    • Garden
    • Clean vegies in the house
    • Snow
    • Forty below
    • Wood
    • Break up
    • Gravel drive way
    • Probably floors are swept every other day
    • Mopped . . . hmmm . . . not that often, once a week or so, more like the so

    And if there is a problem, scratches, dullness, etc, you would have some varnish left over. Just get out the #220, palm sander, put on some fresh in the problem spot.

    Go for it. I am not that fussy for Satin on the floor -- we put it on the log walls though.

    Alex
     
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    For the circumstances you described I would consider tung oil only. Sand the floors and apply the tung oil, reapply until you get the sheen you desire. Never wax the finish, just sweep and damp mop. Anytime you want to renew the appearance apply a single coat of tung oil over a clean floor. Tung oil is a wonderful natural product that will not water mark. It preserves wood and brings out the true colors of the wood. The product is bulletproof IMO.
     
  6. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    Thats just what i needed to know! I like the fact of being able to touch up areas as needed. As I said your floors are fantastic and I have always liked a gloss better, just needed some advice from someone with actual high traffic experience. So where would one pick up this finish? We will be renting a floor sander and then have the option of using our sander off the air compressor or a hand belt sander?? which would you suggest? How did you get the dark color in between the boards? I love the rustic look and that would fit in great here, thank you soooooo much for your advice, I'm excited!!
    corry
     
  7. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    Tung oil??? Never heard of it, will do some research. Would you sand the floors first?
    corry
     
  8. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    You may need a belt sander to start with, and use rough, medium, and fine sandpaper until you get it the way you want. Or, you may only need palm or air compressor orbital sander if the floor is in fairly good shape already.

    We buy our Bher Marine exterior varnish at Home Depot. You can use any good quality 'spar' or 'marine' exterior varnish. I do like the Bher, and others are good too.

    Good Luck,

    Alex
     
  9. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a bunch!! Will keep you posted!!
    corry
     
  10. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    Thread Drift...

    Alex..please tell Nancy.."WOW"..great job on that rug.. :)
     
  11. hmsteader71

    hmsteader71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Beautiful place!
     
  12. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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    I'll second the marine varnish. We've done that before and it is THE BEST. You'll love being able to just damp mop the floors. It lasts for years and years. We've also done it with the matt finish on brick and tile floors.

    Definitely sand the floors before varnishing - you want a clean fresh floor.

    BW
     
  13. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    Oak floors here, redid exactly one year ago. House was built in '62 ish... (so says the toilet!)....

    [​IMG]

    I believe it was a local company and its a polyurethane finish... I love it...no carpeting in this house!
     
  14. glazed

    glazed Tough Girl, Be Gentle

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    I suppose it all depends on what look and feel you want in your house (and also what kind of maintenance you are prepared to upkeep in the future.)

    We refinished our ancient hardwood floors using nothing but WATCO Danish Oil (after floor sander, of course.) It absorbs quickly into the raw wood to seal it, and leaves a beautiful satin sheen that does not scratch or mar like the thick, shiny varnished floors.

    In fact, we have also used the Danish Oil on unfinished oak book shelves ... it lends a perfect natural stain to the wood grain.

    Being the "new one" here, this is just my "penny" contribution. Good luck!
     
  15. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    Thanks mamacrow I will look into that and the tung oil for our floors
     
  16. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    the problem with a lot of "old time" finishes is they darken the wood in time. I used Glitza in 1997. Glitza wont garken the wood. It isnt available anymore because it was so nasty to work with, but there is a replacement. Its expensive. Its around $70 per gallon. A florring company(not home depot, they dont know thier rear from a hole in the ground) can tell you the new stuff.
     
  17. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    I must add that we have brand new hardwood floors pre-finished from factory 3/4" thick solid oak. Now, i love them but they are so shiny that when we walk through the house in barefeet, you leave footprints - atleast in teh summer, so in hindsight, i would have went with a not so shiny finish.

    Alex, those floors are gorgeous.
     
  18. doc623

    doc623 Well-Known Member

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    We used gym floor finish for stairs and landings.
    Sanded between coats.
    Has held up under all types of traffic for the last 14 years.
     
  19. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    Mama Crow,
    I've been looking into the Watco finish for the floors we will be installing in our cabin. Do you have wood floors in your kitchen? I've been wondering how well it will hold up in an area where you get spills.
     
  20. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if it is available in a finish you can apply, but these days all the pre-finished wood flooring you can buy has a layer of aluminum oxide on top, which apparently really makes the finish last a long time. Maybe look for that as an ingredient.

    Have you tried phoning a place that sells replacement flooring, and asking them what kinds of products are used to renew those floors when they get worn? They'll likely try to steer you to a product they sell at their shop but it might give you some keywords to read about on the web that would help you decide what to do.