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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What does everyone recommend for finishing red oak trim? I finished the red oak floor with Bona oil based polyurethane and no stain. I like how it shows a lot of colors but does not have a ton of black streaks like I see when people stain oak dark.

Also what can I do to the end grain to keep if from getting darker than the rest of the wood?
 

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Any ideas on what to use for finish? I used a polyurethane on the floor because of durability but maybe there is something easier to apply I could use on the trim.
 

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You have to be careful using oil based finishes on light colored woods especially if they are in a sunny location. They are more durable than water based finishes and I think they have a better appearance but over time they will yellow from UV light. If the woodwork is not exposed to a lot of water I would use a precatalyzed lacquer. It's easy to use and dries fast. It is something that needs to be sprayed though. If you are working the finish by hand then I would recommend a water base polyurethane. It raises the grain and takes a bit more elbow grease but is more water resistant and will remain clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You have to be careful using oil based finishes on light colored woods especially if they are in a sunny location. They are more durable than water based finishes and I think they have a better appearance but over time they will yellow from UV light. If the woodwork is not exposed to a lot of water I would use a precatalyzed lacquer. It's easy to use and dries fast. It is something that needs to be sprayed though. If you are working the finish by hand then I would recommend a water base polyurethane. It raises the grain and takes a bit more elbow grease but is more water resistant and will remain clear.
I don't have a sprayer, would spraying be more fool proof than doing it by hand? I prefer more work over greater chance of screwing up :) Also I am installing the window and door casing before finishing it because of all the adjusting needed to get it to fit well I think it finish would just get damaged.

On the floor I used the oil because I wanted the color and didn't want to stain because I kept reading how hard it is to get it even. If I use the water based poly on the trim can you recommend something for stain to get some color?
 

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I don't have a sprayer, would spraying be more fool proof than doing it by hand? I prefer more work over greater chance of screwing up :) Also I am installing the window and door casing before finishing it because of all the adjusting needed to get it to fit well I think it finish would just get damaged.

On the floor I used the oil because I wanted the color and didn't want to stain because I kept reading how hard it is to get it even. If I use the water based poly on the trim can you recommend something for stain to get some color?
If you were finishing the trim before installing it I would say it would be best to spray it. With spraying the finish you would be more likely to get a smoother finish but spraying it on the wall you would have overspray to contend with and you would really need an airless or at least a production pot on a sprayer to get the volume not to get lap marks from spraying. You shouldn't have any trouble staining the wood. Oak is one of the easiest woods to stain and finish. With many woods you need a wood conditioner to keep it from going blotchy but oak stains pretty uniform without it. The only problem is using the water based poly you need to let an oil stain dry three days with warm dry ventilation before applying. It's the linseed oil in the stain. If you don't let the oil dry completely it can cause adhesion problems with the finish.
 
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