Amish made hardwood

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 Post subject: Questions about fir
PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:54 pm
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So I tore up the carpet and sanded the floors, they look pretty good. FYI I'm not very handy. The floors are fir and from what I've read they take stain unpredictably. We'd like to go dark but are worried about a blotchy mess. I've heard a couple different ideas, please advise.

- pre stain the wood so it takes the stain more evenly, then add the poly.

- tint the poly using pigment and add that, it will progressively darken with each coat. Finish with a clean poly.

- stain it lighter. Won't this still have uneven spots.

FYI we're okay with uneven dark if it's in a lined uniform modern way. Random circles of weird colors not so much. We also don't have much to test on, no extra old fir.

Thanks!


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Amish made hardwood

 Post subject: Re: Questions about fir
PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2015 2:21 am 
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I think that a dark color for a for floor is the best. Fir floors are usually in an older house built when fir flooring was less expensive than oak. Now vertical grain fir flooring costs more than oak.
I use a dark stain that we mix walnut and mahogany to give a warm brown color.
Sometimes we use two parts walnut and one part mahogany. These stains saturate
the surface so there are no blotches, however there are light and darker strips depending on the hardness of the wood and the grain orientation to the surface.
I have never used a pre-treat, just good sanding technique, finishing with a burnished 100 grit paper on a drum sander then buff with a 100 grit screen under a thin white pad. Hand sand the edges with 80 grit after scraping the corners.
We use a 100 grit screen for the final edging under a felt disc, so everything is pretty smooth.
A clear finish will allow the grain to show through, satin.
You must have an old floor, so the grain will probably be tight so let the beauty show through. Newer fir flooring might as well be painted the grain is so coarse.
A tinted finish may be OK for someone who has trouble sanding and finishing well.
You may try a stain color in a closet staining a strip wall to wall along the edge of a couple of boards, or even in a big room and then if the color is too dark, try adding some "neutral oil" or "natural" stain to dilute the dark stain. Red does make a warmer color and can be too red by itself. There is usually some red in the wood of an older fir floor if you go natural, but it will fade and look orange over time if you only use poly-urethane for a finish. I think that this color does not go with an older house.
Good luck with your brown floor, it will help anchor the architecture.
The stain process will accentuate the sanding marks that you leave, so go over it with care before you start choosing a color. If you see machine marks from the machines you will need to scrape with a sharp scraper, and then hand sand with 60 or 80 grit.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about fir
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:25 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback. This is my first time doing any of this so I'm sure there are some uneven spots and machine marks from sanding. I'll try the dark look and see what happens :)


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