I didn’t know that some finish yellows

Q: I painted my BR floor and put polyurethane on it. It yellowed. I didn’t know that some finish yellows, what can I do?

A: Virtually all solvent based finishes will amber to some degree. I think I would “screen” the heck out of the polyurethane to remove as much as possible and give it another coat of paint. You would have to use a water borne poly if that is the route you want to go but I would do some testing on a spare piece of painted wood to make sure it is going to stick.

Follow-up Q: I am a novice. What is screening? Thanks so much for the quick reply.

A: Screening is polishing the floor with (of course) a polisher and an abrasive screen which comes in various grits. Or you could rub the entire floor down on hands and knees with fine sandpaper, or use either an orbital or random orbit sander if a polisher is not available.

Related Q: We have new wide plank yellow pine through our cabin including kitchen and bathrooms. We would like to keep the pine as light and natural as possible but want it to be durable. What is your favorite finish for pine and your favorite brands and sheen polyurethanes for softer woods?

A: Although gloss finishes are a bit harder, I really prefer a lower, softer looking finish such as satin or lower shine. Pine in a cabin? A number of times I’ve used Waterlox which is a penetrating, tung oil finish. It isn’t a tough surface coating like polyurethane but it does have some distinct advantages. If you wanted to stain the wood you can mix a stain colour with the first coat of the oil finish. After that, it is simply a matter of applying needed coats. There is no need to buff, polish, screen or sand between coats to gain adhesion. There are other product which are used in Europe and are just being introduced in North America which interest me also such as Osmo hard wax oil finishes.

My favorite polyurethane is Poloplaz Primero or Supreme. Another finish which is not designed specifically or flooring contractors but is a good finish is Circa 1857 Bowling Alley polyurethane.

Follow-up Q: I’m going for the light just sanded pine color, no stain, and I am open to other finishes besides polyurethanes. I just want them to be OK for bathroom and kitchen areas. I love the look of the hard wax oils. Would Pallman or Osmo hard wax oil in white or natural or Waterlox be durable enough? Or would I be better off accepting some yellowing and use Primero? Do you know if the Circa Bowling Alley finish yellows?

A: All solvent type finishes will amber so some extent. The only way to get crystal clear is with a non yellowing water based finish.