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no-regrets finish

Posted by Laurie on July 3rd, 2000 10:38 AM
In reply to Finish by Henry in MI on May 31st, 2000 04:18 AM [Go to top of thread]

For a soft pine floor,if you use stain and/or polyurethane, you will soon have a "historical" record of everywhere people walk on that floor. Even on harder conifer woods (fir in my experience) you get worn pathways all too quickly. So skip the stain to avoid light pathways (pine darkens up on its own over time anyway). Polyurethane will develop scratch pathways (unless you have a socks only policy) and once that surface is gone dirt can get ground into the wood. What you need is a penetrating oil. I guess that is a traditional finish. I have Watco oil on mine and it looks great. It took a lot of coats, though. My cousins used some 20+ years ago and it still looks great. They do touchups on the traffic areas from time to time but it doesn't leave a line the way it does with poly. A friend recommends raw linseed oil. If I do another I would try that but I would probably thin the 1st coat with turpentine so it would penetrate like the Watco. Watco does have mineral spirits in it so it does smell while it dries (another reason to try straight oil maybe with turp...bad, but not as bad as mineral spirits and in any case much better than poly). With oil you can put it on until you have a matte finish or keep going until you have gloss. Linseed oil and Watco are "convertable" oils which means the chemical structure changes over time to become hard and plastic-like.If you have ever seen a true linoleum floor you will know the texture I mean because those are also made with linseed oil.

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