Refinish floors (choosing stain)

9 Replies

i am having some 80 year old oak floors refinished this week on a rental that i own.  i want to go with a lighter color.  has anyone ever went without using stain, and just kept the natural color.  of course, i am going to get multiple coats of poly to finish it off.  i figured lighter color will definately hide scratches.  all rooms are pretty small, and hopefully light colored floors make it feel brighter.  any ideas, or pictures of floors that you have refinished??  




You should not use a stain. After you sand it down, a sealer coat and two full coats of oil-based poly will darken that floor significantly. I have done this multiple times with older floors.

Here's a shot of part of a floor after a light sanding:

Here's a different part of the same floor after a sealer coat and two coats of oil-based semi-gloss polyurethane:

@Adam Drummond

Adam, your profile tells me you've been in the business for a bit, but still, word to the wise -- respirator with organic vapor cartridges is a must when working with oil-based poly.

@Jim K.

thanks jim.  i am actually hiring this out.  found a guy that is refinishing about 500 sqft including blending in an old air return patch for about $750 total.  i couldn't argue with that.  my experience with anything oil based.. is that it is pretty potent stuff.  


Originally posted by @Jim K. :

@Adam Drummond

How'd it turn out, Adam?

Hey Jim.  I went with no stain, and 3 coats of poly.  Turned out pretty  good.  These pictures are before the poly was dry... and doesn't look that shiny now.