What’s the best finish for me?To answer this question, first you have to ask yourself a few questions. What do I want as a final appearance? And how much time and effort do I want to put into maintaining my floors?
Knowing your Finish ChoicesHere are a few different finish choices:
Oil FinishLet’s start with a simple buff in vegetable type oil. This just gets buffed into your floor as a one coat system, and comes in many colors. However, it’s not designed to hold up to heavy traffic areas, so it will need to be rebuffed from time to time.
Wax FinishWax finish requires oil sealers first, then several coats of wax, again not a go to finish for high-traffic areas, unless you don’t mind waxing twice a month.
White FinishPickled white finish, after staining you will want to make sure you use a non-yellowing polyurethane. Maybe you like the depth of oil-based polyurethane. A minimum of three coats is standard for oil-based polyurethane (available in gloss, semi-gloss, satin and now matte). If you want the clarity of waterborne, three coats is also recommended.
Natural FinishIf you wanted your floor to look like raw wood, try bleaching the wood. Then put down a two part waterborne matte finish. It looks like nothing is on the floor.
Tung OilMaybe you want a finish that has the depth of polyurethane, but can be recoated without light sanding between coats, that would be Waterlox. This is a great finish for high-traffic areas, if you get a wear spot all you have to do is wipe on a little Waterlox. No sanding or mess.
There are new waterborne polyurethanes that have a two part system - these are some of the hardest finishes on the market. Can you afford $130.00 per gallon? Do you need that kind of protection? There are even what is called “oil modified”, these have the convenience of waterborne, but the look of oil base. They have oil based polyurethane beads in the waterborne polyurethane.
There are many different types of finishes to choose from. My advice is it’s always best to do your homework before you choose. More importantly, once you’ve made your selection, be sure to protect that hard work, and investment with furniture pads and glides. Thanks!