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Old 11-28-2010, 08:47 PM   #1
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Tinting Polyurethane finish

Hi everyone,

I've been working on refinishing a red oak floor I repaired, but I have a basic question about polyurethane finishes. The repair sections after having two coats of the oil-based urethane are still not as reddish/amberish as the old floor, which I scuffed and refinished. I think a third coat will help a bit more in deepening the color, but I'm afraid I still won't get it just right (or close enough).

Anyway, I'm thinking of adding a bit of pigment (yellow or brownish iron oxide), the kind that is used in artist oils. I can pick up some at a local artist store, regular dry pigment, without any binders. My concern about adding this pigment, though, is that the new sections will after a while turn too dark compared to the rest of the floor.

Should I just let it be a little lighter, and wait for it to turn? Will adding even more coats of the urethane make it darker, do you think? Or should I just go with the pigment?

I suppose I could have asked this in the flooring section, but I figured that people might know about urethanes when it comes to any type of wood finishing.

So any advice is appreciate.




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Old 11-29-2010, 06:42 AM   #2
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oil based finishes will darken over time, but I don't recommend tinting the floor finish. Wood is wood, there will be differences, even in a board from on end to the other. Even laminate floors try to mimick this difference.


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Old 11-29-2010, 12:53 PM   #3
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There is Miniwax Polyshades available in all the big box stores, but it is only a thin cover.

I second the "wait and see" advice for 6mo-2yrs.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:27 AM   #4
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Hi guys,

Thanks for the replies. Yeah, I've come to the same conclusion. I'm going to just leave it for now, with maybe another coat of finish to deepen the color a bit more right now. But the dormers have windows of course, so the direct sunight here should help amber it even more quickly.

So I'm just going to refinish the whole floor with another coat of the urethane (with maybe another individual coat on the the repairs first) and then be done with it for now. I'm encountering the goosebump (I don't know the technical term for it) in the finish. It appears all over as little bumps or points in the finish. I'm hoping it goes away after a light scuffing with 100 grit and another coat of polyurethane, but I'm told that the brand I'm using (Home Depot's Pro Finisher) tends to do it more than other floor finishes. Are there any tips on preventing this from happening on the second coat? Or is it just something that happens on the first coat usually?

Thanks again, guys.

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Old 12-01-2010, 04:11 PM   #5
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we tint 100% solids epoxies & solvent-based sealers all the time,,, your sher-wms custom/commercial store will have 2 tint machines - 1 is for latex/wtr-based & the other's for solvent,,, go over to their coffee machine, get a foam cup, & ask for a couple ounces

even if they do charge, it won't be much ! your note re artist's pigments is a good 1, too ! ! !
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:39 PM   #6
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I used a tinted Minwax poly for the first coat on the wood, until I got a decent color match to the existing wood. I lightly sanded the new coats, of course, but also lightly sanded the existing floor finish and did my final coats of clear poly over both the old and new so they would darken equally with age (or at least that's my theory). I'm no pro; perhaps one can comment, but it's been 5-6 years and it's still great looking.

You are already past the bare wood stage, but one caution for others: using a stained poly on the bare, sanded woos can excessively darken the end-cuts and beveled edges (if you have them) on the flooring planks. I was not going too dark so I did a "quick wipe" first staining, but I wonder if a pre-stain wood conditioner might be advisable. I did a test on a scrap first.



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