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Staining/varnishing brand new floor boards...

(10 Posts)
willowstar Wed 16-Sep-09 06:00:07


we are just about to lay new flooring throughout the downstairs of our house, which currently has concrete floors. Yuk.

Anyway...for economy we have gone with a soft red wood. They are very pale.

Now, we really like when wood discolours and ages over time but I don't like it when the wood turns yellowy from varnish, which is what happened in our last house when we used a regular waterbased varnish.

So...I am thinking of staining first to a slightly darker shade then using a solvent based varnish because I have read this helps the timber to age better. But really I am a bit clueless and don't know much about it. Just wondered if anyone has any experience of doing this and how did the stain followed by varnish work? Maybe better just going for varnish and accepting very pale wood???

beanstalk Wed 16-Sep-09 06:08:26

Willow - we are just about to do the same thing! We have had new pine floorboards laid and want more of a dark oak colour. From my research so far I think that staining followed by several coats of clear varnish is the way to go. I am just wary of ensuring the staining is even coloured and what type (ie brand) of varnish to use. I have had a professional around to quote even though we are doing the work ourselves and I'm hoping to get his advice today. Will post again with any useful info I find out!!

willowstar Wed 16-Sep-09 06:24:33

oo thanks, that is interesting. i definately read to use a trade solvent based varnish rather than a more commonly available water based one for better ageing. I too am concerned about getting even colour with a stain. I look forward to hearing what your professional has to say :-)

Rox73 Wed 16-Sep-09 20:29:47

We did this to our house, make sure you get a proper professional/experienced person to do this otherwise the staining will look uneven and not quite as nice as you'd have wanted. Also the colour wears pretty quickly, we have natural oak and went for a dark oak finish and after a year there is alot of patches where the stain has faded.

beanstalk Wed 16-Sep-09 20:53:13

Rox - it faded even though you got a professional to do it? Hmmm, this is what I am worried about.

Willow- the guy hasn't come back to me with his quote or advice, typical! Hopefully someone else on here will be able to help us out?

Rox73 Wed 16-Sep-09 21:18:40

It faded in areas where there is heavy foot traffic, e.g. in the kitchen area

You could say it adds character... I would say that if you want an even finish that lasts, you're better off buying floorboards already treated and in the colour you want.

I wouldn't stain my floorboards again but having said that, everyone who has seen my house has raved about the floor.

Scratch marks also come through easily. So if you're going to stain them, expect to do it quick frequently if you want to maintain that new floor look.

Rox73 Wed 16-Sep-09 21:19:26

quite frequently, i meant to write..

beanstalk Wed 16-Sep-09 21:28:26

Too late to buy pre treated wood, the boards are already down! Did you varnish over the top of the stain and if so how many coats? I would have expected several coats of clear varnish would have helped protect the wood and its colour?

Rox73 Wed 16-Sep-09 21:43:42

I can't remember how many times they varnished the boards TBH, sorry.

willowstar Thu 17-Sep-09 09:10:23

hmmmm...interesting. It is also too late for us to buy pre-treated and we will be doing it ourselves. we want the aged look so have no objections to it getting tattier as time goes on. Our house is 100+ years old so it will suit it if you know what i mean. We thought stain and 3 coats of varnish should do it.

Also beanstalk...I read you should prepare the floorboards with a weaker solution first.

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