15 Apr. 2008|
Gel stain for wood floors,cool woodworking gift ideas,modern home plans narrow lot,hawaiian woodwork - For Outdoors
Well, I hope for your sake, the sanding has gone well, and you have checked for edger and "drum chatter" marks. The stain should be one that is suitable to the species of your wood floor and one that applies easily to a large wood floor surface. Use a rag to apply this stain, as you will be flooding the surface with the stain and then working the stain into the pores of the wood and any cracks. This type of pigmented stain is applied in long strips with the run of the floorboards just as wide as you can comfortably reach. The trick with this stain is to wipe vigorously enough to even the color out, but not too much or the wet pigment particles will be wiped out too. Test the adhesion of any stain and finish combination by letting the finish cure (on a sample) for 2-4 weeks, then cross hatch it with a razor knife to the bare wood. You can use a rag to sponge on a lot of this dye stain, and because it dries slowly you should have plenty of time to wipe, but this would be a good place for an assistant.
Lots of people ask me about white stains, and complain that they have trouble getting the white color to take into a wood like oak. Another more tricky way to white stain a hardwood floor is to sponge the wood with distilled water, and let it dry overnight. Oh, and by the way, you must finish your white floor with a clear finish, else you will in time, have yellow toned floors. Lastly we get to the Ebonizing floor stain, which has been vexing wood workers and floor mechanics for years.
An easy solution for a new floor installation is to go with black pigment stained prefinished hardwood. But if it is an older floor or if you object to the harsh light reflective qualities of prefinished floors, you must use a black dye stain for sure on all woods to create an even color. If you can find a good NGR black stain you may be able to do the staining with one product.
I did a custom white stained oak floor for a customer, only to be called back in 4 years to resand the floor, and this time apply a dark walnut pigmented stain to the floor.
I will talk about what type of stains to use on particular woods, and the best methods to apply them.
If you have a maple, birch, or beech floor for example you will find the pigment stain tends to make the wood blotchy.
Imagine laying a nice red sweater out on the floor for a few years exposed to direct sunlight.
Some wood workers sponge the wood with distilled water before they use the dye, but be aware of using too much water on a wood floor.
Its also called a bitumen or glisonite stain, and is basically a heavy petroleum product. You will then find all the pores of the wood open and willing to accept even the lightest colored white stain. This will help the white stain pigments lodge in the wood better, but wont be as smooth. Be prepared to stain the wood with dye stains several times to achieve the blackness you want.
I cite the fact that my time is expensive, and results on a sample board may not be as easy or even possible to achieve given the mechanics of controlling a stain on a large floor area.
I will also talk about the dreaded white pigmented stain, dye stains, and ebonizing wood floors. In the case of parquetry try to start your first row of staining so that it points toward a large window.
Some of the darker stains like the Dura Seal brand contain a lot of pigment, but a lot of binder. Dye stains are very similar to fabric dyes (and yes you can use Rit Dye stains to dye wood) in that they both contain particles that are so small that they enter the wood surface itself. These woods have such a variable density that they will turn quite muddy and blotchy if you try to use a pigment or dye stain. The sanding process has to have gone well, but in this case dont spend too much time polishing the wood with the buffer. You can also mix these stains with a red mahogany color to achieve a pinkish wash to the floor, or even a universal tint of blue or green.
This may be fine if you dont mind seeing some sanding lines in a floor for a more rustic and textured finish. And I mean an even and deep tone of black, showing the wood grain and having the early and late wood (of a ring porous wood like oak or ash) come out with almost equal tones.
But dont over do it or you will have a floor so black you might as well have painted it.
And instead of white staining it, apply the catalyzed water based finishes I mentioned above. They contain a small amount of pigment, which is carried along by the large amount of solvent in these stains.
This may seem fussy, but will save you from having to sand lint out of the dried floor finish later. The solvent in the stain will tend to remove the pigment particles when you try to touch up a small area. This will make it easier to achieve the darker richer colors, but you must wait 24-72 hours for this type of stain to fully dry. I describe the locally made stain I use in my article on the use of oil modified polyurethane. The NGR dye stains are even a bit less colorfast than the water soluble one, but both will fade remarkably in 5-10 years, when exposed to light.
Gel stain is thick like ketchup, but once you wipe them they flow quite well on the wood surface. The added dark pigment (dont use too much) will make the stain easier to use, and the white wash color you were expecting will come though.
A blue-black fungus may show up in red or white oak overnight, if the wood has dried too slowly. The problem with these is that they emit formaldehyde gas for up to 90 days after application. Well its not easy and the bigger the floor the more difficult it will be to control wiping and dry times. So in this case you will have to go over the floor again (after the water based dye stain has had 12 - 20 hours of drying) with a black pigmented stain to color the pores evenly.
Some NGR stains contain lots of alcohol or lacquer thinner, so they may be unsuited and dangerous for large areas. This will give you the white but woody look you may like after all, without the mess and fuss of staining.
Go over the whole floor at least twice, and don't forget the corners and edges should be done with a crevice attachment. If the stain binder is not fully dry it may then interfere with the polyurethane that you apply on top of it. The early morning light may not be so flattering to some stain colors as you may think, so let your customer decide.
But the key here is to mix a stronger color or even a different color for the next coat of dye. You may find that some of the lighter colors may be suitable for using on nonporous woods like maple.
These are visible as little black dots all over the floor, and can only be removed with a fine sanding, defeating the whole sponging exercise. I have also found that white-stained floors tend to show dark unsightly gaps in a few years. These fussy stains will keep us floor mechanics employed expensively for many years to come. Dye stains come in water soluble powders (which makes for a very grain risen floor) and NGR type stains already mixed.
Otherwise try the Bona Kemi brand wood stains or the Dura Seal pastel white, these are what most pros try to use anyway.
You should try this only in the winter when you can really dry the floor with the heating system. The NGR (non grain rising) wood stains contain alcohol or lacquer thinner solvents and are really dangerous to use on large floors. When these stains dry they seem to fade, but the true color will come back when you apply the floor finish. But this sort of stain can also be successfully and easily used on maple, birch and beech, but only in the lightest colors.
These brands are available nationally, so these are what are practical for me to mention in a web article. You can mix small amounts of dye stain using a drinking straw to hold a measured amount of water, and an accurate scale to weigh a small amount of stain.
When the stain is dry the binder will keep the pigment particles (being dust-like if they dried on their own) from being wiped from the pores. This is no place to be trying out a new stain brand, practice on a group of hardwood boards held together by a clamp. A company that supplies stains and finishes to your local furniture trade is the best source. Minwax is the thinnest, Flecto is medium and Wood-Kote and Bartleys are the thickest. This finish itself will tend to give the wood a yellow cast so be sure to do a sample using this finish on it before you commit yourself to a final color of the finished floor.
But be sure to read all about this explosive finish in my Lacquer Floor Fires article in this site.
Another important factor with water based dye stains is that water based finished applied to them will make the dye run. If you wish to use water based dye stain, use an oil-based poly, lacquer or shellac finish on top of it.
Cherry is good candidate for a gel stain, especially if you have installed a low grade of cherry with all those light colored boards.
But if you want to use water based finish for the topcoats, you must use a NGR or oil based dye stain to color the wood.