Want a distressed, aged pine look

Q: We have just had 10 inch T&G pine installed in our new home. In the past we had stained pine floors in our cottage and stained with Minwax Golden Oak. The floors were not sanded and the result was great, an aged pine look. Our new floors were sanded after the floor was put down. We put the same stain down (golden oak) and it does not look good.

The grain, etc., really shows through and is very dark brown, not really golden (it was brushed on). I verathaned it this morning and it made it look a little better. We just want an aged pine look. We have not yet done the downstairs. Do you have any suggestions?

A: I’m surprised you got anything to penetrate and stick to that first pine floor you mentioned. There is a condition called “mill glaze” or planer glaze wherein the new wood appears to have a slightly shiny appearance. This has to be removed to clean wood before staining or finishing. Pine is a difficult wood to stain. I had amazing success on nearly 4000 feet of pine I stained. I mixed the colour directly into Waterlox penetrating tung oil finish and mopped it on. No removing the excess is needed. Let it dry and apply another 3 coats. This might be the type of finish and look you are after. You could also beat the floor up some to make it appear old and distressed.

Related Q: Hello. My authentic oak wood floors are requiring spot/ area staining where floor traffic was constant and where vinyl sheet floor was previously installed. After I had lightly hand-sanded a section down to almost the bare wood, in preparation to spot stain, I concluded the entire floor might look good with this easy remedy to create a distressed look. I figured I could always stain over these sections if I didn’t like the effect. Good or bad idea?

A: It is really subjective. If you like the look then it’s a great idea. The first time I saw a couple looking at a sample of hand scraped flooring I told them I spent my entire career trying to make sure my jobs didn’t end up looking like that. So, you can experiment as you like. You can always have the entire floor sanded again at some point provided it is thick enough to handle it.