Wood Floor Finishes, Choosing A Wood Finish

Wood Floor Finishes, Choosing A Wood Finish

Wood Floor Finishes

Applying wood floor finishes. is an easy process, but can sometimes be tricky. Even professional flooring contractors will sometimes cringe, when it comes time for applying wood finishes.

A few things you should know about your wood finish, before you start coating your wood flooring.

There are many different wood finish available. It can be a soft finish like stains and sealers. Or hard wood floor finish such as polyurethane wood finish, tung-oil wood finish, wax, etc.

Choosing the best wood floor finish isn’t easy, with such a large selection, which one is right for you.

You must ask yourself.

What’s the look your after or like?

What type of color?

How much does the finish change as it ages?

How much time do you want to spend on cleaning and maintaining them?

How much time can you spend being away from your home, while the work is being done?

How long will the wood finishes, last with your specific lifestyle?

Ask yourself the above questions, and you’ll be able to narrow your decision on choosing the best wood floor finish for your money.

Tip. Invest in a high quality top coat finish. Your money will be well spent in this area.

Types of Wood Finishes


Sealer — Use this finish for decks, porches and if it’s recomended by the manufacture for use with a polyurethane wood finish, on hardwood floors.

Wood floor sealers are a soft finish with little amberring and some are highly flammable.

Do not smoke and turn off all pilot lights. when using this wood finish product.

They’re primarily used as a first coat prior to applying polyurethane finishes. Be sure that the sealer you chose is compatible with your polyurethane you’re applying. If they’re not, your polyurethane finish coat will break down and either delaminate(blister) or chip and flake. Resulting in a system failure, money wasted.

This normally occurs within 3 yrs. after it’s been applied.

Most home owners will use this wood floor finish, when they’re putting their home on the real estate market.

Stain Wood Finish

Stain and Aniline Wood Dye Stain — Use this wood finish, when you want to add a specific color to your hardwood floors, to match your interior design.

Stains are a soft wood finish, mask off surfaces that you don’t want to get color on, an reduce clean-up time.

Due to exposure to dirt and oil, a stain wood finish coat is vulnerable to damages. Stand alone stain coat with no top coat. can turn grayish in color, over time, as it absorbs dirt and moisture.

Add durability. by top coating with a high quality durable wood floor finish, to protect your color from scrathces and wearing off.

There are other methods of getting color onto your wood flooring. You can use Aniline wood dye stains to get a more vibrant color and modern look. such as an expresso wood finish.

Or white-wash. you simply use latex paint, then dilute with water and apply like stain wood finish. You can use other paint colors, to get a more extra ordinary and unique look, have fun with your interior decorating ideas.

Tung Oil Wood Finish

Tung Oil Wood Finish — This wood product is mostly found on furnitures, but are also used to protect floors, to achieve a natural wood look.

Tung oil is durable, has an amberring appearance, and is easy to apply.

With Tung oil wood finish, the more you apply, the more durable it will be. Your final sanding pass should be a high grit, 120 or higher.

Apply several coats up to five or more, to achieve a durable surface. Although, easy to apply this wood floor finish requires a lot of work to complete.

When applying tung oil use a large oil paint brush. You can also use a lambs wool applicator. just make sure there’s no loose fibers.

You want to apply with the grain of the floor. Apply up to 3 or 4 coats before screening the surface with 220 grit sanding strip and maroon buffing pad.

Wood Floor Finishes, Choosing A Wood Finish

After you buffed the floor, vacuum, clean and tack, then recoat.

Repeat process until you’ve achieved your desire sheen and look.

Note: the more coats you apply the shinier your wood floor will be, when using a tung oil wood floor finishes.

Polyurethane finish

Oil-Base Polyurethane Finish and Water based wood finish — These two wood floor finishes are used commonly throughout in many homes.

On hardwood floors and furnitures, polyurethane finishes arevery durable, an easy to work with.

Recommended amount of coats are 3 polyurethane floor finish for oil base wood finish and 1 sealer and 3 polyurethane coats for water based wood finish. With high end wood finishes you can aply less coats. This will protect and make your wood flooring last longer under proper care and maintenance, compared to the low end stuff.

These wood floor finishes are available in oil base and water base. You could find these at any home center near you.

Moisture Cure Wood Floor Finish

Moisture Cure Wood Floor Finish — This is a high quality finish. Its durability is much greater than regular polyurethane

finishes, along with the odor.

Very important to have good ventilation when working with this wood finish.

This is a great finish to use in conditions where the air is very moist.

The speed of curing depends on, how much humidity is in the air. The higher the humidity. the more rapid the dry time.

Moisture cure wood floor finish will outlast a traditional polyurethane finish. Ask a flooring supplier near you, if, they carry this product.

Swedish Finish

Swedish Finish — This finish is also known as an acid finish or acid cure. This is the toughest finish on the market, making it illegal in some states. Like my state of Massachusetts, so I haven’t had the satisfaction of using this product. Although, I heard you can get it in our neighboring state of Connecticut.

This was a quick break down of the functions of each wood finish. You can learn more about the finishes by visiting the manufacturer’s of each one, listed below here.

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