Interior Design

Wood Floors: Color and Finish

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I have yet to see an acrylic or urethane finish that can compete with the old-fashioned paste wax in looks and practicality. Practical only because it’s easy to clean and repair small patches (something that one can’t do with acrylic and urethane). When the time came to sand and refinish the original wood floors of my house, the only stipulation I had was that the finish must be wax. But the color was all Charley McKenney’s doing. As my designer, he envisioned a deep reddish brown hue. After the sanding, we (the floor guys, Charley, and I) made up a small sample combining one cup of Dura Seal‘s #221 Golden Brown and gradually adding one teaspoon at a time of Dura Seal’s #122 Mesquite Red. We then wiped this on the floor in different areas of the house to see how the variances of natural light affected the color. At three teaspoons the perfect blend had been achieved. Unfortunately, with precise math (1.5 cups of red per 1.5 gallons of golden brown), the final blend was an undesired dark brown. So more mesquite red was added, and the final formula ended up being 2.25 cups of mesquite red per 1.5 gallons of golden brown (that is if my notes are correct). Our contractor had also given us a choice of wetting or not wetting down the floors before applying the stain. After experimenting on spots with and without water, we chose to wet down the floors. There was a richer difference between the two choices.

The next step was to apply the sealer. There’s absolutely nothing environmentally friendly about this poison. It seared my eyeballs, deadened my brain with pain, and burned my lungs, causing me to return to my hotel room earlier than I planned. Fortunately, my dogs were not phased. But there was something good that came from this process, the color became even more enhanced. When it comes to making the choice of being environmentally correct or incorrect, color and sheen are the determining factors for me. The green choices just weren’t up to snuff. At least they weren’t for me.

Then came the final step, Dura Seal Paste Wax was applied and buffed to a soft sheen before it had a chance to set and harden. And as you can see in the above photo, the results did not disappoint. Thank you, Charley!

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