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megkatgre 04-26-2010 08:13 AM

Stain over Poly?
My husband and I recently purchased a historic home in New Jersey and the wide pine floors date back a couple hundred years. We interviewed several floor companies and have been very happy with the company that we selected. The company sanded down the hundreds of years of "gook," tightened the loose boards and got the floors back to their original condition.

The next step was to decide on stain vs. oil-based poly. We were told by several people that our type of pine floors would not take stain evenly so they highly recommended going with straight poly. We now have two coats of poly down and are not happy with the color. They are a little too "orange/blond" for our liking and do not seem coherent with the other wood floors in the house, which are newer Brazilian cherry.

We are troubleshooting whether it's possible to add stain on top of the existing oil-based poly and if so, what type of stain should we go with? Our floor guy has cautioned against it because of "fish eyes" and other issues. At this point, we do not want to sand away the new coats of poly.

Are there any "pre-stained/darker oil-based poly urethanes" that will give the last coat a more darker brown look and cut away some of the yellow?

rcuerrier 04-26-2010 09:02 AM

Hey Mekatgre,

Minwax has a product called Polyshades, but they don't recommend it for floor use. I'll ask around and if I find something I'll let you know!

PS I wouldn't try staining a floor that already has finish on it, you won't like the resulting mess.

msv 04-27-2010 12:00 PM

Floor stains need to be applied on raw floors. they need to penetrate the wood pores for a long lasting result. The coats of finish that you have on the floors right now sealed the pores, so there isn't really a way of staining over them. Every time you apply a new coat of finish, you need to screen the existing top coat to ensure a proper grip for the new coat. With the polyshades, the problem is that they have regular poly, tinted with some stain. I think it can be applied, but every small scratch or dent that your floor will suffer after that is going to result in the polyshade chipping and peeling right off, and that's going to look really ugly.
Staining pine floors is a tricky job. you need to apply a stain pre-conditioner, or to "pop the grain" on the wood to achieve an even penetration of the stain.

Blondesense 04-27-2010 12:07 PM

Not an expert, but we did have old pine floors in our previous house which we refinished.

We have four large dogs and... Well, lets just say we were glad our house had a rustic look.

Keep in mind pine is a soft wood. The darker or farther away from the original color you go, the more any dings and scratches will show.

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