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Satin finishing for oak floor


I need some advice concerning the finishing of the floor. My home is from 1870 and I uncovered the original oak planks floor. The worker that cleaned and sanded the floor, recommended me to protect it with oil. I applied an oil specific for flooring and also to darken a bit the oak planks. At first the result seemed to be good with a nice satin finishing. However, shortly after, the satin disappeared and in some parts of the oak floor there appeared brown-greyish areas. The finishing now is not satin anymore, it looks dull, without life. I was thinking of applying wax but not sure this will work. I would like the floor to recover the satin look it had when applying the oil in it. Any advice is welcome :-)

Re: Satin finishing for oak floor


An oiled finish will require periodic oiling to keep its sheen. If a lasting satin finish was desired with minimum maintenance, a urethane varnish should have been used.

Applying wax would give you your satin sheen back, but again at the cost of continued maintenance. Also, once you use wax, you will not be able to go back to a urethane finish without re-sanding the floors. I am not sure about the compatibility of urethane over the oil you used either. If you decide to go with a urethane finish, it might be a good idea to seal the floor first with a "universal sealer". This is basically de-waxed shellac. De-waxed shellac will seal the floor and ensure the compatibility with the urethane top coat.

I am not sure why your floor guy suggested oil in the first place? In decades past, an oil stain would be followed with shellac to seal it and then wax put over it. Urethanes now give much the same look but with much less maintenance.

Re: Satin finishing for oak floor

Thanks Ordjen. I will check the urethane option.

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