wood floor design in stain

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Forum topic by leprachaun posted 11-06-2010 04:01 PM 3915 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2997 days

11-06-2010 04:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing refurbishing victorian pine or alder

Hi everyone; I have light colored floor in the livingroom & dinning room. The new addition we just put on has very dark hand scraped wide floors. I would like to stain a border or large star shaped design in dark stain on the lighter floors so the rooms blend together instead of one color stopping at the entry to the other room.
Everyone i’ve talked to says the two stains will bleed into each other and be a mess. Has anyone tried to do this, or have suggestions on how to make it look professional. I don’t have the money to have the floor cut up, stained & replaced in a pattern. Appriciate any help you can give me—-I’m an amatur at this. Denise

2 replies so far

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117417 posts in 3815 days

#1 posted 11-06-2010 04:05 PM

I would use dyes but I would have concerns about doing this type of work if you don’t have experience .

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Alex Lane

542 posts in 4128 days

#2 posted 11-06-2010 10:39 PM

Welcome to LumberJocks!! You’ll find lots of nice helpful sources of knowledge here. Just be aware that, as on every social site, there are some less-than-wholesome characters too, but they usually don’t last too long once they show their true colors.

Try posting this in another section of the forum too. This one is for buying, selling, and trading. You might get some more respnonses in the “Skill Share” forum.

But while I’m here, I’d suggest selecting an area of the floor that you want to stain, and mask off the border of your selected area with painters tape (I’d suggest 3M autobody masking tape…It works better at stopping liquids from bleeding across the tape). Then apply a few separate coats of shellac to the floor (Zinsser Seal Coat is my choice). To be safe, maybe do 3 or 4 individual coats with drying time between each. This will seal the wood pores and prevent any stain from soaking into the wood fibers and traveling to a part of the floor that you don’t want to get stained. It also will come off easily with sanding if the result isn’t what you like.

Once it’s cured (very fast…I can’t remember, but it’s on the can) put more masking tape OVER TOP of the shellac in a pattern that will look nice, leaving open spaces where you can see the floor between the strips of tape. Get a GEL stain, not a liquid stain, that might match your darker floor. Apply the stain with a soft rag to the areas of the floor between the strips of tape that you think would make a nice pattern. Follow the directions on the bottle/can of stain for getting an even coat that’s not blotchy. When it looks OK and everything is dry, carefully remove the ‘pattern’ masking tape, leaving the ‘border’ tape there, and apply another coat or two of shellac to “entomb” the stain pattern. It’s hard to say how the shellac will hold up to foot traffic once it’s dry, so maybe add a coat or two of clear polyurethane while the ‘border’ layout of tape is still on the floor. Match the sheen of poly to whatever the floor already has, or contrast it. If your surrounding floor has satin sheen, either match it or use a semi-gloss to make it stand out..

What I’m not sure about is: would it be a good idea to put polyurethane on the entire floor as a final coat, or just to the stained area? If it’s just on the stained area, the thickness of the finish might cause a tiny raised area on the floor. Nothing to trip over, but maybe something that socks might catch on. If that’s the case, a final coat of poly over the whole floor should prevent that, but hopefully you won’t have to go that far unless you want to.

I hope this would work. I’ve never done it to a floor before. With a gel stain, you may be able to do this without shellac at all because gel stains tend to sit where they are and not flow away. Just remember that dewaxed shellac is the universal sealer and binder. It seals one substance from mixing with another, thus keeping the stain from bleeding to another part of the floor. It also lets water based products live underneath or over top of oil based products without the two clashing, but rather sticking to one another via the shellac layer.

Have fun!!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

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