Refinishing Douglas Fir floors


Old 08-19-04, 02:24 PM
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Question Refinishing Douglas Fir floors

We are in the process of refinishing the fir floors in the choir loft at Augustine.
The original floors are about 100 yrs old and were unfinished but had been protected by carpets over the years.

We removed the carpet and the floors had aged to a nice red colour. We then decided to sand them and restain them so we could apply a sealcoat as they would now be bare. They sanded out to a beautiful finish however when we went to apply the stain it came out blotchy.

Any ideas as to why or what to do now?

It seems strange to me that the colour both before and after sanding were even it just happened when we applied the stain
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Old 08-19-04, 05:43 PM
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As you research this, I beleive you will find that these floors were treated, with lindseed oil or waxes, explaining your stain blotching.
I would suggest that you consult with a "period" restoration CO. in your area.
Old 08-20-04, 07:51 AM
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Like many types of wood, fir can 'blotch' when stained, and this problem can be worse if the wood has any oils, waxes, etc on it.

Like Snoonyb says, a restoration expert can probably fix it.
Old 08-22-04, 05:00 AM
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Douglas fir is very resinous. If you lift the boards, you'll likely see plenty of amber deposits dribbled out and beading the undersides. I build with douglas fir, and have given up trying to stain it straight from the can. The uneven resin distribution causes stain to blotch and speckle.

So treat the douglas fir like pine (infamously blotchy wood). Prior to staining, prep it with a wood conditioner. This is essentially a stain blocker - it causes the whole board to block stain uniformly, so you get an even tone. The effect will be more superficial/paint-like.

You can make your own wood conditioner by heavily diluting white glue, but for small or critical jobs I'd say just buy the specialty product anywhere large selections of stain are sold.
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