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Best finish for exposed pine floorboards?

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richardbell81

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Hi there,

I know this topic has been covered before but I suppose i'm after a few more up to date and definitive responses! We've just bought our first house and i've exposed the floorboards which i'm planning on sanding this weekend.

So... would everyone recommend a water based, poly based or hard wax finish? The products i've been looking at so far are...

1. Wickes' Satin floor varnish (Water based)
2. Ronseal Diamond Hard Floor Varnish Satin (Water based?)
3. Liberon High Resistance Floor Varnish Clear Satin (Poly Based)
4. Finney’s Hardwax Varnish (Water based)
5. Osmo Polyx Oil

I've attached a picture of the finish i'm after. Any advice and your experience would be hugely appreciated as it's my first time doing this job!

Thanks in advance!
 

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richardbell81

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Did some further research at lunch... am i right in thinking that water based varnishes don't last very long and oil based ones are yellowing? If so, then that leaves me with either a hardwax or a Polyurethane based finish?

So many choices!
 

bosshogg

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Or shellac!
Shellac can either be clear, golden brown, dark brown stain to the wood, very pleasing in my opinion, it can be patched in in the future, as a re-coat/patch coat reactivate's the original. It's fast drying, takes a bit of abuse without loosing it's appearance, shows the grain of the wood at it's best...bosshogg :)
 

richardbell81

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Thanks for the response. I didn't realise you could use shellac on floorboards? As I'm not that familiar with applying shellac I may be tempted to go with something else but I will look into it as its not something I'd considered!
 

t8hants

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I can confirm the water based dyes and varnishes are useless, I put new boards down with three coats of stain, and five of varnish, and it wore off in heavy use areas in 18 months. I do hope the shellac suggestion works to fill in the patches as the thought of sanding the whole floor and starting again is very depressing. :cry:

Gareth
 

SeanJ

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i'd personally steer clear of shellac for a floor finish, i realise it comes in many mixtures but you'll be recoating again in no time. I can only say i've used a water based product called Enduro from Morrells with good results, it was a simple double application to sanded oak so no staining/colouring was employed. Shellac is not waterproof/heatproof/solventproof etc though manufacturers produce many modified shellac type finishes.

If i had some tricky pine i might use a water stain after thorough meticulous sanding, forget the colron or white spirit based dyes. Then on with some finish with a different base (2pack lacquer/2pack polyurethane etc.. whatever) - so as not to liven/float your stain. Liberon do some nice colours with their pigmented water range (off the shelf) so you could easily test some, as some pines look soapy and flat, they need that pigment wash however sublte IMO.

Hope that may help .

Sean
 

richardbell81

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Thanks for all the info bosshogg but I think i'm going to go for something like the osmo polyx oil... it seems to get generally good reviews on here. Like any project, there are just so many products to choose from that it's difficult to know where to start!
 

mickthetree

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I'd go with the Osmo personally. It can be reapplied without sanding int he future. My brother in law did his pine floorboards in it recently and it looks great.

Have you sanded a floor before? The number of people who have tried to do theirs and say "the machine didnt work" later to find out they were going with the grain.

If the floor is in poor condition, get some 80 grit belts or even 60 delivererd with the machine and start by going across the grain. Then 120 across the grain till the big scratches are removed, then 120 with the grain to remove those scratches and it'll be as good as new.

It will remove a good few mm but there is no point just giving them a light rub down.

This is what a flooring expert told me and it worked perfectly on our old pine floorboards.

Sorry if you already knew this.
 

SeanJ

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that's interesting about going cross grain with the boards, i'll try and remember that, thanks.
 

