I’ve decided to do a Waterlox finish on our pine floors. Despite the name, Waterlox is NOT a waterbased finish. Instead, it is a modified tung oil finish that gives more of that old floor look. And to add to that old floor look, I wanted to stain the floors to deepen the color right away.
Here are my tests on some scraps of Southern yellow pine similar to what I want for my floors. This first picture shows various stains and for contrast I also put in the piece that we tested 100% pure tung oil and dark tung oil on.
From left to right:
- Top, dark tung oil; bottom, 100% pure tung oil
- Top, Sherwin Williams Golden Oak stain applied before any Waterlox; bottom, no stain – entire board finished with Water Lox Original Sealer/Finisher
- Top, SW Golden Oak stain mixed with first coat of Waterlox; bottom no stain – entire board 2 coats Sealer/Finisher, 2 coats Satin Waterlox
- Top, Minwax Golden Oak stain mixed with first coat of Waterlox; bottom, Minwax Puritan Pine stain mixes with first coat – entire board 2 coats Sealer/Finisher, 2 coats Satin Waterlox
- Top, Minwax Special Walnut stain mixed with first coat of Waterlox; bottom, Minwax Early Amercian stain mixed with first coat of Waterlox – entire board 2 coats Sealer/Finisher, 2 coats Satin Waterlox
Same order for this bottom picture but it shows the sheen better. The 100% tung oil (with about 5-6 coats) actually has a pretty good sheen to it, but really is not as shiny as it seems in this picture. Though it does not look like the light is going across the satin finished boards, it is – they just do not reflec the light as much.
In case it is confusing, the first board was done completely with pure tung oil. The second board has stain on one end followed by 4 coats of Waterlox Original Sealer/Finisher. The rest have 1 coat of Sealer/Finisher mixed with stain (where they are stained), followed by 2 coats of Waterlox Original Sealer/Finisher, followed by 2 coats of Waterlox Satin. The tests with straight SW stain versus SW stain mixed with the first coat show that mixing the stain makes it about half as dark as applying the stain directly.
We have decided to stain with half Minwax Golden Oak and half Early American and to finish with 2 coats of Satin.