Best finish for solid black walnut floors?

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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 06-14-2013 03:51 PM 3498 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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469 posts in 3064 days

06-14-2013 03:51 PM

What is the best durable finish that I can use for my new solid black walnut floors? What is the best way to apply the finish? I would like to avoid sanding between coats and hopefully have to do less than 3 coats.

6 replies so far

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11623 posts in 2377 days

#1 posted 06-14-2013 06:02 PM

Most durable in theory would be varnish but it has more variation in quality than any other finish (you can google varnish durability testing and find some results). Some varnishes are really tough while others are wimpy. We used Parks brand on our dining room and it has not been very durable. We used shellac on our living room and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The shellac may not be as durable as the better varnishes but it doesn’t stink, dries in hours, and requires no sanding… if you want to recoat in five years just clean the floor and brush/wipe/pour it on.

-- Rick M,

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Joe Lyddon

10097 posts in 4049 days

#2 posted 06-14-2013 06:25 PM

Waterlox and the way Scott Morrison uses it…
... BUT, also super for floors... (which it was made for)...

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

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1294 posts in 2069 days

#3 posted 06-14-2013 06:40 PM

+10 Joe

-- Who is John Galt?

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1276 posts in 2107 days

#4 posted 06-14-2013 06:41 PM

My house is done with McCloskey GymSeal, a no longer available competitor to Waterlox. Many years later, as in 15+, they still look great. At the time I finished them, Gymseal was available at a price break for larger quantities, otherwise, I would have chosen Waterlox back then. Nowadays, I’d use Waterlox, since Gymseal is discontinued. Bring money, but it’s worth it…

I only “really” sanded after the first coat, the second only got a quick scuffing. Try a scrap, as the sanding does make a noticeable difference in the finished product.

I’d be very leery of anything water based on walnut. Do a test sample with anything not oil-based. Many “modern” non-oil based floor finishes that would look fine on more typical species may not look as good on dark wood. I love several high-tech water based finishes on other things, but nothing that I’ve seen yet makes me happy on walnut or walnut-stained wood.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2283 days

#5 posted 06-14-2013 07:02 PM

You want high gloss, medium or satin?

I really like waterlox on floors. The “original” will dry to a gloss, but it will diminish some over the course of several months. I don’t think it will ever reach what you’d call a satin finish, but it won’t be the plastic high gloss of poly. It’s quite durable, but solvent based so also have to have a lot of ventilation putting it on. Use a lamb’s wool applicator and watch their video. It goes on heavy and fast and I highly doubt you’d need more than 3 coats. Coats can be applied every 24 hours assuming you have good ventilation (no fans blowing on it… just lots of fresh air. You CAN put fans in windows blowing OUT so you’re exhausting the solvent flashing off and introducing fresh air)

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Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2358 days

#6 posted 06-14-2013 08:47 PM

Bona Mega.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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