Cambridgewood

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I've just done my floors using ronseal trade wax oil satin finish. Does not yellow like varnish, touch dry in 20 mins and light traffic after 2 hours. At least 2 coats needed after finishing with floor sander at 120g. The best finish I've ever achieved!
 

neilyweely

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Hi. Has anyone tried Sadolin PV67? Used for dancehalls and restaurants. I used it last year on an Indian restaurant floor and it seems to be great. Amazed no-one else has mentioned it. Oh yeah, wear a mask.
Hope this helps
Neil
 

Sophie

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I am also exposing my old pine floorboards (1930s, some in quite good condition but hall is quite dark and dirty looking and a lot of paint to remove). We're commencing sanding this weekend so I need to hurry up and buy a finish.

I can't decide between varnish and hard wax oil - my dad is convinced varnish is better and more hard-wearing, but I'm concerned that it's harder to apply and might look rubbish in the end, and then the only way to fix it is to resand the whole floor - and beings as neither of us have waxed or varnished a floor before there's a good chance we might make mistakes!

I'll be doing the whole house - so floors, landing, lounge, bedrooms etc. Perhaps the kitchen eventually too (but not a huge concern for now).

So my questions are...

Is varnich difficult to apply and get a good finish for a novice?
Is hard wax oil hardwearing enough for a hall?
Which looks nicer?
Is varnish more likely to go orange?
In the case of hard wax oil, is it a good idea to get one with colour in it to avoid orangeness?

Thanks!!!
 

bosshogg

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Sophie":3lkavnx5 said:
I am also exposing my old pine floorboards (1930s, some in quite good condition but hall is quite dark and dirty looking and a lot of paint to remove). We're commencing sanding this weekend so I need to hurry up and buy a finish.

I can't decide between varnish and hard wax oil - my dad is convinced varnish is better and more hard-wearing, but I'm concerned that it's harder to apply and might look rubbish in the end, and then the only way to fix it is to resand the whole floor - and beings as neither of us have waxed or varnished a floor before there's a good chance we might make mistakes!

I'll be doing the whole house - so floors, landing, lounge, bedrooms etc. Perhaps the kitchen eventually too (but not a huge concern for now).

So my questions are...

Is varnich difficult to apply and get a good finish for a novice?
Is hard wax oil hardwearing enough for a hall?
Which looks nicer?
Is varnish more likely to go orange?
In the case of hard wax oil, is it a good idea to get one with colour in it to avoid orangeness?

Thanks!!!
As your hall is quite dark, as you say, then the sanded/exposed pine should not darken as quickly pine exposed to direct sunlight, depending on which pine will depend very much on it's colour/darkness.
As for applying whatever varnish, the worry tends to be far worse than the experience. Remember to start where you can end without trapping yourself!
By the way, you can apply both, first seal with varnish (polyurethane, acrylic or whatever) then apply the wax for a soft lustrous shine, but beware of any poss of slipping whatever you do. You can bye antislip wax for floors online...bosshogg :)
 

mickthetree

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I'd get myself to a local hardware store. They should have some examples of the different finishes on display. Ours does.

I read more and more about how great Osmo is. THe trouble is you are in a rush, otherwise I would do a test patch in an inconspicuous are using both.
 

Sophie

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Aha, thanks. I actually meant the floorboards in the hall are dark (the hall itself isn't that bright either) but I don't know if they'll be a lot lighter after sanding them.

The bedroom floorboards are quite clean and much lighter, and the room is quite light - there's a big bay window- would they be in danger of going orangy without some colour on them?

I like the idea of varnish + wax, I guess as pine is soft it might need the protection of the varnish?

Thanks again!!
 

Sophie

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Mickthetree - just saw your message, good idea on the hardware shop.

If I find somewhere locally that sells a wide range I could get a couple of testers and test it this weekend, I'll see if I can find anywhere - most of the places I've found so far are internet retailers.
 

mickthetree

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You'll probably pay full whack at a local hardware store, but if you take in a print out of a price you have seen online they will normally match it (minus the cost of delivery).
 

Sophie

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When you say hardware store do you mean big chains like Selco, or smaller independent places? I'm not really sure where there is around here (Brum) other than Selco/Screwfix etc. Found a place called Castle Hardware on the net but it seems to only sell Ronseal.

Ta
 

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