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I don't want UV resistance on my floors.

I want my new, currently unfinished heartpine floors to darken to a more reddish hue. I read somewhere that the finish I use on the floor should not be UV resistant because light is what causes the heartpine to darken. Is water based polyurethane UV resistant or does it come in UV resistant and non-UV resistant varieties?

Re: I don't want UV resistance on my floors.

You can get UV resistant finishes, however I'm not sure they are that effective. Varnishes and polyurethanes have been used for years on cherry and it still darkens in sunlight. I personally have not seen a poly rated as UV resistance, I have seen deck finishes that are.

Re: I don't want UV resistance on my floors.

Any finish which has UV reisistance will surely be labeled as such because it would help sell it.

As for darkening floors, you might consider sticking with an old-fashioned oil-based varnish, which will itself darken with time. I've used shellac under polyurethane to get a mellow amber finish that's nice and hard.

Re: I don't want UV resistance on my floors.

Generally speaking...waterborne finishes have no color to them and they don't yellow/amber with the passage of time. That's why they are frequently referred to as "water clear". For some folks and some projects, this is a good thing. For those projects where ambering of the finish is desired, those WB's aren't the ticket. (Although there are a few WBs out there now that do have an amber color to them from the get-go....those are more less unavailable at the big-box and have to be mail-ordered. Don't think there are any rated for floors either.)

WB finishes don't prevent the development of patina on the underlying wood...in and of themselves. The light still shines thru/UV penetrates. It's the addition of a UV inhibitor to a product that will reduce UV penetration. And as already mentioned, any product having UV inhibitors in it, will state so on the can. WBs come both ways; with and without. It's my understanding that these UV inhibitors aren't really forever; they are consumed/spent over time. Just how fast, I do not know.

Clear oil/alkyd finishes amber from UV. So if you are looking for the fastest development of ambering and patina of the wood...this would be a good choice. Oil-based polyurethane finishes provide great durability too. Apply three coats. (Avoid the Minwax offerings these days.)

If a WB finish is your choice... read the can as it will likely state maximum of two coats, not three. This because if WBs are applied too thickly, the finish may never cure properly...but will remain soft and perhaps cloudy in appearance. Then you will be stripping the floor and starting over.

Whatever type of finish you choose (WB or OB).... *make sure* you use a product rated for floors. That will also be stated on the can.

Use a gloss sheen finish for all coats except the last. Last coat should be your sheen of choice. Use satin or semi-gloss for all the coats and the appearance will be some degree of cloudy...not allowing the grain of the wood to show thru as well as it should/could.

We have longleaf heartpine floors here in the kitchen. I finished with an OB poly back around '90 because we wanted the warmth of the ambering finish in addition to the natural development of patina.

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