Gel Stain - Hardwood Floor

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Old 05-09-08, 04:49 PM
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Gel Stain - Hardwood Floor

Is gel stain recommended for hardwood floors or no?

Also, my last sanding pass was with 120 grit if, I opt for a danish oil instead of gel stain, will I still need to resand with 80 grit? (been reading your threads)

Color was the driver for the gel stain, but the danish dark walnut is very close. I'm trying to cover the red/orange of my red oak floors.

Thanks, Bud
 
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Old 05-10-08, 09:05 AM
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Is this raw wood or has it been finished in the past?
 
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Old 05-10-08, 09:33 PM
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Thanks for the reply Mitch.

This is a fifty year old floor that was finished in the past, and I am guessing from the looks of things only the one time. I stripped the old finish with Barr Kleanstrip and cut the wood 3 times with a 1250fpm 3x21 belt sander using 3M 40, 80, and 120 grit (very limited selection of belts available locally). The first 2 sanding passes were very thorough and the last pass with 120 grit was light and quick. A few of the boards are a solid dark color similar to walnut, some like white pine, and most are typical lighter and darker tones of red oak. A few other damaged boards I replaced with raw red oak stock. The overall condition is very good and I will need to use a filler in limited small areas, mostly gaps.

If I leave the floor as is, would the filler show with only a clear coat?
If I use Golden Oak will that produce an orange-ish color?

I know my original question was about gel stain and dark walnut (sorry), but my family has strongly encouraged me to consider other color options...each with their own preference of color...naturally. heh heh
 
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Old 05-11-08, 05:23 AM
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Wow! I can't imagine sanding a whole floor with a belt sander. You did do all your sanding with the direction of the grain, right? Cross sanding scratches may show up in the finish, especially if using a stain. You also need to sand it with an orbital sander before staining/finishing and inbetween coats of poly.

What type of filler will you be using?

If you wet the flooring with paint thinner [wipe on just enough to wet it] while it's wet, it will give you an indication of what it will look like with poly - no stain.
 
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Old 05-11-08, 07:33 AM
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Hi Mark, thanks for the reply.

Yes, I sanded with the grain and used a palm sander along the edges. I haven't noticed any scratches.

I am a little concerned about my 120 grit final pass, as I have read an assortment of advise ranging from 80 all the way to 220 grit. It seems to make sense that the stain and poly needs a texture of some sort to absorb and to adhere. I will go with the advise received at DIY.

The filler I have on hand is Varathane in golden oak, water based, to go with the Varathane golden oak oil based stain I have.

I also have on hand Minwax gel stain and Watco danish oil, both in dark walnut, but no filler for either of these. I assumed a natural filler would be covered by either of these stains. I am still in the test-board stage and using left over scrap from the raw red oak stock from the replacement boards. I have Minwax oil based poly.

I forgot to mention the floor is in the living room. While cleaning after sanding with a slightly damp mop, the floor darkend considerably and the appearance was pretty darn nifty.

Is this natural red oak retro look in style for a living room? What filler and color would you guys recommend for a no-stain finish. The selection of the Varathane filler was limited to about 4 colors in this area.

Sorry for writing so much and thanks again.

Bud
 
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Old 05-11-08, 04:11 PM
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I'm a painter so I have limitted floor finishing experience but I have used joint compound to fill minor gaps using a light stain with no issues. I'm only familiar with the natural filler but if I remember correctly it stains ok.

Because a belt sander is so aggressive, I'd go over the whole floor with your palm sander using 100 grit before staining or applying poly.

I've never been big on what's in style [drives my wife crazy ] I like what I like - I prefer natural or light stain over a dark floor. Any sanding scratches or other defects will show up more with a dark floor than with a light/natural finish.
 
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