Amish made hardwood

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 Post subject: 1950's Red Oak Finishing Question (Wax)
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 12:13 pm 
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Recently purchased a house (first time homeowner) and decided to pull up the carpets and refinish the old wood floors (Red Oak). Meticulously sanded everything and got all the other fun stuff done. I stained the wood with MinWax Jacobean (dark stain) and it looks great. I was planning on sealing with a satin poly however my order was destroyed in transit and returned. I also was not 100% comfortable experimenting with such an unforgiving finish. We have a lot going on and wanted to get the house or at least the bedroom moved into ASAP. Being lovers of the old/antique styles, my girlfriend's mother suggested we simply wax the floors. Now, I usually research everything to a degree most people would never even want to think of venturing to, however I decided to simply buy some paste wax and go to town. I realize before-hand that this is not considered an ideal or even a recommended way to finish a floor, however, I am hoping someone here can guide me a bit on such a "natural" minimal finish and what my options may be from here as far as ensuring the wood stays protected or if I have other options. I have read through every possible article online.

Some more info: I stained and finished the a small corridor and the three bedrooms that it connects. We plan to use a runner in the corridor. Also the den is not finished hardwood and I have yet to do the more formal living and dining area which are seperated from the corridor and the bedroom area and can finish differently.

I would love some help and opinions. Thanks so much!!


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Amish made hardwood

 Post subject: Re: 1950's Red Oak Finishing Question (Wax)
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 9:11 pm 
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Satin poly-urethane is a good finish. It's not hard to apply if you follow directions.
Apply at least two coats and it will be smooth and easy to clean. Three coats in a heavily used area, or plenty of area rugs. If you do apply three coats it's best to wait at least a couple of days between the final coat of finish so the first coats can cure a little.
Buff the stain with medium steel wool before the first coat of poly.


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 Post subject: Re: 1950's Red Oak Finishing Question (Wax)
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 9:15 pm 
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Pete A. wrote:
Satin poly-urethane is a good finish. It's not hard to apply if you follow directions.
Apply at least two coats and it will be smooth and easy to clean. Three coats in a heavily used area, or plenty of area rugs. If you do apply three coats it's best to wait at least a couple of days between the final coat of finish so the first coats can cure a little.
Buff the stain with medium steel wool before the first coat of poly.


Thank you for the reply. What about the wax? It should be removed first presumably if poly is to be put on top correct? Or is poly out of the question for the area I have already waxed being that all the wax may be impossible to completely remove?


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 Post subject: Re: 1950's Red Oak Finishing Question (Wax)
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 9:36 pm 
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Once the floor has been waxed, poly will not stick, reliably. If you clean with paint thinner and steel wool to get as much of the wax off as you can, you can use shellac as a sealer to get a bond with the floor, then coat with poly.
It's the best you can do without sanding to bare wood and starting over.
A wax finish is still a good finish, it just takes more maintenance.
I tell people that once they wax a floor it will always be dirty since wax and dirt mix, and it is near impossible to get all the wax off a floor once it is waxed.


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 Post subject: Re: 1950's Red Oak Finishing Question (Wax)
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 9:54 pm 
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Thanks Pete, I feel a bit better that I did not totally screw things up. I appreciate your input.


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 Post subject: Re: 1950's Red Oak Finishing Question (Wax)
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 10:02 pm 
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You can buy dark wax for dark floors, instead of the light "natural" color.


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 Post subject: Re: 1950's Red Oak Finishing Question (Wax)
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 8:38 am 
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Stick with the wax.

We bought a large 1790 colonial 30 years ago, which has wonderful birch floors. They were untouched for 200 years, best we could tell, and a bit rough.

After hand sanding them all down to 150 grit, we applied a ligh dye stain and a wax finish. Every ten years or so, they get a new coat of wax.

After 30 years, they still look great, despite kids, dogs, sandy beach trips, parties, high-heel shoes, etc.

The only lasting marks are from furniture scrapes where we failed to install scratch pads.

A good vacuum cleaner and a "no shoes" policy (enforced for occupants, loosely, but not for guests) helps ANY floor finish last 'n last.


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