Best finish for solid black walnut floors?

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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 444 days ago 1251 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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409 posts in 1703 days

444 days ago

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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Rick M.

3893 posts in 1016 days

#1 posted 444 days ago

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.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7689 posts in 2689 days

#2 posted 444 days ago

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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1246 posts in 709 days

#3 posted 444 days ago

+10 Joe

-- Who is John Galt?

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886 posts in 746 days

#4 posted 444 days ago

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.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Charlie's profile


1008 posts in 922 days

#5 posted 444 days ago

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)

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1432 posts in 997 days

#6 posted 444 days ago

Bona Mega.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

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