There are dozens of ways to finish a floor and each floor will have it's own nuances. Five of the most common methods are listed below. If you have further questions or need help customizing your floor finish, this Ask Earthpaint tool may be helpful.
Earthpaint Floor Finishes
Five Floor Finish Methods1.) For an All Natural, Renewable Floor Finish - Bio Poly NT machine buffed x 3. Looking Glass Polish machine buffed x 1. A coat a day takes 4 days. Best for light traffic floors such as bedrooms or those looking for rustic natural floor finish.
2.) For a Hard, Renewable, Gloss Floor Finish - Bio Poly NT machine Buffed x 2. Mountain mopped or rolled x 2. A coat a day takes 4-7 days depending on drying conditions. (You can skip the Bio Poly and mop on 2-4 coats if you prefer not to buff the finish.)
3.) For a Satin Floor Finish - NanoTech mopped x 1 or 2 coats. Then, Aqualine Satin mopped x 1 or 2 coats. First coat takes a day, last two coats are done the same day. Floor is finished in two days.*
4.) For a Clear, Semi Gloss Floor Finish - NanoTech mopped 2 - 4 coats. Up to four coats of NanoTech can be applied in one day depending on drying conditions. *
5.) For a Fast Dry, Low Odor, One Day Floor Finish You Can Be Done With in a Day - NanoTech or Aqualine Satin mopped x 2 or 3 coats.
Drying - Cross ventilation is important. Keep warm dry air flowing lightly. Crack open two windows across from each other so fresh air can enter and stale air can leave.
Number of Coats - 2-3 coats for low to medium traffic. 3-4 coats for high traffic. 5 coats for industrial use.
*Why use Bio Poly or Mountain for the First Coat?
NanoTech and Aqualine Satin are water based floor finishes. They don't tend to darken the wood much. Some people want this. They don't want the wood to darken up. Others want it to darken up just like an oil floor finish. Bio Poly NT and Mountain are great floor finishes to apply as the first coat when you love that oil floor finish look. They illuminate the grain deeply and give the wood the rich, amber color that only a good oil finish can. If you love that oil finish but want the ease and low odor of the water based finishes, then apply a first coat of Bio Poly NT or Mountain as indicated above.
What does "Buffing" Mean?
Buffing is when you apply the finish like waxing a car or waxing a floor. You put a little on and buff it into the wood and nothing stays on the surface. Floor Machines are most often used by floor finishers. Buffing finish in with a floor machine is a fast way of applying Bio Poly NT. It warms the finish and pushes the finish deep into the wood and looks amazing. Buffing can also be done by hand with a rag. Just be sure to wipe off all excess. It is not a poly. Don't roll it on and leave it like you would a polyurethane. If you see shiny spots the next day, wipe them off. Simply wipe the finish into the floor and wipe off anything on the surface that the wood didn't soak in. It's that easy.
How Do I Stain A Floor?
Staining is done by wiping, brushing or rolling the finish into the wood and then wiping it clean, being sure to color the wood evenly and remove any excess finish that doesn't soak into the wood. Run a few boards length wise, from wall to wall and come back and do a few more boards until you work your way out of the room. A foam roller works good to apply stain. Keep a dry brush nearby; get the best one you can buy. Use that brush to feather the stain in and to get the exact look you are trying to achieve. Also, keep some rags right close, just in case. Earthpaint uses high density resins for staining which saturates the wood fiber fully. We do not believe in watered down stains or stains cut with mineral spirits that soak the wood with cheap filler and trick it into thinking it's not thirsty. Give the wood a healthy dose of love, in the first coat, and it will thank you years to come. After the floor is stained apply multiple Clear 00 top coats to protect it.
I Want the Wood to Stay the Way it Looks When it's Raw. How do I do that?
Try a sample of the Aqualine Satin or NanoTech. You may need to add a little stain but try it clear first. Water based finishes like Aqualine Satin and NanoTech don't change the wood color much at all but any finish is going to change it somewhat. In fact, even if you did nothing to the raw wood at all, over 6 months time it would darken just from age alone. A little bit of stain such as Jute, may help to keep the lighter color you are looking for.
For more Floor Finish help use this Ask Earthpaint tool.Article: Best wood floor finish, why quality matters.
Floor Stain Colors
Sample pints are the best way to check a natural wood finish or Floor Stain color on your wood variety. Bio Poly NT is a good natural oil stain for floors and is available in 1 oz pretinted Wood Stain Color Sample Syringes.
This is a fast easy way to check Clear 00 or multiple colors. 1 oz is enough to do approximately 2 or 3 square feet of raw wood.
All of the wood finishes can be customized using the Raw Colorant Syringes. These handy Syringes can be mixed and matched to create any wood stain color you desire.