Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Applying Verathane to Unfinished Hardwood

Next comes the Verathane.

Spend the Money... Cheap verathane will not last. Buy the professional quality verathane for a durable finish.
We are using a paint tray with a liner, a broom handle and a wool verathane application head. Rule #1, Apply the verathane in even coats with the grain of the wood. #2 Maintain a wet edge. #3 don't paint yourself into a corner!
Slow smooth motion will avoid air pockets within the finish.

Don't apply too much at a time or you will have puddles. Give it 3 or 4 good even coats for a durable finish. Again, I can't stress this point enough. $30.00 verathane will not last as well as $100.00 verathane. The better materials are nearly often worth the extra money!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Applying Stain to Unfinished Hardwood

Applying Stain-- Old School

Here's an exhausting hobby! Rule #1, get knee pads. The trick to this is to keep your wet edge to prevent color discrepancies. In just the few moments it took to focus and snap some photos I could see dark spots. Keep in mind though--once the verathane goes on you won't see very much color variation. We actually had this color custom tinted by our paint store. It was a combination of 3 different colours in an effort to closely match a pine floor adjacent.
Yessir, Rubber Gloves, A Rag and Stain. You can use a mop head or wool pad with a broom handle to apply stain, however it will be more streaky and just not as deep and rich typically. You get residue resting on the grains unless it is hand rubbed.
It is a simple task really... apply with a rag... rub excess off with clean rag. Don't take breaks.
Some people will tell you to use a wood conditioner, and if you are considering you may want to do samples to determine which look you like the look of.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sanding Unfinished Hardwood Flooring Part 1

When it comes to finishing Hardwood you may want to leave this to the pros.

It is not an easy task. You can rent the equipment to do the job, however a drum sander. (photo below--is not a pleasant tool to use).
A drum sander is simply a spinning cylinder with sand paper on it, and what makes it tricky is that the drum is mounted on a slight angle. The first pass is diagonal from right to left until the floor is more or less even. You start working from right to left paralell to the floor....and work your way around the room in a clockwise pattern. The tricky bit is in the middle. You never want to start and stop in the same place or you could dig yourself a trench .
These are sheets of sandpaper that fit the drum sander--each machine is different so buy your paper where you rent or buy the machine. On harder species of wood we will start out using 18 grit, then 24, then 40, then 60 or 80.The machine blow is called an edger. This has a spinning disc and casters or wheels at the back. It tilts forward and is used for sanding close to corners and walls. IN the same way you use coarse paper and work down to smoother finish as you work.
These are the discs used in the edger. Edgers will usually have a light that casts down on the work surface... this one was broken!