Stains of Many Colors

As we finish the last details of sanding, we are still trying to nail down the color we want for the finished floors. Better said, I’m trying to nail it down, and TBM is trying his darn’dest to please me. All along I’ve said I don’t want a light color: too “country” for this old house with ten-foot ceilings and really good bones. I think she’s asking for something more sophisticated. But the dark chocolate color the floors have been painted is too dark, and the grain in the wood is too fabulous to cover up with a too-dark stain. Also: I absolutely don’t want anything orangey or yellowish, and many browns we’ve tried take on that cast. Hence this patchwork of stain samples TMB has put down in a sun-lit corner of the porch parlor:Image

The samples include:

  • light tung oil and dark tung oil;
  • six different stain colors, some single coats, some double; some wiped off or rubbed in
  • some samples topped with tung oil, some with Waterlox, some not topped at all.

I still don’t feel like we’ve got it. TBM sighed heavily yesterday when I came home with yet another half-pint can of stain, then quietly laid down another patch of color. Sadly, it was yellowish. I sighed heavily too.

I read online that a too-dark stain can be lightened by wiping with mineral spirits, which we have plenty of. I’m going to do that on the “true brown” patch I likebest and hope it produces the result I’m envisioning.

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