Exhasted woman & baseboard staining....
Have just had new oak floors in living area. The old hemlock colonial style baseboard was stained a dreadful pickled color (circa early 1990's). I am way, way, way over budget so I must reuse old baseboard.
Struggling to get the stain and finish off, I have tried chemical removers and sanding but as I have 170 feet to do it is just not going to work - I will open the window and jump out if I have to face that amount of stripping as it is taking me about 15 minutes per foot.
Cannot paint the baseboards white because that would look dreadful as other millwork in the room is a another color as well so I must get the baseboard to match the floors.
A man at Home Depot told me that the baseboards have a oil stain and as my new stain is also oil based all I would have to do is buff up the pieces with some steel wool and then apply the new stain.
I am extremely skeptical because as I was working with the chemical stripper it seems as though the was the stain and some sort of sealant on top. So my questions are:
1. How will just a light sanding with steel wool prepare the baseboard for the new darker stain?
2. How can the HD man be sure that I have an oil based stain on my baseboard?
He might be right on the oil stain based on the age of your house. One thing I know is that if you have any kind of sealant, poly or varnish the stain will never penetrate into the wood and if it did you most likely will get a different color and it will not match your floor. If the stain on your baseboards are lighter color than your floor, you might try sanding what ever sealant in on there and try different colors of stain otherwise you might have to sand them all the way down to take off the old stain. I have taken off stain and poly with a paint scraper but you have to be careful you don't dig up the wood. After you wood sand them smooth and restain.
Sand them down a bit and try a wiping or gel stain on them. These are heavier bodied stains designed for recoloring projects. You never know what results you'll get until you try though. He's most likely right about it being oil stain on them now. Waterborne stains haven't been very popular until very recent years...actually they still aren't popular.
If you must strip them, there are easier products to use. I personally like Peel Away 1. You apply it as a thick paste with a putty knife and press the provided paper into the paste. Leave it over night and you peel up the paper the next day (using a putty knife to help) and all the old coating should cling to the paper and lift away. You must then use a neutralizer (basically vinegar) on the wood before staining. A little sanding won't hurt either. This stuff will remove up to 30 layers of paint or stain. It's also Zero VOC so there are no fumes to worry about.
If I may ask, what type oak have you had installed? Blond oak, Natural oak, or Red oak.
Depending on which type you had installed, and what finish the installers may have applied you may have more options than you realize.
1) you can strip it, which doesn't really sound appealing to you.
2) you can put a toner on
3) you can do a faux finish on it to simulate the oak of your floors.
4) or you can hire a professional painter to come in to do at least the dirty work for you.
5) or you can paint all your wood work white, which would be the easiest for you, if you like white wood work.
What ever you choose, I hope you get the feeling of accomplishment that you would so deserve for taking on a project like this.
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