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Oak floor finishing techniques....Unique ideas, processes, finishes, esc....


doyle4281's Avatar
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02-20-13, 08:51 PM   #1  
Oak floor finishing techniques....Unique ideas, processes, finishes, esc....

Hello all, I have recently purchased my first home, and I am interested in updating the look of the wood floors. They are your typical thin plank White Oak floor and actually in decent condition, however they are not quite my style. Aside from sanding and staining, are there any other techniques that can be done to create a more unique look to these simple floors. Essentially, can I make Oak floors look more exotic and vintaged. I understand there a limits to what can be done, however I know there are some very crafty people on this forum. Thanks everyone

Possibilities...
Scraping
Beveling between boards
Darkening grain

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Northern Mike's Avatar
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02-21-13, 03:49 AM   #2  
Welcome to the forum.
Your last photo is not real hardwood, but I understand it's the look.
Beveling between boards would be really tough with it already installed. With it not, it still would be a lot of work and at that point, I'd probably say go with a board already factory bevelled.

For darkening the grain, I'm sure the pros will have a better idea on the product to use. I have found that when staining, if you wet the surface with a rag before applying the stain, that it will open up the wood's pores a bit and if that probably would see the stain absorb better in some areas then others, giving you the different grain darkness.

 
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02-21-13, 04:43 AM   #3  
It shouldn't be problem to darken the stain but it does require that the floor be sanded down to raw wood first. Prefinished flooring has a beveled edge so you won't notice any slight differences in how the boards lay on the floor. When a floor is sanded smooth, you don't need the bevel to hide the discrepancies.


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02-21-13, 05:13 AM   #4  
It would be a lot of work and, IMO, not worth the effort but you could sand back to raw wood and then use a couple different colors of stain so that you could put a different color on adjacent boards. Would help you get closer to the second picture.

Putting a bevel in the boards would be a lot of work and create a cleaning issue, as it will be a spot which collects dirt. I would not even consider this.

 
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02-21-13, 11:49 AM   #5  
Thanks all, it looks like I will need to do more research on this subject. Being that I am used to working within the limits of metal, finishings are new to me. Stains, dyes, oils, scraping, grains, esc will be a learning experience that I am looking forward to. Being that I am after a more vintage, imperfect appearance I think a clever approach will need to be taken to dramatize simple Oak floors. Somehow, darkening the grains without darkening the whole board, then staining to that orangish/brownish color. I have seen youtube videos of people handscraping floors after installed, however I predict that it will be tough to avoid a "forced" or "calculated" appearance. Pictures of your floor projects would be cool.....

 
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02-21-13, 02:49 PM   #6  
people handscraping floors after installed, however I predict that it will be tough to avoid a "forced" or "calculated" appearance
I've worked on a few homes that had the factory scraped finish on the hardwood and it does look sharp although I wonder if it presents any cleaning problems. I couldn't imagine trying to scrape a whole floor in place and get it to look decent. While I'm not that fond of the look, some will take chains and hammers to beat the floor up some to get a more rustic look.

Some furniture and cabinet makers use dyes but I've never used them or seen them used on a job site. With a little instruction most anyone can get decent results with stain/poly.


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02-22-13, 04:42 AM   #7  
Posted By: marksr I've worked on a few homes that had the factory scraped finish on the hardwood and it does look sharp although I wonder if it presents any cleaning problems. I couldn't imagine trying to scrape a whole floor in place and get it to look decent. While I'm not that fond of the look, some will take chains and hammers to beat the floor up some to get a more rustic look.
Some furniture and cabinet makers use dyes but I've never used them or seen them used on a job site. With a little instruction most anyone can get decent results with stain/poly.
I don't know if I would want to go that far on a floor. It'll get the look (if not over done), but after all is said and done, the floor will be walked on and should be expected to last.

What about randomly wetting areas before applying the stain?
That would open the wood pores a bit more in those areas and obsorb the stain differently (better) then the dry areas. If the OP targets areas with heavy grain to wet, I would assume they would get a darker finish along those areas.

Posted By: doyle4281 Thanks all, it looks like I will need to do more research on this subject. Being that I am used to working within the limits of metal, finishings are new to me. Stains, dyes, oils, scraping, grains, esc will be a learning experience that I am looking forward to. Being that I am after a more vintage, imperfect appearance I think a clever approach will need to be taken to dramatize simple Oak floors. Somehow, darkening the grains without darkening the whole board, then staining to that orangish/brownish color. I have seen youtube videos of people handscraping floors after installed, however I predict that it will be tough to avoid a "forced" or "calculated" appearance. Pictures of your floor projects would be cool.....
I'll admit, I'm cheating a bit with my floors as they are the original 1930's flooring which the previous owner had removed finish when they removed the cheap 1960's flooring someone had put down back then. Not sure why folks in the 60's and 70's would cover such nice flooring.
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My up coming flooring projects will be finishing those floors as well as removing the carpet from the stairs and finishing the hardwood there.

 
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02-23-13, 04:32 PM   #8  
That is a clever idea using water, and I might try that on a few practice boards. I may try to find some torn out boards from a job site, and try to work with some techniques before taking it to my floors. I agree with you about the handscraping, it looks great when done properly, but could look "forced" very easily. Ill post some pictures when I make some progress. Thanks again, and good luck with your floors.

 
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