Oil Vs Water Based Urethane, Wax, Etc.


I would like to refinish the floors in our 100 year old farm house, but I don’t want them to look all shiny and new when I am done. I would like to preserve the old and worn look. Ideas?


Is there a way to tell if the stain and polyurethane are compatible? I have heard that sometimes using ones that are not compatible will cause it to flake? I had a quote from a gentleman to lay about 1200sf and finish a total of 1500sf for $3700 with H**** brand stain or poly– I am not sure. Is this a good or bad price?


I have a floor on which a customer put 3 oil based coats. The customer wants to know if I can buff and coat the floor with a water based finish. Is this okay to do? Will it dry right?


I would question using “shellac” as a seal coat. It contains a natural wax which will not allow adhesion of other top coats. There are de-waxed shellac products that offer better results. Zinsser universal sealer or Dura Seal Universal Sealer are good choices. Good adhesion on both sides of the shellac.


The wood has not yet been sanded or finished. We would like a wax finish on these floors, and we also want to stain them. Do you recommend a paste wax initially, or can we go with Duraseal’s liquid wax products, which can be maintained with their Renovator? Can paste wax floors be maintained with the Duraseal product?


I understand that once wax is put on polyurethane floors they have to be stripped to bare wood, if they have to be refinished, but is there any other disadvantage? I like the rich look of wax more than polyurethane. We have had to refinish our 200 year old wide board pumpkin pine polyurethaned kitchen floors every 4 or 5 years because of the volume of traffic.


What is the very best finish for hardwood floors that you can get? One that resists traffic flow wear, scratches, pet markings, etc.?


I am in the process of having my wood floors redone. I am getting different opinions about finishes from each refinisher that I have questioned. Some have recommended 2 coats of gloss for durability, and finish with a 3rd coat of semi-gloss. Another refinisher said there is no difference in durability between gloss and semi-gloss. He insists that 3 coats of semi-gloss will be just as durable as 2 gloss, 1 semi. Who is right?


We have 8 wooden chairs with rush seating. They were left on a covered porch in the rain and a serious mildew(ing) occurred. I have cleared the problem with a 15% bleach/85% water solution and they are looking very good. My next move will be to soak them with a mildew-resistant sealer, but first I would like to apply some type of conditioner/moisturizer. Do you have any suggestions? The actual rush seems to be a natural fabric. Someone suggested using tongue oil as the conditioner before the sealer is applied. What do you think?

Feb 122007

As for Waterlox, the top 5 ingredients in each can are: Mineral Spirits Specially Processed tung oil Ester gum Phenolic resin Specially Processed Linseed Oil It is not a pure tung oil finish. However, cooking the oil does not make tung oil “impure”. When it is heated it is called polymerized tung oil. this process […]

Feb 052007

Are you familiar with O*** P**** oil? How does it compare to Waterlox? I really like the look and benefits (easily repairable) of a hardwax oil finish. It seems technology has made even this type of floor low maintenance.

 Hardwax oil finish  February 5, 2007  Oil Vs Water Based Urethane, Wax, Etc. Comments Off

I have recently looked at a pine floor in a new house and the home owner asked if I could put tung oil on the floor instead of poly. she told me that she had read it in a magazine, and that it said to wipe the tung oil on then wipe it off. Then, wait for a while and repeat it again. Three times. I told her that I have never done this before and that I would get some input on this matter and get back with her. Can you just put tung oil on a pine floor with out any protection on the top off the oil, and if so is this the correct procedure to do it?

Jan 262007

I have just finished installing my oak strip flooring and am looking into the types of finishes. So far it’s between Waterlox or Minwax Polyurethane. The thing is that I am looking for a finish that will allow my floor to keep its light, natural hue, rather then giving it a golden/tan/yellow coloring that would take effect with these types of finishes. What would you recommend as to using to allow my oak flooring to keep its natural, white color?

 Types of finishes  January 26, 2007  Oil Vs Water Based Urethane, Wax, Etc. Comments Off

We are planning to lay down a Brazilian Walnut floor in a renovation. I’m wondering if you can compare the pros and cons of a polyurethane finish vs. an oil finish?


I just obtained some pre-finished samples to help me choose the species, color and finish of my new floor. I have a dog. I tried to see how resilient the flooring would be by scratching the samples with my thumbnail. None of the samples seem very resilient, but what really seems to scratch is the finish, not the wood, and this uses the aluminum oxide.


Can you use tongue oil on wood and cover it with a polyurethane?


How do I find wax for hardwood floors? Which stores in the Toronto, Ontario region carry them? The last wax I used for my floors was Aerowax and they don’t seem to be in business anymore. I will take waxed floors over others any day.

Dec 062006

I am debating whether to just remove the varathane and re-wax, but don’t really want to have to re-wax each year. I was also considering maybe a tung oil finish. I have 3 big dogs that are in and out of the house all day long.

Nov 072006

We have a log home, with log walls on the inside. We currently have carpeting, but want to change to either laminate or hardwood floors. We have 2 puppies and occasionally they have an accident. What would you suggest, and should we try to match the color of the flooring to the walls or have a contrast?

 Log home  November 7, 2006  Oil Vs Water Based Urethane, Wax, Etc. Comments Off
Oct 162006

I’m about to fit a new 3/4 inch oak floor in my kitchen/dining room and I’m really confused about how to finish it. We have a small baby, so the floor will get messy, so it needs to be easy to clean, but does that mean it will have to be a polyurethane finish? I really wanted an oiled finish as, 1 – I like the way that oiled wood wears, 2 – it’s much faster to apply. I guess I’m really worried about how easy an oiled floor will be to clean. I’m not fussed about the odd scratch and mark as I like the worn look. Can you help give me a bit of confidence in my decision?

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