Help! Trying to match old floor finish. All wrong... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 4 Old 02-16-2017, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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Help! Trying to match old floor finish. All wrong...

Ok. Help. I messed up big time and don't want to again. I applied the wrong stain and just spent hours removing the mistake.

I removed an old built-in closet and was trying to get the floors underneath to match. I patched part of the floor with pine (at least i think it's pine).

Does anyone know what kind of floor finish this is? In dim light, it looks kind of red. Under sunlight, it looks a little bit orange, yellowed. I think the finish just yellowed with time. The house is pretty old.

Obviously, I'm not trying to get a perfect match, just trying to finish the floor so it doesn't look crazy. The last stain i put in looked horrible. Wrong color wrong everything.

Anyone have any advice? I've sanded away part of the original floor to show what the 220-grit sanded wood looks like if that helps.

I was thinking it might be Danish? Tung?

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post #2 of 4 Old 02-16-2017, 07:07 AM
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The flooring is red oak.

The finish is a bit light for the wood that was used. I think either the floor used to be stained darker or who ever laid the floor didn't know what they were doing. The boards where the Minwax cans are sitting are naturally darker wood than the rest of it. There perhaps has been a little bleaching from the sun on the rest of the floor but not that much.

What is disturbing is the grain of the floor going in different directions, especially cut into the floor where you sanded.

As far as the color I believe it is a thinned golden oak stain or perhaps no stain at all. Over time the old finish could have darkened and yellowed. This could be reproduced with amber shellac. The only problem is you need to be careful the amber shellac is compatible with the finish you use. If you are going to use a old fashion varnish floor finish then it would be alright. If it's a polyurethane you would have to use a de-waxed amber shellac that is probably only available by mail order. It would come in flake form which you would have to mix. Shellac contains a natural wax that polyurethane won't adhere to.

What is disturbing is the grain of the wood running in perpendicular directions, especially what looks like a patch cut into the area you sanded. Wood moves and you might someday have issues there with the floor buckling. Get a finish on the floor as quickly as possible before you get some especially damp weather.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-16-2017, 08:43 AM
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I agreee with Steve

You've got "something crazy looking" right now...

Here's what I would do. You have flooring running in 2 directions at right angles which is not good. Wood moves! I would strike a line across the pieces that intrude into the original floor and don't line up. Cut accurately to that line, and then replace the "missing" flooring, lining it up with the original to create a better looking match.

As far as the stain color, most Oak flooring is finished with Golden Oak as Steve suggests. It's best to practice on some left over pieces to get the color just right, NOT the flooring that's laid down! When you get the color matched, remember what mixture you used and proceed. I often combine different Min Wax stains to get a color I want. I have sample sticks in various woods ... Pine, Red Oak, and Maple etc. so I know how the wood and stain react.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-16-2017, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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First. Much thanks to Steve and woodnthings. Yeah. It is crazy--when i took out the closet--the guy who did the wall commented that sometimes people did the inside flooring like that to cut costs. House was built in the 1910s-1930s ish so the wood has been there for awhile. Steve's got an eagle eye. The wood that the cans are resting on are right in front of the window--the unfinished wood had a huge closet sitting on it for years--so untouched by light. Yes, woodnthings. I probably should have tested on scrap from the project before jumping. rook move. check! had no idea. thanks for taking me to the water. have a great day!
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