Finish for ebony

Q: We have just refinished our floors in an “ebony” stain. We did one coat, so it is more like a dark brown. We now have to put the final touch on. Semi-gloss finish or satin finish.

Any advice on how to decide, or which one looks better?

A: Ebony should actually look black, but you have to make sure you mix up the pigments well, which tend to settle in the bottom of the can. I usually water pop the floor first to achieve a deeper colour. As to the sheen, that is largely a matter of taste. The greater the shine, the more likely any irregularities will be hi lighted. I would opt for satin.

I should have added:

I suspect your ebony is dark brown because you applied the stain to smooth flooring without the water pop technique. If you like the brown, you could always go ahead and coat it. However, if you want the true ebony, black look, you will need to stain a second time. If you do that, make sure you give it plenty of time to dry well before coating…and don’t forget to wipe off the excess after applying and letting it penetrate. 5 minutes is long enough to wait.

Recently, due to customer request, I had to find an alternate to polyurethane coatings. I discovered a terrific tung oil based product made in Ohio that you might want to consider. This stuff is so easy to use, with none of the issues you could have with polyurethane, especially adhesion issues. check it out.